Goodbye UK we are off to Amsterdam

Trip Start Jun 23, 2012
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12
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Trip End Aug 02, 2012


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Flag of Netherlands  , Noord-Holland,
Thursday, July 5, 2012

Last day in England and we allowed plenty of time to get to Luton airport where we had to drop the hire car (Vauxhill Insignia....very nice, diesel and very economical). It's hard to know how much time to allow in this country as the distances are not far but the traffic is huge added with the fact that we often take a wrong turn and have to backtrack. We stopped in an outer suburb of Luton for lunch and both remarked that we had possibly hit Coronation Street! Streets and streets of double story brown buildings and corner stores. Bit depressing really and not the side of England that I love, the picturesque little villages with houses and pubs full of charm and pretty gardens that match. Makes me realize that my idealized picture is not necessarily the norm here.
After we had dropped the car and caught the bus to the terminal and then checked in.....well I thought I was going to star in an upcoming episode of Border Security! Talk about a saga. Firstly the little Indian man said only 2 bags madam....well we had a backpack each plus my day/hand bag. Put it in the pack he says....yes but which one as they are both bulging! After much re-juggling manage to do so. Go through security check, getting out iPad etc etc which I forget to do nearly every time so take longer than I should. We both beap when we walk through. Shoes off...then a lovely embarrassing body search and feel up ( arms legs the lot!) by the officials. But wait there's more! Of course my bag was delayed through the scanning machine and after waiting 5 minutes for the poor man in front of me to have everything in his bag displayed,....it was now my turn for the same treatment! Joy of joys, I asked lady what she was looking for and she replied "nothing, it's a random check". @&!? All the while this was going on I had 3 Chinese about 6 inches from my shoulder observing all my personal bewongings (no, not a spelling error) in detail....personal space PLEASE!  They were not very patiently waiting for their turn to have the same treatment. Anyway got through all that and repacked bag. Never experienced anything like it even in the USA where they are more paranoid than most. Maybe that's what you get at a budget airport.
Anyway after all that and a short flight we landed in Amsterdam and took a shuttle to our hotel for the next 5 nights. Both feeling very tired and my voice is going with this blessed head cold....but the same feelings of excitement I always get when we arrive at a new place come amid the tiredness! Disappointed to find that the clear lens cover on my camera is smashed..no doubt when we had to stuff gear into our back packs - thanks Easy Jet! Have to fix that tomorrow now. Oh well its just to illustrate that traveling is not always easy...but doubt that will put me off.
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