Sunday, August 17, 2014

Behind the Iron Curtain

Our last days before leaving passed quickly.  Ted and I both won at cards, first place for me at my table, second for him at his.   My dimes runneth over!

We had our newest neighbor join our luncheon group and Thursday was my first chance to meet her. She is a nice addition to our group and fit in very well.  I did some errand running afterwards to get ready to leave.

I was up and out by 7:45 with my casserole in hand on Friday.  August is the big six month sign up for my volunteer work.  In addition to the food item, I had to help Nina register workers for the two events we are responsible for in November and December.  I learned I will get 27 hours at the four days of those events.  Added to my 12 I have put in already, I won't have trouble hitting 50 before next May.  Of course you can always go over.  I signed up for the nursing home Christmas party and September senior luncheon so that's another 5.5 hours.  I can easily get the remaining hours in March and April.

Terry took us to the airport on Saturday.  We walked right up to the counter to check in, spent minimal time in the security line and by one hour after leaving home we were at the gate.  I hate KLM for overseas travel.  Your personal space is such that you can hardly cut your food because you can't move your elbows out to do it.  The overhead light and air vent gets shared with those around you because you are so close.  I had the light blanket thrown across my shoulders the entire flight due to the lady behind me having her vent going full blast.  I am sure she didn't realize I was getting more  of the cool air than she was.  Air France is way better.  But we made our way to Amsterdam then walked a l-o-n-g way to the next gate to Bucharest.  Here we met up with many others heading to the same tour.  There was more room on this smaller plane than the 747.

We were met by GCT reps and made our way to our bus where we sat and waited for the delayed Vienna flight.  Here is our bus reflected in the building opposite us.

Check in at the hotel got messed up when our key was not in the pile.  They got us another key and we proceeded to walk in on Rojacs who had been given our key.  We then were given the room next door and the front desk switched the records.  Mrs. Rojacs had not noticed the name written on the card.  

We cleaned up a bit and had a taxi come to take us to church at 5 pm.  That all went well until we arrived to find despite the info on the website, Mass was at 6 pm in Romanian, not 5 pm in English.  So we had to flag down another taxi to take us back.  We tried!

Kara and Bill had arrived from Cluj and checked in.  We all met for the 6:30 welcome meeting before dinner.  Directions were given for today's city tour and transfer to the ship.

Dinner was great and we all cleaned our plates.  Yeah!  I had elbow room and free wine.

This is the pool at the hotel.  Exceptionally nice! 

 By this time I had been up over 30 hours.  Kara was going to Skype with the kids at 9:00 but I was asleep by then.  Not a bad travel day but not a great one either.  Bottom line, we arrived safely.

We have been cautioned that this is NOT western Europe.  After Hitler and communust Russia, these countries are still taking steps to make their way along side western democratic countries.  I am sure they are watching the Russia/Ukraine situation very closely but nothing was said.

We will meet up some time today with Keith, Steve and Marge.  They did the Transylvania pre-tour.  I hope they enjoyed it. 

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