Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Trip Begins with Errors

This trip began with joy, sleep deprivation and a $500 error.  I booked the trip as if I were immune to making mistakes flying. Over decades of flying on business, I have never missed a flight, so why would I start now?

Jet lag is different at 64, at least for me.

Instead of booking a direct flight, I took the cheaper route of booking a flight to Paris, then a second flight to Belgrade. I worried that my bike would not make it, but the bike arrived in the Paris baggage claim before my bag.  All I had to do was check in, wait six hours and fly to Belgrade.

My flight had a layover in Amsterdam. There were two flights to Amsterdam at 6:30 p.m. from Terminal 2 at Charles DeGaulle Airport.  I went to the wrong gate and fell asleep. When I woke up, my bike had been removed from the correct flight.  And the cheap ticket was cancelled. I could get a flight through Frankfort for $1100 or wait and book on Air Serbia--where I should have booked anyway.

So I arrived in Belgrade at 1 p.m. a day later.  I planned to put the bike together in the airport and ride to the hotel.  But I was missing a skewer nut, so I put my partially assembled bike in a cab, went the hotel then went on a walking search for a skewer.  A previous post tells that very happy tale, but the day which was to be a ride to Romania was a walk around town.

I did get the bike put together, rode in Belgrade then succumbed to jet lag.  It turns out I cannot push myself as hard as I could 20 years ago. This should not be a surprise.  But it was.

So I was a day behind schedule and the next day would be the shorter of the trips to neighboring countries: Croatia, and maybe Bosnia.