Somewhere over Germany
Lesson of the day: transfers to different airlines suck. And if you do happen to do so, make sure they print your boarding pass BEFORE the transfer.
I was already a bit concerned that I didn’t have a boarding pass for my flight between Frankfurt and Tel Aviv [Air Canada didn’t print me one, presumably because it was a Lufthansa flight]. And then the transfer time was cut shorter (from an hour and fifteen minutes to about 40 min). We landed in Frankfurt not at the terminal, but on the tarmac with buses to transport offloading passengers to the terminals. So when I got off, I was relieved to see a man holding a sign for a Lufthansa flight to Tel Aviv. But when I got on and explained I didn’t have a boarding pass (but had my printed itinerary), confusion broke out. The fellow saw the AC flight number, and explained away the “operated by Lufthansa” note. He called someone, and they couldn’t find my name on the passenger list for the flight. They dropped me off at another terminal. I went to the AC ticketing booth and they told me to go to gate C13, which is, lo and behold, the same Lufthansa flight that I was being shuttled to. The lady told me to run…. and so I did. Sweaty and out of breath, I went through another security check and finally got to the gate at the time the flight was scheduled to leave. They told me that they had just canceled my seat but reinstated me.
And so I’m on my way to Tel Aviv [thankfully]. The one consolation is that the food is much better than Air Canada. Camembert cheese and real bread!
The time on my computer tells me that it’s currently 3 AM in Vancouver. It’s 1 PM in Jerusalem. In a couple of hours I land and hopefully they’ll let me into the country. It’s slowly sinking in, now that I’m surrounded by different languages and European football on the screen. They were passing out newspapers in Hebrew earlier; time to break out those verbal drills that I learned back in first year.
My head is a bit woozy from lack of sleep. I still have a ways to go before I can lie down and rest. My mind is restless though, I don’t know what to expect, esp for the months ahead.
Later: In Jerusalem
Well, I’m finally here. Not quite the 20 hours of flying that I was expecting but including the driving times, it’s been about 24 hours of traveling. Going through customs wasn’t a problem at all. And as I passed through the final exit doors of Ben Gurion Airport, I began scanning for signs of where I could find the taxi. To my surprise I see a tall man holding up a sign with my name on it. Turns out he’s one of the Brothers that live at Notre Dame de Sion. He came along with Sister A to pick me at up the airport, and the timing couldn’t be better. My flight was delayed, and so were they.
We got into Ein Kerem close to 5PM. I didn’t realize how hilly Jerusalem and surrounding area is, much like the foothills of Alberta. Hills and valleys, and traffic. Notre Dame is situated on top of a hill, and as soon as I stepped out of the car I felt I stepped into a bit of paradise. Flowers, birds, and a warm evening breeze.
I don’t haye the energy now to describe everything, but it’s simply beautiful. Tomorrow I shall try to upload some pics to do that for me.
But for now, Shalom.