Flight of the Midnight Sun

July 29, 2016 - 10:58 pm 1 Comment

First flight of the day was a 13-minute hop from Nanaimo to Vancouver. One of the things I miss most when I’m out of the country is a good cheeseburger, so I have a tradition of eating the biggest, juiciest, tastiest burger before heading overseas. That plan was thwarted by the lack of selection in Vancouver Airport’s Terminal D. I settled for a greasy mess of a burger and an even greasier mess of poutine from Canadian fast food chain A&W.

My second flight was delayed because of a problem with the PA system, despite the fact that they used the PA system to keep us updated on the problem. We left about an hour late.

Out the window to my left, I saw the majestic and snowy Canadian Rockies.

Canadian Rockies from the Air

And then the heavily glaciated Canadian plains of the north, pockmarked with lakes as far as the eye could see. Flying north and east at that time of day had the effect of keeping us on the solar terminator, not allowing the sun to set for the duration of the flight. It hovered angry and red over the horizon for several hours. From the plane, I saw my first midnight sun. When we turned south, it started getting light again.

Midnight Sun Over Canada

This flight was the bitch of the bunch. Over nine hours across Canada, Greenland, Iceland, and Scotland to London. Good news is that the plane had power outlets in economy seating, allowing me to catch up on all of my blogging! I really wished these seats were about 6 inches wider, though. Hard to comfortably use a laptop. The poor guy next to me was playing “Sicario” on his video unit, but he kept falling asleep. His head would drop forward about every 30 seconds. Every few minutes, the drop was violent enough to wake him up and have him restart “Sicario” from the beginning, which he has done about five times now.

You’d think that they’d be able to make up the hour that they were late in the air, but that was not the case. There was “congestion” around Heathrow, and then we had to wait another few minutes for our gate after we landed. This meant that I missed my connecting flight to Vienna. I made my way through a poorly designed series of hallways, escalators, and security checkpoints to the airline service desk. For passengers who are rushing to make a connection or frustrated that they have already missed a connection, why does the airport force them to waste another 45 minutes navigating through the airport? Why not have helpful agents near the gates?

Air Canada rerouted me through Frankfurt with Lufthansa and then to Zagreb with Air Croatia. After cruising over the beautiful Croatian countryside, we touched down in Zagreb with what might have been the smoothest landing I’ve ever experienced.

Croatian Countryside from the Air

The woman behind the customs window took a cursory look at my passport, figured I wasn’t a terrorist, and waved me by. I don’t know how, but my bag made it to Zagreb with me.

I took a bus and then a tram to my hostel. My initial impression of Zagreb is that it’s a little dated and run-down, with awkward architecture from the 70’s around the airport and older, more Communist-looking buildings closer to the city center.

My hostel is in a very lively part of the old town on a bustling pedestrian street called Tkalčićeva. Dozens of outdoor cafes and bars overflow with happy, chatty people while musicians fill the street with music.

Tkalčićeva Street in Zagreb

Grabbing a late dinner, I sat and people-watched. Didn’t take me long to notice that Croatian women are very attractive. Most are slender, exotic-looking, and very feminine. Maybe it’s because it’s Friday night and they’re all dolled up, who knows. Croatian men all sort of look the same: tall and slender with buzzed hair and capris or skinny jeans.

With the 9-hour time difference, I should be torn up, but the adrenalin of being in a new, exotic place has got my motor running. I walked around until 2am, when everything started to shut down.

My hostel dorm room is hot as hell. Must try to sleep now.

    One Response to “Flight of the Midnight Sun”

  1. Alice Lockett Says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your adventure to Croatia and describing the midnight sun. I am living vicariously through your experiences. Everything at home is still okay. Take care and Enjoy!!

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