John as Guest Blogger again.
Astute readers may have noticed that we are now current in our blogging. This was the result of our working furiously from the lobby at the NH Hotel until after 10pm. Internet access was doled out in half-hour chunks (which always seemed to last less than 30 minutes, must be some metric thing I suppose), after which you had to go back to the desk and get another set of credentials. We must have gone through two dozen tickets, what with two weary travelers pounding away on two computers. Through this odyssey, the bartender provided suitable beverages, a sandwich and a salad, and a truly fine Dire Straits concert DVD.
This morning we check out of the hotel and take the shuttle to Hertz at the airport. This is a good move since we don’t have to fight the bicycles in Amsterdam iteself and also gets us a headstart on our trip to Bruges. We rent a very nice Skoda Octavia. Plenty of room for us and our luggage, enough zip, a pretty forgiving 6-speed manual, and, need I mention, AIR CONDITIONING.
We plug in George’s TomTom and off we go. You may recall that Tom also accompanied us to Italy and Sicily in March of 2009, attempting to kill us only once, but saving us many more times than that on the trip. We are REALLY counting on Tom this time because, as it turns out, our France/Benelux roadmap is dated 1992. We begin to worry when Tom wants us to take a road that appears not to be a highway on our map. But it turns out that he is absolutely right, the EU having built more than a few new highways in the past 18 years!
We stop at a McDonald’s for coffee.