Logan Airport, Wed. evening 5/3/23 - everything off a smooth start! And then it started...captain announces we'll be late taking off, and rather than the reassuring "but we'll make up that lost time during the flight...", we hear him say that we'll definitely be arriving late into Amsterdam for our connecting flight. With only an hour and 20 minutes, and connecting flights being usually on the complete opposite side of the airport, we knew it would be tight.
So when we landed, we ran the entire length as fast as we could to the departure gate to Krakow, only to find out our luggage won't be loaded in time, and the next flight to Krakow is 5 1/2 hours later...so, we wait at Krakow airport to catch the next flight, and arrive the same time as our luggage.
On no sleep in almost 24 hours, we get on the plane for Krakow, only to hear a similar announcement about taking off and arriving late.
After arriving 6 hours later than originally scheduled into Krakow due to both flights being delayed, we figure out which train to catch to go the Przemysl, Poland, near the Ukrainian border, where our van is waiting for us.
We buy the train tickets, only to find out the train will be leaving about an hour and a half late due to mechanical issues. And all this, with the goal of arriving in Lviv, Ukraine before 7 PM that night to have important work done on the van.
We arrive at Przemysl, and are forced by the personnel there to exit the station through a tunnel that goes in the opposite direction from where the van is waiting for us, and carry our 5 pieces of heavy luggage up a flight of stairs (no elevators, etc. at this train station). When we get to the top of the stairs, we're told we can't get to the van from there, so we reverse everything and walk up the long set of stairs on the opposite end of the train station, and eventually get to the van.
By this time, it's about 12:15 AM, and we set off for the border of Ukraine. We need diesel to make it all the way to Lviv, so we pull into the only convenient gas station. Turns out this station is only open 23.5 hours a day, and you guessed it - they just closed 5 minutes earlier.
We head to the border anyway, and notice that Mickey D's is still open, so this becomes our first official meal of the trip on European soil...and it covers all the major food group: saturated fat, high sodium content, and a big sugar buzz. The perfect meal when you're sleep deprived.
We approach the Ukrainian border, at 1:30 AM, and after 90 minutes, we're in Ukraine and on the way to Lviv.
We arrive at the hotel in Lviv at 3:30 AM, finally getting to bed around 4:15. After 38 hours of no sleep, it's time to nod off! 5 hours later, it's up for a shower, quick breakfast, and hit the road for Kyiv, a 7 hour ride away. And that's day one, a day when the travel gods apparently had it in for us, bigtime. Here's looking forward to a smoother rest of the trip...