Today was the last day of all the gang being together. Martyn’s plan was to stay in Germany and do some more exploring before heading back to the UK later. As the forecast called for rain and we could not check in at the ferry until 4:30 in the afternoon, we decided to hang around in Osnabrück until later.
Mark, MacBean, and I walked into to to find breakfast. We had been offered it at the hotel for 23 euros per person. We were able to find a cafe two minutes away where they served all three of us with breakfast for 22 euros.
After breakfast, I went for a walk around the town. It is a lovely place with lots of pedestrian walk ways. You do have to be careful not to be run down by the Fraus delivering their children to school on bikes with big kid-carriers stuck on the front.
I’m always surprised in the US how many churches there are. I guess it is no different than Europe, here as in Poland there were churches at every turn.
Apparently during the war, the city was heavily damaged in the Allied bombing raids. After the war, it was rebuilt with an historic aesthetic.
After leaving the hotel, we made good time into Holland and the Europort. At one point, we stopped for coffee and we all commented on how different the Dutch motorways were in comparison to where we’d been for the last two weeks. Mark made the comment, “In Poland anything goes, in Germany everything goes, and in Holland nothing goes”.
The pace was amazingly slow. Even so we made it to the port with hours to spare. We decided to go and find lunch and went to a little town called Oostvoorne about 5 kilometers away. We found it thanks to a kind waitress at a dumpy little place, with a grumpy proprietor, who told us where to go. After a nice little lunch and coffee, the rain came and it belted down for about 10 minutes. By the time we left, everything was good again.
Again, getting to the ferry, Mark and MacBean were ahead of me and had no issues boarding. When I pulled up the woman could not find my reservation. Finally using the booking number, she was able to point out it had been for the following day. That’s the last time that I let Rob make any travel plans for me.
I was a little concerned for a few minutes.
“Can you get me on this ship anyway?”
“I will have to call my boss to find out…..Ok, we will get you on but you have to pay an extra 30 pounds. Do you have a credit card?”
Suspecting Amex might be a challenge – although only declined once on the trip, “Here’s may Apple Mastercard.”
“This is no good, it has no numbers on it. I don’t have a machine, I have to type it all in.”
Fumble, fumble – “Here’s my Amex”
Typing, typing, typing. Puzzled looks. Checks numbers and name. Picks up phone, “Dutch, Dutch, Dutch, American Express.” Hangs up phone.
“We don’t take American Express”
Fumble, fumble, unzip jacket arm pocket for toll-road credit card, “Here’s my Visa.”
Typing, typing, typing, “Okay, we are good, here is your boarding pass and cabin key. Please use lane 3.”
Slowly make my way up to passport control behind all go the bikes and scooters that got ahead.
“Hi, are you traveling alone”
“Where have you been”
“We’ve been riding motorcycles in Poland”
“Aren’t you traveling alone”
“Well yes now I am”
Flick, flick, stamp, stamp, “thank you”.
From the weather forecast, we left at the perfect time. Rain and colder temperatures forecast going forward.