“Adventure” to Rotterdam Airport

I was talking to a good friend of mine over the summer vacation that I had not seen for a little while and we were discussing where to meet up and what to do. We both went to school in Rotterdam for several years so we were well accustomed to all the shops and most of everything in central Rotterdam that did not cost you an arm and a leg (or a student an arm and a leg in this case) What to do now then was the central question. As a bit of a joke I opened google earth and remarked, much to my own surprise, that Rotterdam airport was actually very close.  Thinking the airport was still to far to walk I decided to have a little fun with my friend and suggest we go to the airport and see the planes take off and land. Somehow or another however the next day we set off to Rotterdam airport.

To make matters more interesting we decided not to bring a map with us and instead just wing it.  We had a general direction, a compass and a few kilometres of walking between us and the airport. Naturally the adventure would not be complete by simply walking to the airport through Rotterdam so every little clump of trees we saw my friend insisted we walk through, even if that did not necessarily involve the straightest route to our goal and resulted in several surprised strangers as we came bursting through the trees (not to mentioned a few startled rabbits).

In the end we managed to make it to the airport and we took up a position where the airplanes would fly and land directly over our heads. We happened to be situated right at the edge of a bike path and we brought lunch in the form of an apple pie. Needless to say seeing two teenagers sitting at the edge of the bike path watching planes is deemed to be strange as it is and once you add in the apple pie and my fairly large camera/lens you get a few very puzzled looks from the people passing by whether by car or by bike.

The planes were clearly the biggest reason we had come to the airport though we were rather unsure of what to expect. Quite frankly we didn’t know if we would see any planes or even if we were in the right area. Pretty quickly however we saw several smaller planes such as the one below.

The exciting moment came however when we saw our first commercial jet. We saw it first from across the runway so we stood there pointing for a few moments and had a rather confused conversation as to whether or not the big object in the distance a plane or our imagination. The conversation went something along the lines of

“is that a?”

“no… yea, wait uh”  “YES, it’s an uhm, very big plane?”

The conversation proceeded untill it was clear that the airplane was indeed coming in our direction which only increased our excitement. They say every guy loves big powerful engines and every boy’s dream is to become a pilot, personally I can’t say I care for engines, but to hear those gigantic planes and their engines roaring so close to you as they get ready to speed down the runaway is incredibly fascinating. I was most certainly turned back into a little boy jumping around and cheering and roaring with the engines. One thing that surprised me however was despite the raw power of the engines was how little sound they actually make. I half expected to be deafened by the noise but this was far from the case. In fact as I saw busy cheering on one of the airplanes taking off a plane of similar size flew over head and I nearly missed it.

In the end it was a very fun trip and I’ll be checking google earth more often just to see if there is something else in cities that one can easily miss when walking through them.

More  pictures on http://www.flickr.com/photos/dmatsui/sets/72157624751683873/

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