At Frankfurt- the line to find out what line to stand in to get information about the correct line to wait in...
I'd met Zvonka a while back. Not on Travbuddy, but the same idea... I don't think I'd discovered the site yet. While I was planning a trip to Croatia with my friends, I'd written to her on Myspace (her having one of the only page in English of any Croatian at the time) to ask something to the effect of how early in the year you could swim in the Adriatic without freezing. She'd given me a ton of advice and said to maybe stop by if we ever happened to make it there for coffee or something. That trip fell through, but we got to be friends, and I kept not making it to Croatia each year.
Finally this summer she wrote "why don't you come travel to Turkey with my friends and I next week?" Well, I couldn't quite arrange getting a month off from work and getting a ticket for Turkey in the next 4 days... so we decided that once she got back next month, we'd meet up and travel down to the Croatian coast for her last week of summer vacation. I planned to maybe continue on from there for another week.
After what seemed like the longest month ever, I was off. I really hoped it would work out, she'd been backpacking across Turkey with no communication and I was going to meet her based on our quick plan made a month before "I should arrive back on the 24th, try to get a flight that arrives that night, I'll pick you up" : ) It was going to be interesting trying to find each other if one of us didn't make it! Plus, like on this site, in the back of you're mind you alway wonder if it's going to work out when you go to meet someone for the first time to travel with them.
I love flying. I'll fly places just to ride on in the plane and look out the window on the way... I usually have my nose pressed to the glass the whole flight watching the landscape go by. To me, the flights are a major part of a trip. No window this time! it was one of those things where I was on the aisle longing to look out, and the guy by the window watched a movie the whole time on his laptop, climbing over us about every hour to go to the bathroom, grumbling about being cramped, never once glancing up to see what was outside. "Want to switch seats?" "Naw, I like being by the window..." Groan.
Well, at least I was back by a window again for the last leg from Frankfurt to Zagreb - over southern Germany and Austria, the Alps... ....in the dark.
One thing I noticed about Croatia and Slovenia as I flew over at night, its very dark!Â Not a lot of people live there, I could see little villages here and there, but there is a lot of open space.Â Even Zagreb is relatively small, only 400,000 people downtown and thats the capital!Â I'm so used to the world being much more crowded. I was going to like this place.
What a long journey it turned out to be! With the cheap seats and stopovers it was already going to be about 19 hours. But with delays at each stopover, it turned into 27!! Poor Zvonka! She was nice enough to drive out to the airport, a couple of towns over, to pick me up that morning... but I didn't arrive. "Come back in a couple hours.." and then same thing in a couple hours "come back at some ungodly hour tonight". After several tries on her part and missing a whole precious day of our trip, I finally arrived at Zagreb and finally met Zvonka in person! It took about 3 minutes to discover that she was a really great person and that we were going to have fun on our trip.