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BORDEAUX, France – The first post from Bordeaux was supposed to be all about arriving at mid afternoon and walking the beautiful city streets. Our group of wine journalists was scheduled to have dinner together at what apeared to be a really nice French restaurant.

Instead, I’m starting this post from an Air France jet Lyon to Bordeaux. There will be lots of incredible Bordeaux wine over the next few days as a guest of Bordeaux producers. But right now I’d hurt someone for just one glass.

Travel woes are not new to anyone who even occasionally flies. But the industry out-did itself Tuesday/Wednesday. My flight from Indianapolis to Detroit went fine. It was all down hill from there. After two glasses of wine I wrote about below, our flight from Detroit to Rome (not at typo) was delayed for about an hour because of a fuel leak and fuel smell in the cabin. That fixed we boarded the plane and set for a good hour and a half for something never described beyond calling it an anomaly.

We finally backed away to the applause of already weary, if not jaded travelers, and made the wonderful nine-hour flight to Rome. Of course, we were too late for my connecting flight to Bordeaux.

That’s when the real fun began. Upon entering Italy, like most countries, passengers are to gather up their luggage and go through customs. My suitcase didn’t appear, didn’t appear and didn’t appear. And knock on wood, I’ve never had a piece of lost luggage in my travels.

I asked a number of airline attendants at the luggage pick up and they assured me there would be more. When there were no more people I found a nice woman with a clipboard who assured me it had already been checked through to Bordeaux (on my missed flight) because of the delays.

Three different stops at Italian airline kiosks and a very nice man found me an evening flight of Rome to Lyon and Lyon to Bordeaux. While not ideal, it should get me into Bordeaux by 9 p.m. and to our downtown hotel by 9:30 or 10. That means, start to finish, I left Indy at 2:20 Tuesday and arrived in Bordeaux 9 p.m. (local time) Wednesday night.

I’m hoping my lonely suitcase is there in the lost luggage department waiting for me. If not, I will have angry to add to very tired, a bit hungry and dry, and just a little stinky upon arrival at my destination.

Hopefully, all other posts through Saturday will be about this wonderful wine experience and not the author’s whining about travel when someone else is paying the bill!

UPDATE: Arrived in Bordeaux at nine. Luggage did not and will be delivered tomorrow. Airlines stood up though and said they would reimburse up to 100E so I could buy fresh clothes tomorrow. Taxi into town was 55E; I think I got ripped off.

This city is gorgeous and all abuzz for the Fete le Vin to kick off tomorrow. Hopefully alll good news tomorrow. I”ve been up something like 40 hours straight and calling it quits. No pics for this entry but tomorrow it’s off we go immersed in Bordeaux wine!

Send comment or questions to: hewitthoward@gmail.com

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