Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Biblical Imagination Tour to the Holy Land

Picture of Vancouver, BC Airport
First stop on my trip to the Holy Land

I left the afternoon of Christmas Day to travel to the Holy Land via Vancouver, Canada. My original itinerary was to leave the day after Christmas, however, Air Canada cancelled my first flight...which would have cascaded all my other flights and I wouldn't have been able to get to Israel on time for the tour.  Soooooo, called Air Canada and they arranged to have me fly out on Christmas Day and spend the first night in a very nice Sheraton Hotel in Vancouver, B.C., compliments of Air Canada.  Shuttle to and from the hotel...reasonable morning flight...all the other connections would work...so, I was off for my "trip of a lifetime".  

What I didn't realize was the phrase "trip of a lifetime" would end up referring to my attempt to actually get to Israel.   I arrived late in Toronto, Canada and as I exited the plane, I was handed a ticket and vouchers to a hotel.  The steward explained that because we arrived "late", my bag would not have enough time to be transferred to the flight to Tel Aviv...so I would have to spend the night in Toronto and fly out the next day.  I was instructed to go to baggage claim, claim my bag, then catch a shuttle to another hotel, compliments of Air Canada.  

Went to baggage claim...and after 40 minutes we discovered that my bag had indeed been able to make the flight to Tel Aviv!  So, I was minus the bag, and had to spend the night in a hotel in Toronto.  But...first...I needed to catch a shuttle.  Unfortunately, my coat was in the bag on its way to Tel Aviv.  So, I got to stand outside in 5 degree centigrade weather, and wait another 40 minutes for a shuttle.  

When I got to the hotel, I discovered that the new ticket wasn't for the next day after all. It was for the day after that!  I left one day early and would now arrive two days late for the tour.  I was not a happy camper!  Called Air Canada...and after being put on hold for 17 minutes, was pleased to learn that they had moved me to an Air Alatalia flight that would leave the next day...and I would fly to Rome, and then on to Tel Aviv.  When I went to check in, much to my delight I was told that I would be flying business class both to Rome and then to Tel Aviv.  Arrived fairly rested and missed only 3/4 of the first day.  

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