We made it back to Haarlem with only minor challenges. Our trip went mostly as planned… The Detroit to Amsterdam flight did not seem as bad as usual. I watched "At Eternity’s Gate" about Van Gogh which I found fascinating, very well done and thought-provoking since we are headed to Arles soon. We arrived at Schiphol at 5:30 and by 7:00 after normal airport hassles we were on the bus to Haarlem. We had the usual problems getting phones to work right but arrived at our Airbnb no problem. The place is GREAT… very spacious with full kitchen and very convenient. It's inside an enclosed courtyard with lovely gardens & a chicken walk. Really the best place of all our many stays in Haarlem. We haven't had much problem with jet lag. Jim usually doesn't, and I followed the "Timeshifter" program that really helped.
We took the train to Beverwijk where our bikes were stored. There is a mile walk to our "local bike shop" from the train station. We had a bit of gear in our panniers to lug, so it seemed longer, but we made it (this is our fifth time of picking up bikes at Ernst’s shop so all proceeded after we finally located our battery charger that was left at his other shop. So we rode north to the other shop, picked up the charger, and then turned around to head back south to Haarlem into a headwind. Jim took the ferry photo to highlight the difference in how we look vs how the Dutch look when they ride. They think we are pretty funny… the lady in heels is probably texting about the odd Americans. We had a lovely lunch stop on the way back to Haarlem.
Saturday we met up with old friends Frank & Michael. they’ve been car touring for 3 weeks, but turned in the car and picked up rental ebikes in Amsterdam. They are touring with us for a week and then heading home while we press on toward Germany. On Sunday we rode over to the beach... it seemed like all of Haarlem and half of Amsterdam were on the bikeway with us! rather harrowing at times with all the "boomers" (motorcycles) but no mishaps. Lunch at Club Nautique then the lovely ride back through the dunes. Dinner at our airbnb. The boys washed up with Jim providing moral support. Then an evening stroll along the canal.
Our airbnb hosts provided us with a wonderful breakfast courtesy of their hens. HUGE eggs! Today is last minute prep day - tomorrow we head out. Rain is expected. We have already encountered a major glitch in our "multimodal mobility plan" with the train in Germany – could not get a bike reservation – sold out. So we are working on plan B. More to follow on that. This will be an adventure as we move down toward Provence to visit Willy and Gerd and then back to Strasbourg – so expect further complications.