A Hard Trip

Although I like traveling, I was not really enthusiastic about having to go to the Netherlands for few days (after just a few days notice). Additionally it was not a simple destination: I had to go to a place which is not accessible using any public transportation means, and there aren’t too many hotel options to choose from. With the help of our client, the hotel part was very quickly solved and I was also permitted to rent a car in the Netherlands in order to get to the remote location. Things were looking good 🙂 .
Eindhoven Airport
After some searching, it also became obvious that the flight options from Cluj to the Netherlands are numerous and I chose the good old Wizzair flight from Cluj to Eindhoven. The flight itself was easy, because I left on Sunday evening (leaving most of my weekend untouched) and I was able to stay until Wednesday evening (leaving a lot of time to work with the customer). The only drawback was that it was scheduled to arrive a little late, which meant there were only limited car-rental companies to choose from (well, only one to be honest). I did not reserve a car ahead, because I wanted economy, but I had some problems reserving it online.

And now, the fun part (round 1): winter chose to switch up a few gears exactly on the weekend of my flight. This meant, that there were quite considerable flight delays to deal with. The one car rental company I based my trust upon, however, was open until 10 PM, so theoretically I had a 2 hour buffer for delays. In the end I had a 1 and a half hour delay in the flight (counting the quite slow response time at the airport baggage-belt), so I was well within the time limits.

The really funny part came next (round 2), as I rushed over to the car-rental company to get myself a car, and drive to the hotel (1 hour and 20 min drive) before 11PM (at the limit). Technically everything was well: the company was open, I could find them easily (great guidance at the airport) and an agent was there smiling and ready to help me… practically, I received some very disturbing news from the agent: “We have nothing…”. “What do you mean nothing?” “Well, we have no cars at all… maybe tomorrow morning?”. “Great.. :(“. Lesson learned: book ahead, do not trust the opening hours of the car-rental companies.

So: I have to get to my destination hotel in about one and a half hours, but there are no cars anywhere… not a chance… 🙁 .

The light into this dark situation actually came from the bright logo of the airport-hotel in Eindhoven: “Tulip Inn” (love them, we actually have a great one in Cluj also). I said to myself I will check them out. And so I did: I went to the reception and here I received some great news for a change: “We have room!” (and at a great price). I must say I was VERY pleased with the hotel services. The receptionist was very friendly, there was free WiFi (so I could reserve a car for the next day 😛 ) and a late-night lunch was possible at the hotel bar near the reception (I was served by the same friendly receptionist) at very reasonable price.
Tulip Inn Eindhoven

As bad as things have started out, I was able to sleep well that night, so no harm was made 🙂 . I was actually very delighted for the possibilities/services I received 😉 .

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