Our last car was the first one with a SatNav. Last year we relied on it to take us to rural Belgium, Berlin, central Poland and then Hannover and Brugges on the return trip. It was not without hiccups and at times we were more lost than lost, especially with Summer being road repair season. We figured from previous experience with a hard copy map we will be more aware of what is happening rather that obeying this voice mindlessly.
So this year we set off in a new car without SatNav expecting a ‘back to basics’ experience on the road. That’s exactly what we got starting on the road to Luxembourg. We had our map books, which were not to useful scale and Google directions printed out. Useless!
Once we got into Luxembourg we were clueless. We arrived in the city already feeling anxious because nothing was corresponding to what was in print and it was the second visit to the country where last time we entered it at the northernmost point and got lost in the countryside thinking each small town we came to was Luxembourg City, the capital.
We tried using the phones to get some GPS tracking going, nothing! I tried calling my provider in the UK, nothing! Seems like we were out of coverage in the middle of a city. We found ourselves driving along bus lanes, perhaps the wrong way on one way streets, round and round and not getting anywhere. We called our hotel a few times but they were unable to guide us to the place as we were unable to describe our location(s). Finally we hired a taxi to escort us to the hotel. It was a good idea else I would have been driving around blind for a while yet. Five minutes east of the city and we were at the hotel.
The place was impressive. We got a double room and the fittings were dated but properly maintained. We zapped downstairs to the dining room because it was already close to closing time. Mrs FTF is not a beef fan but decided to venture a steak. A good decision in the end and one she still mentions as restaurant meal of the year. I had lamb and it was excellent. Zooby taxed us each so we all ended up filled as an egg. We were asleep before midnight.
When we opened the blinds the next morning, it was bucketing it down! The thought of packing the bags into the car and being soaked was not a nice one. We got down to breakfast and as with all buffets, everyone was eating for a day. There was such a wide choice of everything, drinks, meats, cereals, breads, sweets…
There is normally enough on offer to put together a Paleo meal. We almost never turn down the better quality breads though but the cereals are a cinch to ignore. Zooby and croissants! With butter!! We took our time to enjoy the meal and to get ready for an 11am checkout. When those things were done we sat for a while over tea, watching out the lobby at the pouring rain and plotting how to avoid a repeat of last night’s confusion and flared tempers from being lost. This time we figured we were all set.