Thursday, August 07, 2008

Only the Bags Know

Day 317
Krakow, Poland
Location: N 50˚ 03' 58.4'', E˚ 19 55' 46.3"

It’s happened to most travelers at one time – lost luggage. I’m not sure you ever really think it’s going to happen to you. When you arrive at the airport and watch your bags float off down the belt into the underworld, you just turn around and head to your gate. As you sit in your seat during the flight you’re thinking more about what drink to order than how your luggage is getting along in the cargo hold below. It isn’t until you’re the last person standing at baggage claim that you realize something went wrong.

Day 2 started without out our bags as they did not arrive last evening. We called first thing and got one of several different stories. I’m sure it must be frustrating to work in the lost luggage department at the airport. It wasn’t until later in the day that we remembered that Lufthansa employees are on strike. Maybe it’s just the baggage handlers.
We decided to stick around for awhile this morning just in case our luggage arrived. We read our books and took a few catnaps. We are still trying to catch up from lack of sleep during our flights. In between the shut-eye, I managed to start and finish The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. I would definitely recommend it to everyone – it’s about following your dreams.
After lunch and a few more phone calls we were no closer to seeing our bags so we ventured out. Krakow has been pretty close to my mental map – interesting history, beautiful architecture, and vibrant people. Our goal for the afternoon was Wawel (pronounced vavel) Hill. Set on the banks of the Vistula (pronounced wisla) River, the hill is essentially a fortress with several structures inside. The most commanding building was the cathedral. Built in the 14th century, the copper and gold domed building was the coronation and burial place for Polish royalty for 400 years.
Upon our return we found no bags. Many things started to run through my mind, but before I got too far there was a knock on the door. Three bags had arrived and maybe the fourth bag would come today or tomorrow. Unfortunately, it was my gear bag that was still missing. Chris made a trip to the kitchen to get a beer and when he came back he had the last bag in hand. Apparently, it came with a different driver. At least we had something to drink to.
And so we ended the day on a very positive note and wondered where in the world those bags had been. I guess only the bags know…


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