SATURDAY - Driving from Amsterdam, Holland to Potsdam, Germany
This morning we are up and ready to go. We enjoy one last excellent breakfast before moving on to the last leg of our unusual itinerary....five days in Potsdam, part of the old East Germany. The ship calls a shared taxi for us about 9:30AM to take us to the Hertz place and the staff gets us and the luggage off the ship.
We are the last to be dropped off so we get a nice tour of Amsterdam all decorated for the big day tomorrow when the beloved Queen steps down in favor of her son. There is orange and blue bunting and flags everywhere!
We are dropped at the Hertz place, the same one we used in the Fall. There is a line waiting to get cars so it takes nearly 45 minutes to get our car and get gone. Later getting out of Amsterdam than planned and according to our trusty GPS it is 6 hour drive to Potsdam with no stops, Carolyn has hopes of a couple of stops, but we will see.
Once again it is no hassle to drive out of Amsterdam....the GPS is a wonderful tool! The motorway is fast but congested as it is one small town after another until we are well into Germany. We cross the main N-S German motorway and the countryside changes to much more rural. We are hungry by now and see a sign for McDonalds! Well it is better than nothing and we need gas too! After a bit of a trek, we have gas and find the McDonalds which is hugely popular this afternoon. We get drinks and fries and are soon on the road again.
The plan was to take a side trip to Quedlinbury, a World Heritage Site story book castle town in old East Germany, but we never see the turn off. However we do see creepy gun towers on the side of the motorway that graded the old border.
About 5:30PM we arrive in Potsdam and are directed right to our hotel, Villa Monte Vino. It is a big Victorian era home with a very nice hotel addition in the back. The Owner greets us, checks us in, gives us tons of tourist info and makes dinner reservations at his favorite Italian place around the corner. His English is perfect, but in general finding English speakers proves to be a rarity in this part of Germany. After we get settled in our very nice but forth floor walk up room we head for dinner. Being late checking in, the room was the last one, but tomorrow while we are out they will move us to a first floor room. (I had requested a low floor because of the steps, but!)
All is forgotten at dinner. What can we say, it is one of the best places we have ever eaten! About 12 tables and no English, but we have a great time trying to figure out the menu options with the waiter and the food and wine are outstanding. Back at the hotel the four flights don't seem so bad! We collapse into bed and into sleep!