August 30th had finally arrived and we were bubbling over with excitement. This was the beginning of our dream trip; a month in Europe!
What could possibly go wrong?
Well, let me tell you…….
After checking our bags and going through security, we had some time to kill and headed for the nearest bar. I was wearing my garnet birthstone ring; a real family heirloom. (It had been fashioned from a 19th century necklace.) Imagine my horror, when I looked down and saw a gaping hole where the centre stone used to be! We searched all over the floor and tried to retrace some of our steps, but soon realized this was a useless exercise. It could be anywhere! Sadly I removed the ring and tucked it into my purse.
Someone more superstitious might consider this a bad omen!
I forced it out of my mind and thought about all the great places we would be visiting over the next month. So exciting!
We had saved some money by using a well-known charter airline, but of course, there were restrictions and extra charges for our third checked bag. This left a bad taste when it didn’t show up in Rome with the other two. More about that, later!
The seats were incredibly uncomfortable; built for anorexics. We were stuffed in there like sausage fillings and relieved when the long flight, (approx. 9 hours), was over. Even thinner people were complaining!
As mentioned earlier, the third suitcase did not materialize in Rome and we had to go through a lot of red tape to report it. Major inconvenience, as it contained all of our underwear, among other things. We were staying with family in Ardea, a little beach town with few amenities, about 40 minutes away. Persistent phone calls finally revealed that the suitcase was still in Toronto and would be sent out on the next flight, (Sunday). This was a relief, because we were scheduled to go to Germany on Tuesday for four days.
Sunday evening came and went – no suitcase! More frantic phone calls revealed it hadn’t arrived after all, but would be there by Monday afternoon. It finally came, around 6pm, looking very beat up.
Relief turned to shock when I opened it. Yes, the underwear was all there, but two bags of toiletries were missing, along with some articles of clothing. Instead, we found one man’s running shoe, one woman’s black boot, a plastic bag with assorted post cards and a brand new purse with the price tag still on it.
What the hell??!
No time to think, because we had to get the bag repacked for the next day’s flight to Düsseldorf.
When we loaded it into the car, the zipper broke. Now I was starting to believe in curses! Hurried back into the house and emptied one of the other suitcases to use instead, reloaded the car, then headed out. Whew!
At the airport, we turned in the strange items and there were more forms to fill out. Didn’t hold out any hope of getting our things back, but, at least we’d been smart enough to purchase baggage insurance.
Fortunately, the flight to Germany was pleasant and incident-free. Excitement started to return.
This would be my first visit back home since 1972!
Our adventure was just beginning…
Have you ever lost luggage or had other bad travel experiences?
Were they resolved to your satisfaction?
Would love to hear your stories, below: