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Archive for April 20th, 2006

Four days of continuous holiday is a rare thing in Netherlands. In fact, there are months and months when there are no holidays in any month. That does not make the Dutch see red because most Dutch have a four day week. But it certainly was a big holiday for us. Four days and I and the family had not planned anything.  Just like Hamlet, we were deciding to go or not to go.  Vijay had to work on Friday which was good and bad. Bad because we lose one day of the vacation and good because we don’t get stuck in Thursday traffic.  

Finally we decided that come what may, we are going to Italy. My mom calls it itly, seems like idli. Coming back to the trip, Milano is a total of more than 1000 Kilometers one way. We had a lot to prepare before we moved on to the journey. We had to do a lot of shopping.  

Girls go crazy over shopping clothes. Vijay and I go crazy over buying food. When we go to the Indian shop here, we end up buying atleast 75% more than we intended to do. So we ended up buying four types of chips, 3 types of energy drinks, 6 types of juices and many types of snacks and even 1 can of phenol. Actually the phenol was for home but we forgot to remove it and it ended up traveling in three countries. When we stashed all that into the car, we wondered where we would keep our luggage. We were taking the whole house with us. Desi toh desi rahengi! 

With the car filled with all the ‘eatables’ and our little clothing we set out on Friday evening to Milano in Italy. The plan was to drive to Basel in Switzerland and camp for the night and then start again in the morning.  

The second problem was to leave or take Sheru. He could be left in Dog Care centre but then everybody would be wondering and worrying about him the whole trip. But would he be able to handle the whole trip? I had my doubts but Vijay and Ranjana did not. Sheena was just too happy to take him along. She even offered to stay behind and take care of Sheru, while we take our holiday and she is just 10. So after giving him a nice bath with shampoo and all and making him nice and clean, he was ready for the trip. Did I mention that he can make himself stinky in hours?  

Sheru.jpg

Sheru at the front passenger seat. Not a comfortable position for him but we all wanted him to be with us.

The sky was clear and the sun was shining bright when we left Amsterdam. Driving toward Utrecht, we were out of Netherlands in 2 hours. The journey seems pleasant when there is a good company with you. We talked and talked. Poor Sheru was wondering where the hell we were going driving for so much time. Normally he goes for shorter distance that involves not more that 30 minutes.  

HollandSky.jpg

The Clear Netherlands sky when we left Amsterdam.

Germany is much better to drive because many stretch of road offer unlimited speed. Also the scenery is better to look at rather than the flat ground of Netherlands. Germany offers mountain views and also roads that go up and down like waves. It was raining in some part of Germany and that hampered our progress.

GermanHighway.jpg

The German Highway when we entered germany in the above picture. The rainy German highway few hours later. taken from inside the car.

GermanRain.jpg

Taking regular stops to eat and for Sheru, we finally decided to stay in a highway motel at the end of the day. The Motel was right on the edge of Black Forest. There may have been a small village nearby but it was definitely close to Burger King and a petrol pump for which we stopped in the first place.  

So still a long way from Basel, we decided to stop and rest for the night there. The room was nice with two bedrooms so that we all could stay together. We opened the balcony and looked outside to see nothing. It was so dark that we could only make the faint outline of the trees outside.  

The next morning I got up to find a great forest out there!

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