Varna Trip Report, day eleven

[day −1]
[day 0]
[day 1]
[day 2]
[day 3]
[day 4]
[day 5]
[days 6 & 7]
[days 8 & 9]
[day 10]

2023-06-18 06:30+2:

When I checked in at the hotel, I had declined the “breakfast included” option because I doubted that I’d have 21€ worth of food.  What I hadn’t been told is that the breakfast buffet would be the only option until lunch time.  I had breakfast anyway; and when I went by the front desk to inform them that I had done that and still needed to pay, I discovered that the price would now be 26€. 8-(

My Icelandair flight to Keflavík doesn’t depart until 14:10, so I won’t need to check out of the hotel until 11:00 or so.  That will give me plenty of time to catch up on the usual on-line reading and to craft readable prose for, and publish, my day-10 report.


I asked at the information counter where Icelandair’s check-in place is, and they told me number 2.  When I got there, they told me that Icelandair wasn’t there yet, and I’d have to wait until 11:30.  At 11:30, still no Icelandair.  I asked again, and a very nice woman behind the counter looked it up and said I should go to check-in 0.  I didn’t even know that there was such a place, but I was directed to go through a door to security and saw the check-in 0 sign just above the door.  I never would have found that just searching around.

As expected, I checked one bag; and they put a baggage tag on my walker and told me where to sit to wait for the wheelchair assistance.  It took a good fifteen or twenty minutes for them to arrive; but when they did, I followed the wheelchair guy to the bulky baggage check-in place where they took my walker; then I got wheeled to a first-class lounge.

In the lounge, I had a couple of meatballs, some rice, and some Pepsi Max; but I didn’t want to eat very much because I’d get fed again on the plane.

ca 13:20+2:

Another wheelchair guy showed up to take me to the gate, and after a wait of about ten minutes or so, down the jetway to the plane.  This airplane has nine rows of what one expects for business-class seating.  I’m in seat 2D on the aisle on the copilot’s side in the second row.  (Do airline folks talk about the pilot’s and copilots’s sides of the plane.  I’m guessing that they actually say “port” and “starboard”.  I’ll have to ask somebody.)


We landed in Keflavík right on the advertised.

There was no wheelchair at the plane’s door.  I had to walk the entire length of the jetway, stopping once for about 30 seconds to lean on my carry-on bag’s handle for a bit, where I met the wheelchair person who took me to the Saga Class lounge.

My flight to Boston doesn’t leave until 19:05Z, so another wheelchair will come for me around 18:20 or so.  I’ll have about two hours to wait.

I didn’t want any food; but I found a place where I could get my computer out and write, and proofread, this post up to this point.

ca. 18:50:

My wheelchair still hasn’t shown up and, particularly scary, my flight has disappeared from the departure board.  I started to ask about the flight at the Saga Lounge desk when the wheelchair person arrived without the wheelchair.  She had to go someplace to get one.  I asked about the flight not being on the screen any more, but the lounge attendant just sat there without saying anything.

After heading through passport control (I’m now leaving the Schengen area), we headed for the gate where passengers were standing in a boarding line, but the line wasn’t moving.  My being in a wheelchair allowed me to cut in line right behind another passenger needing assistance.  We stayed there for ten or fifteen minutes with no clue what was happening.

After a while, I got wheeled down the jetway to the plane, but they still weren’t ready for us.  If I hadn’t had the wheelchair, I’d have been hurting.  It’s not walking that’s a problem for me; it’s that my back doesn’t want me verticle for more than a few minutes without having something to lean on, and so standing in line for more than a couple of minutes doesn’t work well.

OK, I made it on the plane, so I guess I’m really headed for Boston after all.

We finally pulled from the gate at 19:50Z…yet another 45-minute delay on top of the reschedule I found out about a couple of days ago.  I have no clue why we were so late.  The current estimate as of 18:30−4 (I’ve already set my watch to Boston time as I write this) is for an arrival around 20:40, give or take.


We pulled up to the gate.  After about only five minutes or so, I was told that my wheelchair was waiting, so I got off the plane.

Next was immigration.  I had gotten Global Entry before COVID, and it was still valid, but I had stupidly neglected to bring the paperwork with me on this trip.  That turned out to be not so bad since being wheeled around in a wheelchair gave me license to cut in line.

I then got wheeled to the checked baggage place where we got directed to two different carousels.  My bag finally showed up at what turned out to the the right one, but much later than expected.  It should have been one of the first few off because of the Saga Class “priority” tag, but it wasn’t.  I was getting worried that it had been lost, but I got it eventually.  While we were waiting, the wheelchair guy went to the large baggage claim and got my walker; so after he wheeled me to the exit, I was independent again and headed for the Hilton Boston Logan which is connected to the airport, but it’s quite a hike.


I finally got into my hotel room; and since my body clock still thought it was 04:15+2, I basically just fell into bed.

2023-06-19 04:00−4:

I didn’t sleep well for some reason, so I got up early, reprogrammed my scanner with all the railroad frequencies I’d need for the train trip, and finished writing this post.

The final two days probably won’t get published until I get home on Tuesday night.

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