June 1st, 2011
It is eleven forty-five in the morning in Amsterdam, according to the clocks here. According to me, it is quarter to four in the morning and I’ve been staving off sleep in order to conform to the time zone I’ll be living in for the next nine weeks. * Yawn* Here are a few tips for future travelers: 1. Don’t put off packing until midnight the night before you leave, even if you don’t have much to pack. You’ll forget something and be seriously sleep deprived when you travel. 2. Taking only two bags doesn’t entirely count as packing light if you’re stuffing so much into your bags that you feel like you’re packing a sack of bricks around the airport. Ouch. 3. Don’t decide to do an intense hour and a half workout right before you set off on a transatlantic flight. Hard workout + 9 hours of sitting on an airplane = a tired, stiff, and sore young woman! Double ouch! I would kill for a shoulder rub at the moment. There are definite disadvantages to traveling alone.
Yup, it’s been a good morning so far. I sat next to a really sweet Irish couple form Calgary. The man must have asked me seven times whether I knew Romanian. He laughed uproariously every time I said no… I must say I am a fan of flying KLM now. Not only were the two meals they served the only airplane meals I’ve been able to choke down, but they also walked around a couple of times with lavender scented heated towelettes for the passengers. That is quite wonderful.
I got an update on the dig yesterday. It looks like I will be spending the whole nine weeks living in the city. They couldn’t find decent lodging or transportation close to the site, so we’re staying in the city half and hour from the site, which is cool. It sounds like we’ll have seriously nice rooms and whatnot. Our workweek will include a Saturday in the lab at the Museum, though, which means that 5 of my weeks will have limited adventure range. I’ll have to get in my long-range explorations in the first four weeks. Vlad the Impaler, here I come. Don’t worry folks; I plan on carrying garlic with me everywhere.
Yay! Only an hour and a half before I board my last plane for the day. I will continue this post when I get to Budapest, from the comfort of my hotel room, possibly after visiting the sauna that I recently discovered is part of the hotel amenities where I’ll be staying. I may have to inform my roommate of my plans, so that when I fall asleep in there she can make sure I don’t just steam myself. The Golden Gate Hotel is certainly a step above what I would usually staying at, but apparently we got a pretty good deal, and, more importantly, it’s right across from the train station where we will have to be at four in the morning a couple mornings from now. A mile hike at that hour with mountains of luggage (not mine…) is just not appealing. Ok, I’m signing off for the moment. Back in a couple of hours.
Soooooo. I left snow in Wyoming and lots and lots of rain in Alberta. I land in Budapest and I have <drum roll please… thank you> Rain. Heavy, wet, thunderous rain. Which reminded me that I forgot my raincoat in my car at the Ranch in Twin Butte. Yay.
There was no customs of any kind to be had, either in Amsterdam or Budapest. I did one quick passport check in Amsterdam when I switched terminals, but hey, that’s it! Kinda cool, though I don’t anticipate the same ease of travel on the way back. The flight here, thanks to the crazy thunderheads all over the city, was quite bumpy, but thanks to my familiarity with flying in Wyoming I was not perturbed. The poor Hungarian lady sitting next to me, however, must have crossed herself over a dozen times before we landed.
I met Jaclyn, the grad student from Missoula that I’m sharing a room with, in the airport at the taxi station, which was a happy coincidence, as I had thought she flew in several hours ahead of me. This made checking in and such much easier, and I’m now stretched out on our double bed trying to ease my aching muscles. Never again Boot Camp! Apparently the idea of a non-romantic double occupancy room here is a double bed with two blankets, you know, to avoid unwelcome advances. So, here I am, safe and sound, quite fatigued, a little peckish, and ready for a shower and a good night’s sleep. More updates later.
PS. For those of you who have not followed a trip of mine in the past, I have something to admit. I’m awful about keeping up with my entries until the last week or so, and then I just stop without finishing the story. I personally hate unfinished stories, ironically, so feel free to pester and prod through the comments to ensure a complete record of the trip ☺
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