Serbia and Greece Trip: Day One/Two

Disclaimer: This will probably be the longest blog post I will ever write while in Greece/Serbia.  It’s long because of several reasons: I didn’t have internet connection while I traveled, I had time to spare in between flights to update it, it’s towards the beginning so I’m fresh (as fresh as I can be after traveling for more than 26 hours), and everything’s new.  And there’s probably a bit lot of rambling in there because of all the free time.  Oops.

2nd Disclaimer: This is the post I was referring to in the one I posted earlier today.  

So the plan was to go from Charlotte to New York to Poland to Serbia.  My flight to New York was uneventful besides my insanely nervous stomach- it’s much better now.  But after I landed I had to get to another terminal for my international flight.  I can only say that I was very thankful to meet up with a group I first met in Charlotte going to Brazil on a missions trip who had to go to the same terminal so I didn’t have to navigate the JFK airport all by my lonesome.

Quick but cool side story: After I got through security and got some lunch I heard someone on the airport piano playing “Think of Me” from Phantom of the Opera which is basically my most favorite song ever (and the song I named this blog after) and some hymns from a piano book that my mom always plays from.  That same person that was playing the piano was part of the group going on the mission trip that helped me find the right terminal.  There were several people going from around Charlotte but he and his sister and his parents were part of that group.

I then got to the international terminal and waited in line to get my ticket to Poland to find out that the flight was delayed for 4 long hours…

Things I learned from hanging out in the JFK airport for 4 hours:

  • Internet is not free.  Even “free public wifi” is not free.
  • You are seriously the luckiest person if you can find a chair and an outlet in the same spot.
  • If you have to delay your flight for 4 hours, at least do it in the international terminal.  Better food and better shops to browse.

So I finally boarded the plane to Poland not knowing what would happen once I got there since I knew I would not make my direct flight from Poland to Serbia.  But that plane got so dark and so… boring that I quickly fell asleep (yay window seats!)  Twice during the flight we got food trays.  The first was chicken, rice, green beans, bread, and a mixture of stuff that could go on a sandwich (meat, cheese, lettuce…) but I didn’t eat much since I was afraid I would disrupt my finally calm stomach.

A couple hours of sleep later — thank you ipod, sleeping mask, blanket, and pillow — I woke up in time for the breakfast tray of bread, tea, and a mixture of stuff that could go on a sandwich (?).  I was so thankful that I packed all that I did in my carry-on because I got to “wash” my face (really just a moist towlette) and get my face all done up again the last 30 minutes before we landed.

Oh, and here’s a picture of northern Germany:

And here’s a picture of Poland:

So I land, get my passport stamped for Poland (!) and pick up my bag so I can get a connecting flight.  Thanks to the wonderful ticket people who spoke English, I got tickets to go through Munich to get to Belgrade and got there only 8 hours after I was originally supposed to!  I told some people I might have had to spend the night in Poland, which would’ve been cool, but this way I can spend more time with Dina. 🙂

And I know by adding this I’ll be talking a lot about food but really, that’s all I had to do besides read.  And I hardly had any idea what time it was because my phone and computer are still in Charlotte time, there was a six hour time difference in my body, I hadn’t gotten much sleep, and time over here is in military time.  So until I actually do something and figure out what time it is, you’re gonna get more food-related blurbs.

This time I went to a restaurant and magazine/candy/chocolate/alcohol store to get lunch.  I got a chicken salad, green tea, and some candy something that looks good but has no English on it whatsoever. It’s name is “Delcino” if anyone wants to look it up and tell me.

The flight to Munich was uneventful but I still had an hour to waste until my flight left so I stopped by a cafe next to my gate.  Actually, I’d be wrong if I said it was a cafe because it was actually a “Brot & Kaffee” called Pano.  The name made me laugh because I first saw it and thought “Bratwursts & Coffee”, which I guess is what it is (they sell paninis, sandwiches, and apparently brats).

Anywho, I got a caramel espresso which I only got because 1.) I recognized the name and 2.) it was the cheapest thing on the drink menu.  Clearly, I’m not well versed in the ways of fancy coffee.  But it was so cute!

So I got on the plane, flew for one and a half hours, and got off.  By the way, I’ve gotten my passport stamped three times already (Poland, Germany, Serbia).  I picked up my bag and there they were!  Of course I hugged Dina and of course I cried but I loved those tears because that’s the only time I ever showed any emotions the whole trip over there.  I was never nervous, scared, anxious, sad, or overwhelmed even during the layovers and while trying to find a flight after I was stuck in Poland.  I’d say God had his hands around all of the planes and airports I was at.

And here’s a sign when you first walk out of the airport.  You pronounce the Serbian version “doe-bro-doe-sh-lee.”  Look at me sounding out Serbian words!

And besides Dina, Anja (her sister), and Nikola (Anja’s boyfriend) were there to pick me up.  We drove to Dina and Anja’s flat and it’s so cute! it’s about the size of two dorm rooms and that’s it!  But they have pink cabinets in the kitchen, the coolest balcony and it looks straight out of an Ikea catalog.

So we dumped our stuff, Anja and Nikola left, and Dina and I went to a cafe to talk.  We talked for about an hour and came back and crashed haha.  All this time and I had been awake 22 hours!  The last time I slept was on the plane from New York to Poland.  I’m now awake and it’s 6 am in Charlotte but almost noon here. 🙂

Be prepared for shorter posts but now you know every detail of my flight over here!  I can already tell we’ll have a great time with lots of relaxing.  We toured Belgrade today but pictures and short descriptions will come tomorrow before our flight to Greece.  Thanks for all your prayers/notes/letters.  And I hope YOU guys have a great next 2 weeks.

Ciao!

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5 Comments

Filed under Serbia, Vacations

5 responses to “Serbia and Greece Trip: Day One/Two

  1. Dave

    Just like your dad to focus on sleep and food. Like father, like daughter!

  2. Tressa Morrow

    Meredith and I loved your post. Keep those pictures coming…. especially of Dina and Anya. Loved the picture of the KitKat from your airplane meal 🙂

  3. jack

    Andrea:

    I had coffee at Starbucks last night with your dad, and he gave me the update on your trip and adventures getting to Dina’s. I decided to follow your blog and enjoy Greece with you! Denise and I have a standing invitation to visit Greece from our waiter (who was Greek) on a cruise we took several years ago. Enjoy eating dinner at 9pm.. and sitting over that dinner until 12:00 midnight, from what I understand. Say HI to Dina for Denise and me.

    jack

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