What is with all this waking up early stuff? We are on vacation for goodness sake! We woke up early and scarfed breakfast, we had a train to catch. A taxi was called and we drove to the train station. For the next four hours we were on four different trains. From the first train we had a two minutes to connect, the next one five. We had left an hour earlier than scheduled but this was necessary, you just never know when Gary is going to throw a tantrum.
We were in Appingedam be 1202 and as promised Jim was waiting for us. He and his wife Betty started this cycle tour ten years prior. He drove us to their farmhouse in Oosterwijtwerd, about 10 km away. We had a room in their house for the night and rented a bicycle from their shop out back. Shane carried Gary up the teeny-tiny stairs and we hurried out to adopt our new bikes. We took off down the road, the bikes were so nice! Cruising through fields and beside cows, until we got to the dreaded highway. We found out the hard way that a circular sign with red around it and a picture of a bike means that bikes are NOT! allowed! Unfortunately once you are on this road you can’t get off. Countless cars honked as they passed us.
We were relieved when we got off the road in Appingedam and onto the bike paths, but we didn’t know where to go! We had no map AND it was Sunday-nofunday, so everything was closed. We cycled around for a while until we spotted what we wanted, fried kibbeling. Man, this stuff is so good! I do realize it’s only fried cod, but it’s the best fried fish I’ve ever had. We tried not to inhale it…
When we got back to the house Shane passed right out, he was so tired. Without internet I was going crazy, there were no English books and it had started to rain outside. So I reorganized Gary and took all the extra stuff out of our bags, he was going to spend the next few days banished to the garage. We took our showers and went down to dinner at 1830. We dinned with a Belgian couple and their two year old daughter. They are on the same tour as us, so we will be eating with them the next few nights.
Dinner was okay, I was a little choked that considering how much we are paying for this tour we were served Campbell’s tomato soup for a first course, but I got over it fast. Dinner was a delicious bolognese pasta. At 1930 we went back upstairs, promising to be down for breakfast at 0730. Not knowing what to do all evening we turned on the tv for the first time in 11 weeks. Wonder-of-all-wonders it was in English! The subtitles were in Dutch but the shows were speaken ze Engles. YES! We watched some pretty funny shows, Sarah Palin’s Alaska, CSI Miami, Boarder Patrol. And we capped off the night with some scary show that gave me nightmares. Thanks honey.