SCHIPHOL (Neth.) - The Dutch National Softball Team on Wednesday flew to Vancouver (Canada), where it will start its international season on Saturday, participating in the annual Canada Cup Tournament.
Players and staff of the national team got together around 12:30 PM at the national airport, where a celebration was going on, as it was the first day that the so-called flight tax was no longer in effect as of today.
To celebrate, all passengers got a free pastry and musicians walked around.
When everyone had arrived, the boarding passes were handed out and then it was time to board the plane of KLM Royal Dutch Airlines for the almost 10 hour flight to Vancouver.
With a scheduled departure time of 3:40 PM, the plane left almost on time, taking off at 3:56 PM.
After arrival at Vancouver International Airport (the plane landed well ahead on time, around 4:00 in the afternoon), three vans were waiting for the team for th 40 minute ride to Sheraton Guildford Hotel in Surrey.
In that city, the team will start the Canada Cup on Saturday with the match-up against reigning world champion United States.
The day ended with a meal in the hotel and then, most went to bed after a long day.
Schedule Canada Cup
The departure schedule on one of the monitors
The Dutch team was scheduled to leave at 15:40 to Vancouver with the KL0681
Femke van Dusschoten at the airport with family
In the meantime, a series of photos is taken from Saskia Kosterink
to illustrate an interview with her in De Volkskrant newspaper
The celebration cakes which were handed out to the travellers
A smiling Petra van Heijst, Nadine Marinus and Virginie Anneveld
In the back are Assistant Coach Tiffany McDonald and Team Manager Paul Boonstra
Virginie Anneveld is all smiles
Players fill in their luggage labels
Petra van Heijst and Nadine Marinus show their protections
More smiles, here for Anne Blaauwgeers with her twin-sister Maaike at her side
At left, Saskia Kosterink hands out boarding passes
More boarding passes are handed out
Rebecca Soumeru and Kirsten Scheele wait for their boarding pass
The Bloeming and Versluis-families
...and more boarding passes
Solange Starrenburg walks by the girls who hand out celebration gifts
Saskia Kosterink gets a celebration gift
Players check in
More checking in
The Versluis and Soumeru-families
Nathalie Timmermans and Chantal Versluis are ready for the flight
Head Coach Craig Montvidas with Media Officer Marco Stoovelaar
Almost ready for departure
Meike Witteveen, Petra van Heijst, Britt Vonk,
Nadine Marinus, Femke van Dusschoten and Anne Blaauwgeers
returned after having their luggage checked in at the KLM-desk
Meike Witteveen, Britt Vonk and Femke van Dusschoten
More celebration cakes are brought in
Chantal Versluis shows how to wear the celebration gift in a different way
More smiles for Meike Witteveen and Virginie Anneveld
Time to go to the plane
Dagmar Bloeming with her mother Jacqueline
At left is Rebecca Soumeru, at right is Areke Spel
...and Karin Tuk with her mother Maaike
The team poses before going to the plane to start the first journey of the international season
Saskia Kosterink and Solange Starrenburg on their way to customs
...and so are Nathalie Gosewehr and Rebecca Soumeru
Team Manager Paul Boonstra, Physical Therapist Anouk Fermont, Coach Nancy Evans,
Assistant Coach Tiffany McDonald and Head Coach Craig Montvidas pack their things
Media Officer Marco Stoovelaar stayed behind, due to journalistic working commitments
during the Baseball World Port Tournament in Rotterdam
Marco will join the Softball Team again in Oklahoma City
At right are Lyanne and Dana Horeman
(thanks again to Fred Versluis for submitting several photos)