Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Planes, a train and an automobile

After 5 flights, a beautiful train ride and a short trip in a car I arrived in Steinkjer, Norway at the family home of my coach friend Frode Lillefjell.

This was hands down the longest, more tiring travel experience I have ever had. It was a trip of bad luck, good luck, bad luck good luck, repeat. All 5 of my flights ran delayed, resulting in me running 3 times off one plane to catch the next.

Leaving Anchorage on Monday my flight was delayed one hour and upon arriving in Seattle I was told I had missed my connecting flight to Calgary (the last one for the day) and I had to be in Calgary by 7 am the next morning to catch my flight to Europe....bad luck. However, once I got in the airport in Seattle I saw that my Calgary flight had been delayed by 50 minutes which meant I was now going to make my flight...good luck. But it meant I wouldn't get to Calgary until 2 am (no dinner). I got to my hotel at 2:45 am and caught the shuttle back to the airport at 6:30 am. Then it took 2.45hr to get through customs, and security and arrived at the gate 20 min before my flight was to leave (no breakfast).

I got to Houston, Tx and missed my flight (bad luck) only to find out it was delayed as well and made the flight as the last passenger (no lunch)....good luck = starving!

With not eating much I began to develop a bad headache and with the new flight rules going into the US from Canada I didn't have anything with me besides my computer so no Advil. With about 4 hrs left in my flight the headache was strong enough that I was pretty sure I was going to be sick which didn't make the airplane food go down any easier.

I made it to Amsterdam with 50 minutes to spare before my Trondheim flight but having to go through customs I was now down to 20 min. I had two choices then - food or advil. I chose Advil and ran into a drugstore in the airport (Amsterdam is like a mall) and grabbed some fast acting gel caps and started running again to my gate.

I arrived in Trondheim to discover my bags didn't make it and I missed the train I had planned to catch. This gave me an hour to kill which meant I could go to the airport 7-11 (yeah 7-11's in Norway!) and ordered a Calzone....not the best I have ever had but at that moment it was!.

I caught the 2:45 pm train from Trondheim airport to Steinkjer (I love the transport systems in Europe). It was a 90 min trip, and Frode and his middle son Marius were there waiting for me when I arrived. That was a relief because it was -25 c and all my warm clothes were in my bags that didn't arrive. We made it to the farm house and settled in for the night with three woodstoves going to keep the place warm. I managed to stay awake until 9:30 pm and slept until 5:30 am. Hopefully the jet lag will pass quickly. We were due to drive to Sweden tonight but with my bags not arriving, the cold weatherm and Frode maybe getting sick the trip will now start tomorrow....the bad luck, good luck continues.

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