After 20 hours of travel my travel partners and I have finally made it to Belgrade. We left Dulles Airport May 7 at 10:00pm full of excitement and energy. That excitement quickly came to a halt when our pilot told us that our flight to Paris would take an hour longer due to the plane having to fly around the volcanic ash in Europe. Ash. Great. By the time our flight finally made it to Paris, we had exactly 15 minutes to make our connecting flight to Belgrade. If you have ever been to Charles de Gaulle you are probably laughing right now because there is no possible way to make a quick connection in that maze of an airport. On the bright side, we did get an hour long shuttle ride through the innerworkings of the airport to get to the customer service terminal (yes, that is in fact sarcasm).
Side note: Air France has fabulous customer service, seriously, bravo Air France!
So once we finally got to the ticket counter we were told that there are no more flights from Paris to Belgrade that day and that the airport would most likely be closed the next day due to the ash. Again with the ash. Luckily, we were able to get on a flight to Stuttgart, Germany so we could be routed to Belgrade that evening. Only problem being, our connection was 30 minutes long. By this time, the three of us had rallied and determined that no matter what stood in our way, we were going to make our flight to Belgrade. Serbia or bust! We did end up making our connecting flight in Stuttgart and were finally on our way to Belgrade.
When we landed in Belgrade the whole plane applauded (apparently that’s some Eastern European tradition) and we were equally happy to be there. Just one more obstacle stood between us and the Hotel Moscow, baggage claim. As luck would have it, all three of our bags were lost. C’est la vie. Bags or not, tomorrow, the Belgrade experience begins!