July 30, Rome to Munich, Toronto and Edmonton
Today we begin our long journey home. We had packed most of our stuff and showered last night but it was still an early start with the alarm set for 5:45 am! We set off at 6:10 to scurry over to the train station, a 30 minute walk with backpacks strapped to our sunburned backs from the beach day. Once at the train station we purchased our tickets to the airport and boarded the train with 10 minutes to spare. On the train ride to the airport I noticed it was quite foggy as we got closer to the airport. The airport is near the Mediterranean Sea. I wondered if we would be delayed. We got our boarding cards and found out that indeed, our flight was delayed 30 minutes due to the fog. No problem because we have a 1:25 minute layover in Munich before going on to Toronto. 30 minutes go by, then 40, then 50 and finally we boarded and the flight left about 70 minutes late. If we are lucky we might just make our connection, fingers crossed. Of course the delayed flight couldn't be the Munich to Toronto leg where we sit in Toronto for 7 hours. Upon arrival in Munich we de-planed and a bus took us across the ramp where we sprinted towards our departure gate. As we rounded the corner we found out we had to go through a customs passport check even though we were just making a connection! We picked a line, the slowest one of course. Some guy in the front has a problem with his credentials. Great, they really are trying to make us miss our flight. We finally made it through the line and again sprinted to our gate thinking the plane doors were probably closed. Luckily this flight was also delayed and they were just starting to board. Yay we made it. The flight to Toronto was fine. We watched a few movies to pass the time and saw Greenland, which is more white than green. Once in Toronto we enquired about the possibility of connecting on an earlier flight to Edmonton but all 3 flights before ours were overbooked. Why are so many people going to Edmonton? We settled in for our wait with some Starbucks. I cracked open my litre of duty free Baileys J. As it turns out, the 4 o'clock flight was delayed 2 hours, and the 6 and 8 o'clock flights were also delayed. When it came to our flight, you guessed it - delayed. We had three flights today and all three were delayed, maybe we were not supposed to go home? They kept backing up our departure times by 30 minutes then announced our plane went mechanical and was taken out of service so they had to find a spare plane. I enquired about taking the next scheduled flight after ours but it too was overbooked. We finally got away at 10:55 pm, 2 hours late. We arrived in Edmonton at 1:15 am, 27 ½ hours after getting up to start the trek home. What a long day. Christine met us at the airport to bring us home. It was tough walking through the door and not being greeted by Riley.
And so it ends. The father/daughter Europe summer trip July 2012 is now finished. We will have our memories and just in case we forget anything we have 2211 photos to remind us!