Saturday, May 17, 2008


We are off to the French Pyrenees by way of Amsterdam. The plan is to fly non-stop to Amsterdam, spend 2 nights and then take a KLM flight to Toulouse. We have 5 nights booked in Massat and 4 nights booked near Quillan in the Languedoc.

Our daughter Jess graciously offered to drive us to the airport, and we oblige. The bikes (which have S&S Couplers) are packed in to their 26x26x10" cases, which means they ought to fly for no extra charge. We check in at Northwest and the counter representative asks, what is in these? I respond - those are travel bikes, and the cases meet airline size requirements as standard baggage. He looks up something in the computer and says, that will be $150 each. I say, no - please measure the boxes and you will find that they are less than 62 inches total. The supervisor is called and she agrees with my assessment. The bikes fly for no additional charge.

We arrive in Amsterdam and head to the airport bag storage, which is still offered at Schiphol Airport. We find that the largest self storage locker holds both bikes, and we don't need the bikes until we get to the Pyrenees. For 8 Euros per day our bikes are stored.

We catch the train and go to our hotel, Chic and Basic in the Jordaan district. We learn that there is a problem and we have no room here, but the hotel did make arrangements for us to stay at NH City Center, a 3-star hotel, at no extra cost to us. We're tired and ready to check in, but grateful that they sorted this out. They paid for our cab ride and we checked in.

It began to rain, but we walked to the Waterloopein Flea Market anyway. It was nearly 100% clothing that was offered for sale, we left without making a purchase. Dinner was at Bolhoed, a vegetarian place near the Anne Frank House. We eat had quiche and salad, plus desert.... was very good. They have a cat named Suzan that joined us for dinner.


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