Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Back Home Again

Yes, Dear Readers, we have returned from our vacation!

You will recall that we flew from Washington to Copenhagen, Denmark on June 13th to meet the good ship Regal Princess, and from there spent the next 11 days in a trip that took us to Oslo (Norway), Berlin (Germany), Tallinn (Estonia), St Petersburg (Russia), Helsinki (Finland), and Stockholm (Sweden). We also spent two more days in Copenhagen before flying back home on Monday the 27th.

I'll have more to tell you about the various places we visited over the next few days, after I get all the pictures sorted out and recover from the jet lag. Our trip home from Copenhagen was the Airline Journey from Hell, starting with getting up at 3:00 AM for a 3:30 taxi to get to the airport to meet our 6:05 flight to ... of all places ... Edinburgh, Scotland, from where we connected to a flight to Newark, for a final connection to Washington Dulles. I will say only that: (1) SAS (the airline, not the British special forces) does not set a very high bar for organization and customer service; and (2) although the Scots are a warm and friendly people, their immigration procedures for transit passengers border on something out of the Spanish Inquisition. We also arrived home minus Agnes's suitcase, which decided to take a vacation of its own*.

On the whole, we had a great time. The weather was awful for our visits to Oslo, Berlin, Tallin, and our second day in St Petersburg, where it rained more or less heavily the entire time, but the first day in St Petersburg was glorious, as were our days in Helsinki, Stockholm, and (at the end) Copenhagen. Most of our previous cruises have been to the Caribbean, where the rain is warm and usually goes away quickly, so this was pretty yucky.

I'll tell you more about the trip later (with pictures) but I wanted to mention one of the highlights up front. When we visited Berlin, we were met by Agnes's friend Andrea, who had been her witness at our wedding back in 1982 ... and who we haven't seen since we left Berlin back in December of that year!

It was a wonderful reunion, and made up for the miserable weather we had through the morning ... especially when Andrea thoughtfully helped shelter me while I took pictures ...

Stay tuned for more details of the adventure over the coming days. For now, I need to catch up on some sleep.

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.


* Although we cleared customs at Newark and turned in both our suitcases for the transfer flight at the same time, Agnes's got put on a later flight. The helpful lady at the United baggage tracking office at Dulles was able to locate it right away, and told me they'd deliver it when it arrived later Monday evening. I asked her to wait and have it delivered on Tuesday morning, as I expected we'd both be sound asleep and wouldn't want to have someone knocking at the door in the middle of the night. She agreed ... but that didn't stop a different person from calling us at 1:10 AM to ask if he should deliver the suitcase then or wait until morning ...


John A Hill said...

There's no place like home!
Welcome back.

Mike said...

Hopefully you're still sleeping.

Grand Crapaud said...

Glad you had an enjoyable and interesting trip, Billbo!

eViL pOp TaRt said...

It sounds like a fabulous trip. Welcome back to the U.S.A., Bilbo!