I’m back from Europe! (Part 1)

The trip was… how can I put it? Eventful? Mercury is still retrograde, and yes laugh all you want, but it caused havoc. Havoc, I tell you. My original booking was canceled because Iberia was going on strike and had canceled their flight from Madrid to Lisbon. I was rerouted through NY and London. I wasn’t happy with the second connection and also the layover in London was too short, with just one hour to go through immigration and catch the following flight to Lisbon. I was potentially going to miss my flight, but that was all they were offering, so I took it. Until the snow storm hit and all flights to NY on Wednesday were canceled. They rerouted me again, this time with Lufthansa via Frankfurt.

I have to say I was impressed with Lufthansa’s service, quite organized and on time, until we got to Frankfurt. There, our plane had a malfunction and our departure was delayed. They finally decided after boarding and un-boarding some of us, to give us a new plane. We were all put on a bus and driven to the plane, to enter on foot from the ground, and of course, it was raining.

The only good thing about the delay was that I had time to log-in and find the name and address to the hotel at which I was staying. I had completely forgotten to write it down and have it with me to give directions to the taxi driver. Thank God for Frankfurt’s Airport’s free wifi, because I was not paying for international roaming to get that address otherwise.

When I finally got to Lisbon 3 hours delayed, I was late for the conference. I had not slept for 22 hours, yet I intended to drop my bag at my room and head straight down. Well, that didn’t happen, not before discovering that the lock I had on my suitcase would not open. The combination I had used at the airport, only an hour or even less ago, was now not working. Someone had to come up and break it open for me. I washed my face and brushed my teeth and headed over to the conference, having missed the intro and the first three papers.

Not to mention the taxi driver charged me 34 euros for the fare and then the staff at the hotel, when I asked, said that a ride should not be more than 20 euros. I got ripped off, and to make it worse I forgot to ask for a receipt so I could get reimbursed. As you can probably tell, so far I was not liking this trip, no at all.

to be continued…

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