Eastern Europe Adventure

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We left Tucson on Nov 23, 2001, for our Eastern European adventure.  These web pages will describe our trip, give you the opportunity to see what we saw and  give some information about each country. 

The most stringent airline security was done before we even left Tucson.  We both put anything that might set off the walk-through security alarm in our carry-on bags. Well, John set off the walk-through alarm.  A small metal part in his belt buckle was the culprit.  Then he needed a pat-down.  Security was still not satisfied.  The hand wand  made noise by his feet.  John then removed his shoes and finally passed the hand wand test.  The shoes then had to be put on the conveyor-belt machine because of the metal eyelets.  (This was before the bomb-in-the-shoe incident.)  Thank goodness there were only 3 or 4 people in the security line.  I think John was enjoying all the attention and scanning he got.

Our plane was only about half full from Tucson to Dallas and the same from Dallas to Philadelphia.  We elected to stay over-night in Philadelphia before our transatlantic flight the next day.  We used our frequent flier miles to the east coast.  We stayed at the Marriott Hotel at the airport - a short walk from the terminal.

The next morning we walked about 50 yards from the Marriott Hotel to the airport train for a trip to downtown Philadelphia.  We arrived only a few blocks from the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall area.  We spent most of the day in the historic area and even managed to catch part of a Regional Irish Dance competition. It was very exhausting watching all the jumping and twirling.

We left Philadelphia Airport early in the evening on British Airways.  This time John changed his shoes to his backup sneakers.  No problems with airport security the rest of the trip.  One secret we learned is not to be the first to jump up and try to get on the plane.  Since all the airports do random carry-on bag searches, they pulled every 6th or 7th person out of the boarding line.  When the search line got too long the rest of us boarded the plane without problems.

The Boeing 747 plane to Heathrow-London Airport was only about half full - so plenty of room to move around.  We had a choice of about 5 or 6 movies that ran continuously on different channels so we had the chance to see some new releases.   

After arriving at  Heathrow-London Airport we needed to change terminals via a bus.  Once again long lines for security at the new terminal.  One annoying thing about Heathrow is that gates for flights are not posted until about 30-45 minutes before a flight. This makes for a very hot, stuffy and crowded central  waiting area.

We had a 2 hour layover in Heathrow, but only had a short wait at the departure gate after changing terminals and the long wait in security lines at our departure terminal.  We then headed to Berlin-Tegel Airport - about a 2 hour flight from London.  Our tour director met us at the airport. As  we were the only ones arriving from  Heathrow, she put us in a cab to take us to our hotel.  She waited at the airport for the rest of the group arriving from Frankfurt. 
Our adventure starts

Copyright 2001 by John Walter.  All rights reserved.  The web  site content may not be copied, published or duplicated without consent