15 Comments40th Anniversary Trip, Life, Memoir, Travel

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.

garnet ring 200px

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!

airline passengers
Photo by Daquella Manera, Flickr

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 6 pm, 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 postcards and a brand new purse with the price tag still on it.

What the hell??!

stressed out!

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:

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Debbie D. on FacebookDebbie D. on GoogleDebbie D. on InstagramDebbie D. on LinkedinDebbie D. on PinterestDebbie D. on RssDebbie D. on TwitterDebbie D. on WordpressDebbie D. on Youtube
Debbie D.

Canine Innkeeper in suburban Toronto, Canada, known as “The Doglady”. Writer/website owner, photographer, animal lover, music fanatic, inveterate traveller. History, literature and cinema buff. Eternal “hippie/rockchick”. Binational, German/Canadian and multilingual. Looking for the next adventure!

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  1. Hi Debbie,

    Wow, your blog looks much better than the last time I was here. much better, indeed, with a white background and such a story very cool to read.

    I’m sorry, if I laughed almost the whole time, but it sounded so funny. I am a visual person, so I could see a movie in my head as I read, and it really looked like a comic movie, except that I know it wasn’t fun for you 🙁 at the time. And I hope you can have another stone put in your ring.

    I hope you enjoyed that trip. Lucky you!

    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Glad you like the change, Sylviane. 🙂 The white background makes it easier to read for some.
      I guess this does read a bit like slapstick comedy and I can laugh about it now, but at the time……Pretty serious when you lose your underwear! 😉 As for the ring, there are some spare stones leftover from the necklace, (belonged to my great grandmother), so hopefully, one of them will fit. If you have time, you might enjoy the following post, too. Great photos of my hometown in Germany. Thanks so much for visiting and taking the time to comment, as well.

  2. I’ve been lucky. The worst that’s happened on a trip is nasty flight attendants. So sorry about your luggage and ring. That is so bizarre about your luggage. What were they looking for AND what happened to your stuff AND who’s shoes were those?

    1. Thanks Kimberly; it really was bizarre! We’ll probably never know what happened. Best guess is some baggage handlers were messing with the suitcases, (looking for stuff to steal?), and got the contents mixed up. Thanks for visiting! 🙂

  3. Oh Debbie! Can I ever relate. I love traveling, but the tales I could tell would take forever. I never did find one suitcase I lost on my trip to London in 1979, nor did they repay me for everything that was in it. I had to stay for almost a month (very expensive) in London while they sent me one of my suitcases… The one they didn’t had my fake left hand which was very realistic, so I hoped they would find a nasty surprise when they opened my suitcase… My velvet concert dresses were also there–about $500.00 worth of dresses, plus all my music. Aurgh! So much fun…

    1. That must have been awful for you, Mary! 🙁 I have to say, in 50+ years of travelling, this was only the 2nd incident of lost baggage and the first time items went missing. Guess I’ve been lucky! Thanks for visiting and sharing your tale of woe. Hopefully, next time you travel, all will be well.

  4. I guess I don’t have bad travel stories like these because I haven’t been any where in a long time. Hopefully things will turn up.

    1. Hi Joyce; I’d be very surprised if the missing items were recovered. This is only the second time in 50+ years of travelling that anything bad happened, so, I’ve been relatively lucky. I wasn’t going to let this spoil our dream trip! Thanks for visiting. 🙂

  5. Well, I’ve heard about baggage handlers stealing stuff – now I know it’s true! And I’m so sorry about the ring. My mother once lost a diamond out of a ring – in church! We went back and searched, too, and never found it. Anyway, now I know why I never travel!

    1. Hi Lorinda; I wouldn’t let a few isolated incidents like that stop me from travelling. This was only the second time that bags were lost in 50+ years and the first time items were missing. Sorry about your mother’s ring, too. 🙁 It’s sort of a “needle in a haystack” situation. Luckily, I have a few spare stones left over from the necklace and plan on getting it repaired. Thanks for visiting today! 🙂

  6. Hi Debbie

    How awful about your ring and baggage. I hope other than those things, you had a great time. Does kind of make you sick. Probably making you wonder if you could have lived out of just carry-on luggage.

    When I was 18 going from Vancouver to Kansas City, Missouri on a Greyhound bus. My 2 bags took the long route up north and arrived 5 hours later and ended up in Kansas City, Kansas. Fortunately I was able to get a taxi cab to pick it up for $5 and bring it to where I was staying (okay so that was along time ago…1965).
    One time we flew from Oakland, CA to Reno, Nevada. Our bag made it there just fine, but the return was a different story. We told the guy putting on the bag ID that we were going to Oakland, he repeated that, but put on Burbank, CA. I had this feeling to look at what he put on, but since he repeated what we said I thought I was being a little paranoid! Anyways, when we got to Oakland our bag did not get off, it was still heading south on the same plane. We immediately put in a missing bag request and so they rescued the bag upon arrival and sent it back to Oakland. We retrieved it the next day in good condition. But after that incident we decided if we can’t pack it on the plane it ain’t going.

    Nice to see you back and I had been wondering about your dream trip.


    1. Hi Mary; I think most travellers have at least one lost baggage story to tell. No way could we manage with just hand luggage for a month though! It’s a real mystery what happened to our missing items – guess we’ll never know. 🙁 As for the ring, I do plan on getting it fixed, because it’s a favourite piece. More posts will be forthcoming in the following weeks. Thanks for visiting and sharing your story today.

  7. Oh my! how awful for you! And switching your stuff?? Wow, I had that happen with some boxes by the post office but nothing like that traveling! What an adventure you had 🙂

    1. Yeah; we were more than a little upset, Linda! 🙁
      It was so completely bizarre and just imagine those poor folks who discovered one of their shoes missing. There were over 100 postcards in that bag too; no doubt collected by someone on their travels. That would be really sad to lose!