Tuesday July 19, 2016
I’m writing this after the fact, and I’ll keep it short and sweet.
This was a long day of travel. If you can imagine what kind of coordination it takes to have 200+ people to fly on the same day, I’m sure you would agree that such a feat is simply amazing. Sure, we had multiple flight legs that split several ways, and we all had different arrival times, but that was part of the madness!
For me in particular, I was in a flight group that flew to Frankfurt, Germany. We had a nine hour flight on a Lufthansa A330-300. I sat next to a Nigerian Catholic priest who was in my local home area doing parish missions so I got to kind of talk to him about his work and his plans for World Youth Day in Kraków.
With fourteen trips to Japan in the past year and a quarter, I knew that trying to get as much sleep as I can on the plane would be the most beneficial knowing that we’d land in Frankfurt at around 9AM. Did I? Nope. Not really. I attempted to sleep, but couldn’t pass into slumber because I have not mastered sleeping in Economy class as I’m a spoiled yet striving to not be entitled business (or first!) class traveler to Japan.
I did end up watching a few movies and some episodes of Big Bang Theory. For some reason my video monitor kept messing up as if someone was randomly touching particular parts of the screen. Sometimes it would stop whatever show or movie I was trying to watch. It was frustrating to deal with. However, despite the challenge, I was still able to complete watching Kung Fu Panda 3 and the new live-action Jungle Book.
We landed at Frankfurt at mid-morning. And my particular flight group had a six hour layover before our flight to Rome. That’s a long time to be at an airport. I mostly sat around conversing with my fellow pilgrims and grabbed sandwiches and pastries for lunch. An hour or two before our flight, I attempted at reading on my Kindle app on my iPad, and I almost dropped my iPad due to nearly passing out. It’s okay. I’m typing on it now.
Speaking of nearly passing out, I was able to practically pass out on the flight from Frankfurt to Rome. I don’t remember much from that flight as I was super tired.
We finally arrived in Rome, grabbed our luggage, then boarded our charter bus to the hotel. However, the tour guide and driver decided to give us a brief driving tour around Rome so we got to preview some of the sites that we will be visiting this week.
Lastly, we arrived at our hotel. It’s actually a sort of apartment/residence style hotel so it’s a pretty generous accommodation during our stay here in Rome. I’m surprised it’s able to handle all of us plus other large groups of pilgrims.
Dinner was served. Showers taken. Bed prepared. And finally sleep.
Ready to take on the adventures that await the next few days.