Wednesday 14th June – Packing and Hand Over

Lots of “finals” today. Our final walk in the hyda with Bronte and three days in a row now where she has not been able to find a puddle….yipeee!!! We then whizzed around with a final dusting and vacuum of the house before heading out on our bikes to town.

We needed to validate our Euro-rail passes so went down to the railway station to do that process. We have seven days travel in two months so wanted to leave it to the last minute to validate them. We cannot do it tomorrow as the train station we leave from does not have an office open at the ungodly hour of 6.30am.

It was then off to the local markets which are held on Saturday and Wednesday. The fruit and vegetables were beautiful and can understand why people shop here instead of at the supermarkets.

Fraser was in absolute heaven as he found a cheese shop. He purchased some Gouda and I was very surprised that it made it all the way home without mouse teeth marks in it. Not sure if many of you know but we have a rat that lives in our fridge at home but it does seem to be absent when we are away on holiday. Must check with Joannie and Simon to find out if it has returned?!?! This particular rat has been around us now for over 30 years so I reckon it is old and grey now and likes riding bikes.

We then went to the flower stall. We are just so damn jealous at the price of flowers. This is what we got for €5. If you look closely you can actually see there are three bunches of white flowers also. How very Dutch to bike down to the local market, purchase your cheese and flowers and then bike home – something we couldn’t do in Canada.

It was then back to bath Bronte. As can be expected, she was one unimpressed pooch but she came up beautifully. Under all that hair she has a white coat. Finished that task then did the final packing of the panniers. On completion of this little task Ali and Ads arrived home from New York.

The poor guys had a five hour flight from New York to Dublin with a five hour layover in Dublin and then another two hours to Amsterdam. Add in immigration and then a train and the end result is two very shattered individuals. Now all they needed to do was try to stay awake for another eight hours.

We got an hour together with them to catch up on all their news and hand back the responsibility of the children and the dog to them. We are now footloose and fancy free again to continue on our travels.
Will probably not blog tomorrow as we will be very busy switching to six different trains in eight hours so there will not be much time for anything else.

We commence the trip at Sportspark in Hilversum to Utrecht; switch trains to Arnhem; then to Oberhausen in Germany; onto Koblenz; then Frankfurt and finally to Aschaffenburg. All going well we should get in at about 15:48 hours. Our good friends Horst and Elfi offered to pick us up from the station but have convinced them not to as there is a good chance we might not make one of the trains and then it will be a mad scurry to try to re-route things. It is a very convoluted trip due to us having the bikes with us. You are not allowed bikes on the ICE trains so you end up taking all the puddle jumpers. The positive side is that we will get to see some great countryside.


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