Compared to yesterday, today was a breeze. The bed in which I slept was comfortable, the water in the shower plentiful and hot. Breakfast is included at the Hampton Inn’s which in my mind, puts them significantly ahead of the more expensive hotels. But then, I am not on an expensive account which does not encourage frugality. For that matter, in the years where I did travel (TDY) the per diem wasn’t going to cover much more than the basics anyway. So I never developed the taste for much beyond the basics. This leaves the Hampton Inn, La Quinta, Ibis and the like my most likely picks of choice. I am beyond the point where I really want to stay in hostels unless there is no other choices. I spent enough years sharing space in the deployed environment to want to be sharing sleeping space with strangers. Someone always snores. I suspect it might be me on some occasions.
The hotel is just far enough that I really didn’t want to walk over in the morning towing a suitcase, wearing a backpack and hefting a bulky but light duffle bag. The Holiday Inn around the corner turned out to be the pickup point for the airport shuttle bus. Easy.
Most of the time I can deal with the automated check-in machines. Today? Not so much. It told me to go to the fun service counter. Ok, can do that. No line, and it took me about 2 minutes to check in, drop off bags, get my boarding card and head toward security. Just a note, no matter what anyone might tell you about German organization and efficiency, security was chaos. Too many people in the lines and very methodical people behind who had to ask ALL of their questions even when the person in front of them had quickly and efficiently dropped their coat and purse in the bin. No electronics, no fancy shoes, obviously no belt, hat, and no pockets…..
That disaster behind me, I was off to located Gate A24 followed by the lounge so that I could get more coffee… It was near Gate 22.. One has to laugh. It bests crying any day. My boarding gate was A24 until it wasn’t. Then it was A20. Ok. Still in the neighborhood. Less than 20 minutes later it was A 18, then A13 which was more than ½ way back to the main hub.
As suspected, there were also delays and a gate change involved. Oh, yes and a change to an obviously older plane lacking in charging points or inflight anything except for alcohol and not very appetizing food. The idea of providing regional cuisine? Seriously? Berliner Currywurst? Or stuffed bell pepper with smoked tofu? Right.
The Lisbon airport could be worse to navigate. There are actually signs and they usually point in the direction that is actually where you need to go. Finding the baggage carousel, I settled in for a wait. This was a good thing – in spire of having a priority tag on my luggage, it was still just about the last two items disgorged from the the underground lair. I took a cab rather than fight crowding on the public transit system on a business day late afternoon.
Hotel? check? Lovely room? Double check.