September 22, 2014 – Monday – Flight: Paris, France to Victoria, BC, Canada
Returning home after the Rick Steves Best of Europe in 21 Days tour
I‘m up at 6AM to get ready for a 6:30AM pickup by an airport shuttle I previously arranged and paid for. The 9-passenger van shows up early, and I’m ready to go. There are five others in the van already, and we make one more stop to pick up two more before we head for Charles de Gaul airport (CDG). It takes almost an hour to reach the airport, and we drop a few people off at Terminal 1 before the rest of us are delivered to Terminal 2. This terminal is ultra modern, and as I expected, very busy.
I manage to check into the Delta flight without a problem despite the crowds. I have to take a train to transfer to terminal 2E, which is even newer than the main Terminal 2. There are high-class shops everywhere, including a Space Museum! The gate area is super modern and clean, and there are power plugs at each seat in the waiting area.
I have a cappuccino and a pastry at the cafe beside the gate, since I have over an hour before the flight starts boarding at 9:40AM. The boarding process goes fast, we leave the gate on time, and we are number one for takeoff. The captain announces that the flight time to Seattle is 9 hours and 55 minutes, but he later announces that we will arrive about 35 minutes early.
I usually don’t watch movies on airline flights, but this time I found “a personal portrait of a Broadway legend”, which I really liked: Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me. She is so funny, and yet at the same time portrays a vulnerable side. She is 87 years old and still performing. The video was a nice hour and a half diversion from the boredom of the long polar flight.
I’m not looking forward to the jet lag after this trip. I always take a couple of days to recover when I fly from east to west over lots of time zones. Flying west to east doesn’t seem to bother me as much for some reason, although I was very tired on the second day in the Netherlands at the start of the trip. My final connecting flight from Seattle to Victoria goes without a hitch, and I’m home!