You may have noticed something about me by now: I can't count. The first of these travel reports actually was written in Jerusalem; this is the second report written since arriving at home. Still, I hope you don't get too caught up in the numbers and will be able to follow along anyway.
I mentioned in report 1 that I'll never again go away for six weeks in a row. Another "never again" will be trying to lump several places into one trip. I just feel that once I'm on the other side of the continent and Atlantic, I really should take advantage. But if I do that, sometimes the route gets complicated because the airlines have their rules and regulations that do not take customer convenience into consideration. (Why would they worry about customers? Like many businesses, the airlines have totally forgotten that the customers are the REASON for their jobs and earnings, NOT merely an inconvenience or interruption to their money-grabbing.) The inconvenience for customers I refer to is the illogical itinerary I stupidly signed up for. I really should have paid closer attention, but I was being told that this was the only way British Airways would take me to my desired destinations.
This trip (pilgrimage, actually, as we were commissioned as pilgrims in our church before we left) was to Jerusalem and Assisi and Northumbria. (Northumbria was more of a visit to relatives than to sacred shrines, although we did a little of that, too.)
The route to Jerusalem from Vancouver was like this: Leave YVR roughly around 5 or 5:30pm on February 1st, and arrive ten hours later at Heathrow somewhere around noon their time, February 2nd. Then we had to hang around Heathrow for seven hours before our flight to Tel Aviv. Now, first thought is, hmm, could I book a hotel room and sleep for a couple of hours before the flight; or maybe take the tube into downtown London and walk about for a while. No. Can't do that, because as we're en route to another country, we don't actually LAND in England officially. We're in transit. So we mustn't leave the airport--not even the "not in England" part of the airport. This was a bit of a problem, because my husband's walker was sent on to "England" instead of "Israel" because if we're seven hours in the airport, he's going to need his walker to get around. Without going into detail, let me tell you that it took a couple of hours just to get someone to take me down to the luggage area to get the walker for my husband. Through security, shoes off, the whole bit, just to get the walker for him. We finally got on our flight to Tel Aviv and arrived there around 5:30 am, February 3rd. How many hours is that? I don't do numbers, as you may recall, but I know this was far too long to go without even seeing a bed. But we aren't there yet! We still have a bus ride to Jerusalem, and a taxi ride to our hospice, and can't book in until 3pm.