Yesterday, travel. Ruth and I got up at 2 am and left from Istanbul, Turkey, at 5 am. After a 2 hour layover in Frankfurt, Germany, we flew to Vancouver, BC, a 10 hour flight. Then we went to Portland, Oregon. The day was 40 hours long.
Today, jet lag. And some advice. If you’re booking international travel, avoid routing through Vancouver. It took us almost 2 hours to go from deplaning to enplaning because of a dysfunctional system. We had to fill out a Canadian customs declaration even though we were just passing through the terminal. Instead of moving briskly from one gate to the next, we had to stand in a long line to be questioned and turn in this form. Then we had to wait for and retrieve our bags even though they were checked through to Portland. The operation was both time-consuming and arduous. At one point I was waiting in a line at the oversized luggage return even though I had nothing oversized. Then we had to wait in a triple line to go through security again, proceed through U.S. customs in a Canadian airport, and walk a couple of miles to our gate. What saved us there was yet another problem. The door to the walkway to the plane was locked and no one inside had the code to open it.
It’s not just us. Ruth’s cousins had similar treatment when they arrived in Vancouver last September. And it may not just be Vancouver. Ruth and I had a sweat-inducing experience in Toronto a few years ago and almost missed a flight to Budapest, Hungary, because our bags were still at the arrival carousel one hour before departure. We had to physically get them and check them through before proceeding. Luckily, ours were still there. Others who had similar, incorrect instructions were not so lucky.
Over the next few days, I’ll tell you about 3 troubled countries–Italy, Greece, and Turkey–and the attractions we visited.