We are in Europe, Germany to be exact, on the first leg of our vacation. Don't get me wrong, I like the Germans. They are a gregarious, charming lot. They are not my problem, travel is.
I mean, I don't like to complain, but getting from A to Zed ain't what it used to be. First off, plane seats are smaller and I am not. Second, like me, British Airways isn't what it used to be. That's true for most of the airlines. However, ten hours of sitting up all night in a seat roughly the size of my Aunt Fannie's girdle with about as much movability, is trying. Add to that ghastly food, wine labeled 'drink by Thursday, 4 pm or pour over your salad', and a stewardess with a hauty attitude, and thus shines my heading.
In a way, I don't blame the stewardess for being hauty. After all, we were flying steerage and most cowpokes - even ones with a British accent - don't take any lip from the cattle. Get along little doggie and mind your manners. Asking if we can get a cocktail, is completely out of line for a heffer. And the bull better mind his p's and q's or he's liable to get branded.... or worse.
We arrived in Heathrow the next morning with a nine-hour layover in store for us. There is no free lunch and this is the price you pay for frequent flyer miles. Take note. So after one sleepless night of sitting up, we got to sit all day in an airport waiting for a flight to Munich that got delayed. We arrived in Munich late, but we had paid for a hotel room in advance and thought all was fine. We were wrong. There was and is a convention in town - very big - and at the last minute hotel room prices doubled and tripled. When we didn't show up by eleven pm, the hotel sold our room to someone else willing to pay the higher price, and reimbursed us our initial cost. Bottom line: no room at the inn, folks. Or any other inn in town. We know, we called them all. Second sleepless night in the airport waiting for the first train to take us to what was to have been our next destination, Passau, two days ahead of time.
Factor in jet lag, two sleepless nights, and general crankiness, and you have an old, married couple on a vacation of a lifetime. Hmmmm. What is wrong with this picture?
Sunday we join the Viking river Cruises and sail up the Daube to Budapest. Then we fly to Barcelona for four days, where Salvadore Dali's Museum awaits. If things continue the way they've been going, a large melting pocket watch in a bazaar setting will fit my mood precisely.
In all honesty, things will probably get better. After all my darling husband - a man I love and adore - will not have create their agendas once we board the ship. 'Stick to playing the guitar and singing your songs, darling' I might say. 'Travel itinary doesn't seem to be your thing.'
Although, why be so tough on him? The world ain't what it used to be. It's harder to get around these days. The world is less friendly and more complicated. I have begun to suspect that today's travel is not for the faint of heart. Maybe more suited for the young and/or the rich. Built-in resiliance, donchaknow.
But catch me later when my body adjusts and I catch up on my sleep. Maybe this traveling thing is worth it. I'll keep you posted.