Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Brugge - at last

I am in Brugge finally! But it was a bit of a saga getting here...

I turned up at Melbourne airport on Saturday evening, joined the Thai Aiways queue, and went up to the check-in desk in due course. The man checked my passport, put a tag on my suitcase and asked for my ticket. `Oh, it´s an e-ticket, you just need my passport´ I said...

Apparently, despite telling me that I had an e-ticket, my travel agent had actually booked me a paper ticket. I thought I had an e-ticket, the airline had no e-ticket in their system, and my travel agent, despite being a large national chain, no longer had a 24 hour phone service. So I couldn't get on a plane on Saturday night.

Sunday morning, I rang the travel agent - they couldn't help me because their ticket office is not open on weekends... In the end my mum booked me a completely new ticket with Qantas, ringing them as we were on the way to the airport at 1pm. At 1:30 I picked up my ticket and checked in for the 3:30 flight to London. When the plane finally taxied down the runway, I almost couldn't believe that I was actually on board, going to Europe.

I arrived in Brussels on Monday morning, welcomed with a lovely grey, rainy Belgian summer's day! After catching the slow train to Bruges (I later found out that the L on the train timetable stood for Local (stops at every two-bit, one horse, three cow village)) and sharing a compartment with assorted Flemish farmers, dressed in pullovers and gumboots, I finally arrived in Bruges, where it was still cold and raining and grey. But at least I got there!

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