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Monday, July 14, 2008

#451 Travel to Europe

Our trip began Jume 14th. We flew Northwest Airlines. (Am I the only one, or does NWA strike a negative chord?) We had about a three hour layover in Minneapolis. The flight was full and they were asking people to give up their seats. We've heard that song before and chose not to take them up on their offer. Maybe another time.

I slept most of the way over. The food was edible and the wine drinkable, but that is all you could say about it. We arrived in Paris around 8AM. After securing our bags and checking through customs, we finally found the doors to go through to the main terminal. Then the fun began. Viking cruises told us we should check in at there spot in the terminal. Being a bit naive, we expected a place similar to car rental desks. No such luck. We spent about 20 minutes looking and then went to the information desk. They had no idea. While I was asking, a representative from Viking Cruises saw the red tags on our bags and approached Maryann. She alerted me to the fact that we had been found. What a relief. We were asked to wait near to the check in spot which was nothing more than a very small portable stand with a small sign indicating it was the Viking Cruise check in spot. So we waited.

Next I went to an ATM and extracted some Euros. You do have to have some cash when traveling, or so I discovered when we got to Lille. While waiting we met our first shipmates who were also waiting. I can now add another friend to my list of friends. Bill and Lynn are from Boca Raton. Bill and I had many great discussions. I look forward to future meetings.

We finally had enough folks assembled to be told it was time to go to the bus that would take us to the boat. We checked in and went to our cabin. You can see it at the link. You can also see the lounge where we were able to meet others. We also had lunch there too.

Every day there was a lunch served in the lounge or we could go to the dining room for a more "formal" luncheon serving. We availed ourselves of both of them on different days. Each of the lunches served in the lounge had a variety of foods - soup, sandwiches, salad fixin's and desserts. They were very tasty.

The weather was cool and cloudy. The crew and program folks were very efficient and helpful. Our bags were taken to our cabin. They thought of everything. When possible we recommend that you take a river cruise.

That day we made ourselves comfortable and got to know some of our other traveling companions. More about that later.



Hale McKay said...


First, I don't know if you have got caught up on "Echoes of Eddie" since you returned from Europe or not - I haven't seen any comments by you since this one:

No.28 will be going up later - - Each part ends with a link to the next episode.

It is looking like it will take 30 installments in all to reach the end.

Hale McKay said...

Oops! I didn't mean to seem self-promoting and not comment on your post itself.

Well, it sounds like the trip got off to a good start in spite of the confusion hooking up with the boat.

Will check in for more accounts of your adventure and the pics.

shannon said...

i can't wait to see all the photos while you are visiting in november! perhaps we can figure out a way to show them on our big tv?!

love you guys!!!

Fred said...

All in all, it sounds like a good start. I'm looking forward to hearing more about your adventure.

Karen said...

Yes, ditto what Fred said!