On the road again

Trip Start Feb 18, 2004
Trip End Dec 05, 2005

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Flag of France  ,
Friday, October 15, 2004

Yes, I'm back in Europe. Autumn seems to have settled in since I've been gone...rainy and chilly. The circumstances of the visit home were sad, but it was good to see friends and family again. Not sure if I was there too long or not long enough. I think I was there long enough to get kinda comfortable which makes returning to the traveling life difficult. It'll get better after a couple weeks.

My flight out of Seattle on Oct 12 was delayed due to mechanical problems (that inspires confidence) and I missed my connection in NYC. Good 'ol Delta Airlines did little to assist in getting me on the next available flight. I was told there would be airline representatives at the gate to assist those of us that missed connections...there was one guy who just pointed. I had to ask someone else to actually find out I was supposed to be going to terminal 1. Once there, I went to the gate with the next Delta flight going to Paris. There I was told I needed to get a new ticket back at the check-in desk. I talked to the Delta representative at the Air France check-in desk and he told me I was booked on the 10:55pm flight (3 hours later than my original flight). Then I had to wait in the check-in line and get a ticket. I talked to the people there and they offered me nothing in compensation for the delay (#@*!). Back through security again and wait a while for the flight. The seats were quite small so it was hard to get any sleep. Synopsis = Delta sucks. The guy at immigration in Paris didn't even check my passport. I could've been some crazy guy and they weren't even tracking my entry.

My original plans for Paris got messed up a bit due to arriving late. After getting checked in at the hostel, I decided to just go to the Louvre and look around (having jet-lag and being ready to fall asleep, I knew a museum would perk me up). I'd been there before and done a super quick "highlights" tour so this time I took my time. I found the upside-down pyramid meets rightside up pyramid Dan Brown mentions in "The DaVinci Code". The Mona Lisa is in a different location than the last time I visited and no longer has the other DaVinci painting next to it that Dan Brown references in his book. I think I found it in another nearby corridor though. Saw various other paintings, sculptures and lots and lots of antiquities. I couldn't take another few miles of artifacts so ran away screaming. I went to bed around 9pm since I was freakin' tired.

Didn't sleep so well that first night. Woke up in the middle of the night and couldn't get back to sleep for a while. First order of business was to visit the Egyptian Consulate and apply for a visa. Then I went around and saw various sights I missed when I was in Paris last month. There's a lot to see in Paris. Back to the Consulate and got my passport back (with Egypt visa). Off to see more of the sights. I think Audrey Tautou was looking all over Paris for me (or vice versa).

Not such a good sleep the second night either. I'll get back on Europe time one of these days. Went out to Versailles and did a tour...though the Hall of Mirrors is under restoration (that's the best room). I wandered around the gardens for a while too (something I don't recall doing when I was here 11 years ago). Back to Paris and checked on trains to Giverny. Unfortunately, there weren't any for a couple hours which would get me there just a little before closing. :( So I just checked out more of Paris (like I said earlier, there's a lot to see). I didn't know before that the "Hotel de Ville" is the city hall. Seems odd to call it a hotel, though I guess it almost translates (hotel of the village or city).

Coming up I'll be going to Bayeux (D-Day stuff), Mont St Michel, Loire Valley then up to Belgium and Holland. I fly to Cairo on Nov 4 and start a tour the 6th.
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