31 hours. That’s how long it took to get from Ulaan Baatar to Ottawa. The day (what day is it?) started at five o’clock in the morning with a bus ride from our hotel to Chinggis Khaan International Airport (ULN) in Ulaan Baatar, Mongolia. The airport scene there was a disorganised zoo and we departed late. More than six hours of flying later and we were at Sheremetyevo (SVO) airport in Moscow. Luckily, our connecting flight to Frankfurt was also late, so we caught that. Count on Aeroflot for being consistently late. But then we got to Frankfurt (FRA), and came up against a flight that departed on time. We just missed the Air Canada flight to Ottawa, and watched the aircraft leave without us. Lots of scrambling later, and we were on an Air Canada flight to Toronto instead. While waiting, I used my magic Elite card to get Robin and I into the Lufthansa Senator lounge, which is all done up like an orbiting space port for luxury travellers of the future. Nice multi-fruit juice there, and a fat network pipe to connect to the ‘Net, so I was less unhappy than I might have been, having missed what should have been our last flight. Instead, we flew to Toronto — and were lucky to do that, as we could only get on the standby list. In Toronto, I was amazed that our bags showed up, but somehow Robin and I got separated in the slightly less disorganised zoo that is the the Malton Airfield (a.k.a. Pearson International Airport — YYZ). Robin and I got on different shuttles to Ottawa (YOW), but made a rendezvous here, complete with bags.
Of course I have no idea what time I think it is. In Mongolia it is mid-day, but here in Canada I should be in bed like any good honest citizen. It is unfortunate to have had such a gruelling end to what has been a fabulous holiday, but we’re home safe and that’s the main thing. Many unbelievable memories (and pictures!) remain, and I hope to recollect and present more of them soon — once I have sufficiently recovered.