Marathon Flying … then, We’re Home!

July 2, 2009

Those seats on the airplane are WAAAAAYYY too close together.  The aisles are much too narrow. The food is pricy. The flight from Germany to the US is extreeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeemly long.  But, the hardest thing to deal with really is how can they put that many people into an airplane and it still takes off?!

We’re home, and no worse for the wear. The day of the trip back was quite painful. The flight seemed interminable, and the body was tired beyond previous experience. I calculated that we (Laura and I, who had to return to the West Coast) had been traveling for 21 hours by the time we got to our homes. Marilyn had it a little easier, with a nonstop to Dulles, while Laura and I had a layover in Chicago.

So, now that we’re home, maybe we should share a little of what we’ve learned about traveling to Europe on this trip. Here goes:

1) If you plan to drive in the country looking for addresses, download the foreign maps into your portable GPS system weeks before your trip.  That would have been a wonderful thing to have!

2) If your cell phone company tells you that your phone will work in Europe without a change in your plan and then tries to sell you a prepaid phone to reduce the costs, ask to speak to a supervisor because it’s NOT TRUE!

3) Don’t expect to continue your exercise routine when on vacation.

4) One museum is enough for one day. Two is pushing it. Three is too many. A royal palace counts as a museum.

5) Expect to pay too much for public transportation for the first day in each new city. Then, on the second day, you’ll probably still pay too much. I suspect it takes at least two days to make all the fare errors. By then, of course, you may have to move on.

6) Electricity accoutrements like power converters and plug adapters are critical items to buy in advance. Of course, you can’t test them here in the US, so it’s hard to be sure you’ve done it right. Best bet, I think, is to bring at least two adapters and consider buying a hair dryer that can take the extra current. Also, a hairstyle that doesn’t require a dryer would be a practical choice.

7) Underpack. Really. Nobody cares what you wear.

8 ) Wear closed shoes when rolling a big suitcase around.

9) Don’t lean your suitcase on the wall next to a stand displaying an objet d’art.

10) Travel whenever you get the chance, and if you can possibly arrange it, go with people you love and don’t see nearly enough of. It’s awesome!

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