Start by clicking where you find ‘Danube 2015‘ highlighted in text like this, or within the menus on the top or left side of my pages. Then scroll up and down to see my notes. More recent updates appear near the top (they may be older topics if I made changes and put them on top); older ones toward the end.
Continue to read about the air travel experience, followed by a map below that shows you “the places we’ll go …”
Raleigh-Durham to Detroit; Detroit to Amsterdam; Amsterdam to Prague; three total hops … or more accurately described as a jump; a leap; and a final jump! Our challenge was in Amsterdam’s Schipol airport, which has a terrific reputation.
It is true that having an itinerary with a 50-minute connection time between international flights borders on the realm of, “are you crazy?” Such was Amsterdam for us, with our minimum-connection-time reservations made by the tour company in order to provide maximum-vacation-time in Prague on arrival day – – just as we desired.
Our flights arrival was early! The walk through the Amsterdam airport was long, but doable. We didn’t have excessive carryon baggage. Things were looking good; we could arrive at our next gate over a half hour before the flight.
We motored our legs along on a good pace until finding our way blocked by a long immigration line that was impossible to skirt, and took our place in it. After 15 minutes we neared the front of the line – – maybe just 5 more minutes to go. Then, wonderfully, an agent for the airport announced that travelers with our precise outgoing flight time could jump to a special line for “short connections.”
The “short connections” procedure probably saved our flight. Having to undergo full security scanning nearly undid my optimism, however. Off comes the belt! Off comes the shoes! Out comes the liquids packed in their small plastic bags! Out comes the tablet computer to ride alone through the luggage scanner!
I must have missed something because still my backpack required inspection by hand. I’ll never know “why” certain things were done, but I do know they were completed just in time to scurry for gate B16 on the looming concourse.
Scurry, scurry, scary, scurry, hurry, worry, scurry, scurry, and scurry. And then … success … with just minutes to spare!
Later, a fellow vacationer would accurately remark, “It is no longer true that ‘getting there’ is half the fun!” Planning, packing and air travel provide significant hurdles. Running through airports is not anyone’s idea of fun. Arriving safely at your destination, however, provides great relief and then it is time to refocus one’s efforts on making the most of the experience.
Speaking of ‘time,’ we have flown through the nighttime hours and arrived in at the hour of 8:15am in Prague, Czech Republic. We had a full day ahead for ‘Day 2’ and we set out to make the most of it.