Finally, arriving both very slowly and very quickly, March 1, 2012, showed up and we headed off to Departure Bay to catch the ferry across to Vancouver. By a few minutes before noon, everyone who was coming with us had showed up.
Greetings and a small bit of organizational directions done, we head onto the ferry.
Once on land again, we zoom off to the airport in the limo-bus….
which sort of seemed themed around a stripper bar. None the less, we reach YVR without any dancing whatsoever and troddle off inside.
We manage to regroup and get enough heads together to get most of a group shot in front of the “Jade Canoe”. From here, we catch our British Airway flight to Heathrow Airport, about 9 hours of flight time with four hours of waiting beforehand. (We wanted to get plenty of booking in time.)
After many, many hours of sitting in place while flying a huge distance we finally got to stretch our legs the next morning at Heathrow airport, with only a few minutes to transfer from our flight to the connecting flight on to Paris. A serious game of “cram 30-somepeople through the customs process” occured and after much dashing across this (very expansive) airport, the last little batch of people passed through customs and got on another bus (less entertaining than that first one) and drove to the airplaine with barely more than a couple of minutes to spare.
Then we sat on the plane for 40 minutes waiting to clear for take off. A good example of “hurry up and wait” which I guess is better than “take your time but miss the plane”, right?
A short hop over the water (and maybe a little catch-up snooze for some) and we land in Charles de Gaule airport and start to gather our luggage.
Until we heard our names over the loudspeaker asking 14 of us to meet the luggage department people. Seems they had not gotten half the suitcases on the flight we came in on. A fair bit of juggling and trying to hold off the bus we had already scheduled to get us to the hostel, we were told the luggage would be delivered from the next flight in and dropped off right at the hostel a few hours later. “Hopefully” by 11 or 11:30 that night.
We trekked around the airport in search of the illusive bus and, finally finding it a fair distance and two terminals entrances away, we were finally off to our residence and got our rooms. We also met up with a few more folk who had travelled on their own. A few hours later, the missing baggage was indeed delivered and all was then well with the world.
And so went our trip from Nanaimo to Paris, over a span of about what seems like a day and a half, with time differences. Exhausting and at points frustrating, but none the less ending up just as expected.
We had made it to Paris!
Bonjour tout le monde!