May 5 & 6 – Travel Days

May 5
Early start this morning. I thought that 2 hours in advance of flight would be expected, but on checking in online at Delta was advised that 3 hours were needed. So, dropped of car at Burger King for Connie to have and had taxi pick me up at 7:45 am to take me to airport. Once luggage was checked in, I was advised where to go for U.S. destinations, but told that it would not be open for an hour. So, had to wait an hour before I could proceed and of course, there were no chairs at this waiting spot. Thanks Delta.

Finally got through customs and still had almost 2 hours to wait until flight which was scheduled at 11:15 am. It was a small plane however, so we ended up being all loaded early and we left 10 minutes early.

Flight was quick and I then had 5 hours to wait at Minneapolis for the next flight. It was a big enough airport that I did get in lots of walking though.

We left on time and had some interesting cloud formations along this portion of the trip. I took several pictures of the clouds and then the sun rising before we reached Amsterdam the next morning,

 

May 6
We were a few minutes late arriving in Amsterdam and I only had 2 hours to find my flight for Johannesburg. When we disembarked however, we had to get on a bus to take us to the terminal. It seemed like a long trip to get there, but we finally did. We had been told to check with the Delta personnel inside to find out where to get our connecting flights, but unfortunately, they were not much (actually no) help. One guy look a few seconds to look it up and then just told me to go upstairs and look at the big board. So, I went upstairs, but the big board was not in sight. It was quite a distance, but I finally found it and found out which gate to head for.

As usual I made a mistake and although I was following the right gate number, I must have been in the line for those who were staying in Amsterdam and had arrived from that gate, instead of the line going to that gate for the next plane. The officer stamped my passport anyway and told me to go back upstairs. This time, I stopped for directions about 3 times and finally ended up getting my passport stamped again – but in the right place.

I finally got to the right gate, but was at the end of a very long lineup to board. Whew – just made it on time.  This flight started about 15 minutes late (not my fault).

We landed about 15 minutes late and then had to go through passport control before getting our baggage. I had not seen my suitcase for 2 days and was getting concerned watching more and more come out without seeing mine. I did know that mine would likely be last or close to it and it was. They did good switching it around from plane to plane.  🙂  Next, of course, I had to find the shuttle for my hotel. Before going into passport control, I saw a sign for the shuttle, but had to go through passport control and get my baggage first, and didn’t think I could go back that way.

I asked a porter finally how to get there and he took me most of the way, but said he couldn’t go any further as that area was not for staff. I was approached immediately by a taxi driver who offered to take me, but I told him I would rather get the shuttle as planned. He took me towards the area and left me with another porter who took me right there. It didn’t take long before I was settled into my hotel room. It is a very interesting looking room. Finally, after checking in on Facebook for a few minutes, it was time to get some sleep.

 

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