Our cruise is done, and the next stop on our itinerary is South Africa. We’re going to meet up with our friends from college, Adam and Lora, who are serving as Peace Corp volunteers.
Josh and I made our way off of the boat and to the metro station, where we traveled to the Amsterdam airport. It is a very large building, working as an airport, a mall, and a metro station. We had at first thought about going into Amsterdam and seeing a few things, but by the time we had gotten to the airport and situated, I was tired and figured, why not just take a break and catch up some on my blogging. I had seen enough cities and metros and I was done with Europe.
The airport was nice though, Josh and I walked through the mall area for some exercise, and to see what was there. Then we hung out in the lounge for a few hours.
Our flight was fine to Paris, where we were connecting to South Africa on Air France. When we arrived at the Paris Airport, several Air France personnel met us and the other international connections to escort us to the correct terminal. It was very interesting, as we all marched through the hallways of the airport, finally reaching Passport control and security. Josh and I got to our gate and then started boarding the flight. I went through the check-in gate, then Josh started to go through, but on looking at his passport, the woman stopped him and had him step aside.
Josh’s passport is very full. So full, in fact, that there was not one whole free page left. He had looked up the visa requirements to all the countries that we were traveling to, and there hadn’t been a problem with it. Unfortunately, Air France had a problem with someone’s passport flying to South Africa before. South Africa requires a full blank page in a passport, apparently. Otherwise they send back the passengers on the same plane they came on, and Air France gets fined as well.
Josh did have several pages that had only one stamp on them, and Josh was hoping that would be alright. A passport control man, who was very nice, was trying to get a hold of the South African customs office, but they wouldn’t answer, and we never got the go-ahead from them.
The door to the plane closed, and our plane took off without us. All that the Air France personnel and the passport officer could tell us to try was going to the US Embassy to see if there could be additional pages added to Josh’s passport. It was Saturday night though, so there was no way to get anything done until Monday. We were stuck.
The nice passport man ended up walking us back through the airport to the place where they had dumped Josh’s checked bag, and then out to where the airport hotel was. We checked the price though, and it was ridiculous! 289 Euros a night!
We found another hotel just outside the airport for 98 Euros a night and went to bed.