After a busy week of preparation, we are finally at the Detroit airport waiting for our plane to Amsterdam. We spent the morning and part of the afternoon with last minute packing and repacking – trying to trim off a few ounces. Jim has his sawed off toothbrush and Maggie is making do with minimal personal gear and we only have our Chromebook, phones and a bike gps for tech gear. Even so, our bags are heavier than we would like. As always it took longer than we imagined – getting the fridge emptied and defrosted and everything clean and put to bed for 2 months, while at the same time trying to anticipate everything that we might need while in Europe proved rather daunting.. Finally got the trailer closed up and moved over to the storage lot. Rick, the owner of Indian Creek Campground, provided a shuttle to the airport. We didn’t know how it would go, or what things might go wrong so we got here really early – just a little after 3 for a 7:45 departure. So we have plenty of time to relax and unwind from the stress of the last couple of days. We land in Amsterdam at 9:40 tomorrow morning.
If we aren’t too tired after the overnight flight, we’ll try to get to Ernst’s bike shop tomorrow to pick up our new bikes. That will give us a few days to explore the area, make sure the bikes are ready for the tour, and buy maps. Also our good friends Willy and Gert, who we met in the Maldives in 1981, will be there. They are from Amsterdam but now live in Provence where they own an olive grove. We are really excited to see them after these many years. We have a reservation in Leiden for Sunday night and then plan to stay Tuesday and Wednesday nights in Gouda, doing a loop ride on Wednesday to the windmills and old towns in that area. From there we don’t have any plans other that to keep pedaling up the Rhine.