Friday, September 16, 2011

My return

I have been without internet access since I got back to Ljubljana on Saturday, so was unable to post what I am about to now.
Saturday September 10 I traveled by bus from Belgrade to Ljubljana, there were some delays at the borders between Serbia and Croatia and also Croatia and Slovenia,but I reminded myself of the delay I had experienced 10 years before on the next day. On September 10 2001 I took a flight from Skopje, Macedonia and then had an overnight in Vienna, which I was quite happy with this because I had a chance to visit with some friends there.
The next morning after an early breakfast, (I was staying in an airport hotel provided by the airline) I checked in for my morning flight to New York.. There were a group of Russians on my flight and sitting in my window seat I was surounded by some of them. The flight was quite uneventful and as we approached Canada and 3 hours or so from New York I decided to catch a little sleep. I woke up a few minutes later to the sound of the captains voice and the last thing I heard was him saying was " And then we will continue on to Vienna". Of course I was confused by this and wanted to ask what was going on, but none of the Russians spoke English. After a short time one of the cabin crew came through and when I asked was told that there had been an attack on the financial district in New York and the airspace over America had been closed. The captain came on again and explained that the attack had happened while we were about halfway and we had been told to continue on and land in Canada, but as we approached were told that there were too many plane on the ground and we would have to fly back to Europe. We would in fact land in London, refuel and continue on to Vienna.I had been in New York when the WTC had been bombed and thought that maybe something similar had happened. As we approached London we were told that the airspace there had also now been closed and were directed to Manchester, where we landed safely and refueled. A lot of planes did the same thing and it was quite a while before we were back in the air.
We finally arrived back in Vienna about 13 hours after we had left, we were processed and eventually taken to hotels in Vienna. I was luck enough to get a nice hotel on the edge of the city.
It was not until September 15th that my flight made it into JFK airport. We were the first flight in and it was quite an experience to see a completely empty airport and of course the atmosphere in the immigration hall was very strange.
So 10 years later I had a much simpler journey with just a small delay to remind me of what is now sometimes just simply called 9/11.

Monday, September 05, 2011

On Saturday ( 2 days ago) a few of us were invited to an animal sanctuary in Djurdjevo. It seems that every year there is a sort of open day where there are tables with information about animal protection and also healthy vegetarian eating. As the World Harmony Run we did a small run with some of the local children and then got to enjoy the vegetarian buffet that was served to everyone. The whole thing is organized by a Swiss national, who I believe works for the Embassy in Serbia, Monika Brukner and she does a great job. Had a great time and was happy that I had a chance to go. Check out her website