June 1, 2019.
Travel Day, Dubrovnik to Franeker, Netherlands.
Today we end our Balkan Adventure and we will travel to the Netherlands to visit Eke's family for the next twelve days.
Our flight from Dubrovnik to Amsterdam departs at 6:50AM and we will share a cab to the airport with Ben whose flight is at 6:15AM. We are required to be at the airport two hours before flight time.
So we rose extremely early (3AM) in order to be at the airport by 4. This is what Dubrovnik Airport looks like at that time.
It was not until about an hour later that more travellers began to arrive an mill about in the huge hall. Since we were first to arrive a line began to form behind us. About fifteen minutes later a check-in agent arrived and began to set up her station to receive passengers. We had formed a line near the middle of twenty-eight check-in counters but she set set up closer to one end.
There was a mad dash to form a line at her station. Regretfully we were left behind. But in a few minutes the station in front of us opened and we were processed. Not without some "grief" from the agent however. Her station was designated for an earlier scheduled flight (the sign was illuminated after we queued up). She unpleasantly challenged us as to why we lined up there.
The flight left on time and was very comfortable.
Croatian Airlines does not get priority at Schiphol Airport. It seemed like we landed on the furthest runway from the terminal building. We taxied for over twenty minutes before we reached our gate. Then we walked for what seemed like a very long time as we followed the signs to Baggage Claim and Customs and Immigration. We rounded the last corner to find a HUGE crowd of passengers stopped in their tracks.
There was some sort of hold up further into the building and they were not letting anyone through. The crowd was well-behaved but totally disorganized as they were funnelled down to a single entry. As we waited something happened further behind us and a defibrillator was called for. The person manning the post left to attend to the emergency and the gate was temporarily closed.
But in a few minutes someone replaced him and we began to move slowly again. However priority was being given to those with EU passports. Brian has an EU passport (as well as Canadian) so here was the chance to put it to use. We were able to get to the head of this line, move down the stairs to the next hall, where we fond that we were in another huge crowd but at least it was much better organized.
From then on it was smooth sailing. We collected our luggage, bought tickets for the train to Hoorn where we were met by Siepje and Obbe. (Eke's sister ans brother-in-law.)
WHEW! We made it.
Now for twelve days of family visits before we return home to Canada.