I had hoped to post yesterday, but between the cold inherited from my wife, jet lag, and general ennui, it just didn’t happen.
So here I am again, back in the saddle, and picking up with normal stuff.
First, I’ve loaded forty photos from Spain for you to see.
Second, Gail Collins wrote a very entertaining column about the movie 2012 and matters generally apocalyptic in yesterday’s NY Times.
Third, a brief account of how bad our return trip nearly was:
Friday morning, we arrived at the Barcelona airport with plenty of time — nearly two hours. The check-in line was long. Once we reached the agent, confusion descended. It appears that KLM (our carrier from Barcelona to Amsterdam’s Schiphpol Airport) had changed the flight number but somehow that was not reflected on our record. (Mind, the root of this problem lies with the immense complexity resulting from the Northwest-Delta merger and the new configuration of the so-called “Skyteam Alliance.” We dealt with agents from KLM and its partner, Air France, but of course never with Northwest, which does not fly into Barcelona, or with Delta, which had nothing to do with our particular ticket.)
We had to go to a separate agent to be reticketed, and then back to the original agent to receive our boarding pass. (Wherein lies part of the problem, as will be seen, since our bags had already been tagged and checked — with the erroneous flight number. The boarding pass agent supervisor assured us that the bags would receive a replacement tag with the correct information — yeah, right.) In the end, we had about 30 minutes to clear security and then race down to the end of a very long concourse. We made it with only a couple minutes to spare.
No problems in Amsterdam. Schiphpol Airport is huge beyond belief, but so long as one has time and shoe leather, navigable.
The transatlantic flight was long, on an Airbus A330 (same aircraft as the Air France jet that went down over the Atlantic earlier this year), but mostly comfortable. Dinner was acceptable, although the pre-landing snack was a largely inedible attempt at a miniature pizza. I burned the nine hours watching three movies, at least one of them essentially a worthless mind-waster: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (viewed for the third time — I think I’ve memorized it), Transformers 2 (juvenile), and X-Men Origins: Wolverine (good action flick).
The trip had not yet concluded, however. My bag (containing clothes, my good walking shoes, my (empty) walk-about canvas camera bag, and (potentially most expensive) my tripod) did not arrive. And at least when they first checked, it was not in the system anywhere. Finally, however, it was delivered last night.
Oh, and thank you, dear readers. Today is this blog’s third anniversary.