Thursday, July 28, 2005

Home Again

Well, I finally made it back to beautiful Gig Harbor, Washington after a 21 hour journey from Vienna to Copenhagen to Seattle.

Here's a travel tip - if you're ever going to be the victim of a delayed flight, do so in Copenhagen.

It's a very nice airport, with some excellent places to eat and some very lavish stores in which to do duty-free shopping.

It's clean and roomy and airy and comfortable, and has those nice hardwood floors that somehow just seem to say "welcome to Scandinavia..."

It has plenty of European newspapers in every language imaginable - plus English - and has very helpful staff that either speaks your language - whatever that happens to be - or can find someone else who does.

It has plenty of bathroom facilities, and they don't make you pay to use them.

It's well laid out and organized.

In other words - there's nothing French about it.

Of course, I'd rather not have a delay - but if they really want to change out one of the engines on the Airbus that's going to carry me across nine time zones, I'll wait a few hours for them to do so.

The flight itself didn't even feel like it took ten hours, the service was so good - Scandinavian Airlines flying westbound seems to be just as nice as Austrian Airlines was flying eastbound. I got three fine meals, saw three good movies, and had dozens of music channels - all no-charge, even sitting in the cheap seats at the back of the plane.

Plus pretzels!

Of course, there was the seemingly inevitable glitch at the end of the trip...

Somehow, I'm beginning to think my backpack doesn't like extended over-water flights...

Remember how it managed to go missing somewhere between New York City and Tirana, Albania?

Well, once in Europe it managed to stay with me for an entire month - from Tirana to Shkodra to Tirana to Vienna to Baden Baden to Mulhouse to Lyon to Courchevel to Lyon to Vienna to Istanbul to Vienna to Lyon to Paris to Vienna...

And then, somewhere along the way from Vienna to Copenhagen to Seattle, it went missing again...

That's right!

I arrived in Seattle, but my backpack didn't!

I'm sure all of my compatriots from "Team Shkoder" are laughing with sympathy on hearing this news - though somewhat relieved at the knowledge that I won't be wearing the same shirt for five days this time.

So - Old Town Bicycle teamies, you'll have to wait just a bit longer for all that great swag I promised you...

Everyone else - you'll have to wait just a bit longer for your special gifts from the exotic wilds of Albania and Turkey.

I do, however, have several hundred digital images to sort through - and will be sending those out shortly.

One more post to come later...


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