I’m here! It took long enough and I’m quite tired/hungry, but I’m now in my hotel room (very nice) and I’ve talked to Karen for a while, unloaded my stuff, and taken a shower. Now I’m going to go find a bite to eat somewhere around here.
Getting here was interesting: the bus that I thought would take me very near my hotel was nowhere to be seen outside the airport, so after I bought a 7-day travel card I hopped on one of the other buses and planned my way to the hotel using the subway. It was going well until I got off the first subway and learned that the subway line (U1) is closed for construction until October. So that put me a few blocks more than I planned away from Hotel Bogota, but I walked the six or seven blocks from the subway (called the U-bahn) to the hotel.
I’ve only taken a few pictures of my room so far, so I’ll try to get them up soon for everyone to see.
I think I’ll be sleeping in late in the morning, but I need to find out when breakfast is served so I can eat that meal for free everyday. It’s a good thing that something is free – as it turns out, the Internet is not free. It costs 13 euros per day, which as you all know, I will cough up to stay connected with the world.
Talk to you all later!
So far, so good on the travels to Berlin. I am now at the Amsterdam Airport, exhausted and hungry, but I’m just fine otherwise.
Checking in at Memphis was simple enough, and after the family and I ate supper, I went through security and walked to the terminal (at the end of airport, no less.) Fortunately, they were already boarding, so I stood in line and then got on the plane. Not waiting around was pretty nice.
The flight was good despite my inability to fall asleep. Northwest Airlines has improved their overseas planes; they are now using Airbus A330s which have a much better entertainment system (built into the back of the seat in front of you with myriad movie choices.) I watched “21” and nibbled at the provided dinner (not so good) before attempting to fall asleep. I mostly spent the evening with my eyes closed, wishing myself to sleep, struggling with the seat to find a comfortable position (I had some bad lower back pain which was finally solved by putting the provided pillow behind it) and watching both the flight map and information on my screen. We had significant tail wind at 38000+ feet, upwards of 100 mph most of the way here, so we arrived in Amsterdam early.
There were a few interesting moments: there were several children on board, and at least three of them had tantrums sometime while we were in flight. Also, around half way through the flight we were awakened by the stewardesses asking over the intercom if there were any nurses or doctors on board. A man fell (passed out) in the aisle just behind my row of seats. It wasn’t all that entertaining, but it was interesting to note that there were at least 4 doctors and a med school student on board. I had just started to fall asleep at that point, too.
My flight to Berlin doesn’t leave for another 3 hours, and my 6 Euro/30 minuted internet is going to run out soonish, so I’ll update you again when I arrive at my hotel.