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Eurotrip 2012 – Day 1

July 19th, 2012 1 comment

13-June-2012

And so the journey begins… Today we leave for a 4-week vacation to Europe. The flight path takes us from Orlando to JFK to Amsterdam to Munich. We leave Orlando around 12:00pm and land in Germany about 11:00am the next day. Any “night” on an airplane consists of about 4 hours where the lighting is dim and the stewardess doesn’t bother you too much so you can sort of catnap.

14-June-2012

7:30am
We land in Amsterdam and I took opportunity to take a few pictures. One restaurant had tables that looked like tea cups. And the tulips were on display everywhere and would you like some wooden shoes? The Amsterdam airport has a huge area of Duty-Free shopping; fortunately we were not distracted and headed right for our next gate. What we found was another security/customs line we had to navigate before getting to the gate area, good thing we are not shoppers.

12:00pm
We are hanging around the Munich airport as our luggage is not here. We are hopeful that it arrives on the next plane around 1:30pm as the bags contain all of our camping gear and clothes. We will be in a real bind if it does not show up.

Chris is crashed out; I don’t think he really slept on the plane too many movies to watch. Vicky and I caught a few Z’s so we are holding together at the moment… where are our bags?

2:30pm
Bags are still not here. They (KLM) don’t know where they are but are hopeful they will get here. In the meantime we need to go get the rental car so we can pick up Jason in Füssen. This should be interesting as our navigation device is also in our missing luggage, along with all the maps, reservation information, etc… Fortunately we have the laptop with most of the information. However, while we have the power cord, we do not have the transformer to tap into the car battery.

We get the rental car from Avis which turns out to be a 6-speed manual transmission. I haven’t driven a manual in over 6 years… I can’t figure out how to get the car into reverse. This will be interesting. It has a built-in navigation system so that is a real life saver.

We get out on the autobahn. I guess I didn’t really know what to expect. I suppose in the back of my mind I had romanticized the autobahn into something bigger. But in reality it is equivalent to our interstate system. Although, it was cool looking down at the speedometer and seeing 120. Ok, it was 120 km/h and not mph. But in a Ford station wagon, what did you expect?

After being on the road for over an hour, we discovered that we were heading to the wrong place. Apparently the GPS requires the dots on the “u” or it takes you to the wrong location and not to Füssen. We wind up getting to Füssen late where we pick up Jason who arrived from Heidelberg via train. I finally figure out how to put the car in reverse, else we wouldn’t have been able to leave the train station. The stick shift has a ring that you have to slide up in order to engage reverse.

We stay at a local gasthof, Alpengasthof Geiselstein, since all of our camping gear is still missing. As we are checking into the gasthof, there is a man in the dining area having a seizure. I hope it wasn’t the wienerschnitzel. Finally we settle down to order some of that famous German beer and Bratwurst. While we eat dinner, we get a call from KLM that our bags have arrived. Too late to get them tonight, but it is a relief to know that they have finally made it. We’ll deal with that tomorrow after a little sightseeing. We all sleep good as we are totally exhausted. The stay at the gasthof was about 130€ (or $164) for 4 people. They cost the stay dependent upon the number of people not the space you take up; that’s different.

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