Day 16 - Saturday, April 8, 2017 - Flight to Munich, Germany then to Denver, Colorado
After our short night's sleep, the wake up call came at 4:15. We had an hour to shower, close up our bags, and shut down our computers.
Luis, the van driver was there to pick up the three of us flying out of Madrid on Lufthansa. Rikardo did not get up to send us off so we thanked him and wished him well last night. Traffic was light but we saw many young people who were still out on the streets as the clubs were going strong even at 5:00 am.
The airport was only 20 minutes away. Already there were long lines for the domestic flights as families were traveling for Easter and large school groups were on the move.
The check in was very efficient and after sending our luggage off with those bright orange "Priority" stickers, we walked by way of the Fast Track, through security, and to our gate E67. There was a VIP lounge very close so we parked there to wait the 90 minutes until we could board the flight.
As we walked back to our gate the line was already long for boarding at 7:05. Another full flight with each seat full made for a lucrative venture for Lufthansa.
We backed away from the jet way right on time at 7:35 but we taxied to the runway and then waited for our turn for departure for another 20 minutes. It was 8:00 before we took off for Munich.
Crossing over the snow capped Pyrenees Mountains separating Spain and France, then briefly over the Mediterranean Sea, we flew over the majestic Alps, before landing in Munich at 11:00 on the dot. The morning was clear so we could see the white towns in the valleys with many wind turbines on the crests of the hills.
There was no line at Security so that part of our connection went very quickly. The next step was to go through Passport Control. The lines were long with only three stations open.
There were several EasyPass kiosks available and we tried that for the first time. An agent told us that our Global Entry status would also work, not just EU passports. We went through without a problem, saving us even more time.
The escalator to the K & L Terminals was well marked and from there we took the train to our gate, L30. The flight was to board at 11:05 but they were a little late, not beginning until 11:30.
After boarding we got ourselves organized and we managed to get our heads on straight for the 10 hour and 45 minute flight to Denver. Our flight attendant, Jasmine offered us a welcome drink. There was a maintenance issue that delayed the flight further.
The Captain came on the intercom at 12:10 to tell us about a problem with the Load Sheet that had not been properly filled out, verified, and signed. Another delay but at least he told us what the issue was. We backed away from the jet way at 12:20 and we were finally in the air at 12:35, an hour later than the scheduled departure.
The flight from Munich was very bumpy and at times we were flying over 37,000 feet to avoid the turbulence. It was after 3:00 when we arrived in Denver and many passengers had to hustle through customs and security to make their connecting flights.
For us, it was our last stop so we did not have to rush. We went through Global Entry, our bags were two of the first group off the plane, and we found an empty shuttle that took us directly to the Mt. Elbert parking area and to our awaiting car. It was less than 45 minutes later and we were on I-25 and on our way to Monument.
When we got home, we found a few trees that had suffered from the heavy Spring Break snowstorms. We started the laundry and in no time at all we were back to our regular routines and life at the Tail of Elephant Rock.
How many times do we tell ourselves how good it is to be home after these magnificent journeys? True, there is no place like home, but we are so fortunate to be able to see the world, to explore new cultures, and meet new people.
Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.
- Innocents Abroad, Mark Twain
Accommodations: Our Bed at Home - - - Meal: B and Flight
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Thank you for sharing your trip of Portugal and Spain. Portugal is on my list to go to again, and I'd love to see Oport and the Duoro River. (I may have these spellings incorrect.) Glad you are safely home and have enjoyed another wonderful trip. I leave May 21 of Crossroads of the Adriatic including Albania and Serbia. I hope things get settled in Serbia before then.
Interested in how you used Global Entry in Europe. Could you provide more details, please.
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Thanks. I loved sharing this trip with you.
Day 1 - Sunday, November 19, 2017 - Drive to Muleshoe National Wildlife Refuge; Photograph the Natural Environment; Travel to Lubbock, TX; Visit Buddy Holly Museum
We are off on our annual Thanksgiving Road Trip to Austin, Texas. Getting ready in the dark of night...