One Year Ago – October 2020 – On the way to Cologne

These are some thoughts and photos of a trip I took one year ago to Cologne. Sensing a winter wave of covid, I wanted to travel in advance of it to visit family. Below are some airport photos that show the world had changed.

A Quiet Beginning
Calgary Airport – All Concessions Closed. One restaurant open.
Peak Times – The Shuttle was not available – Shut Down
Just Plain [Plane] Quiet – Calgary
In Canada when Tim Hortons is closed you know there is trouble.
Gatwick – The gates are occupied – but planes are empty
Ready to deplane in London – not much pushing and shoving.
Gatwick on a very quiet day
The Gatwick Express – On my way to Heathrow
Heathrow Departure – More people but not many

We are on our way – almost

The pandemic continues.  When we started into this worldwide epidemic in March 2020 we thought by October 2021 the world would have some semblance of normality. Clearly it is not the case. Today we fly through Calgary. Alberta, a hot spot for the pandemic.

Planning for this trip to visit family in Cologne began as a more extensive trip – Italy, Tunisia, the UK. But that was not to be.

First the UK maintained strict entry requirements so we could not effectively plan to arrive there. So we changed it to Amsterdam.

Tunisia had the double whammy of civil unrest coupled with the pandemic. Although the peak may have passed, they have recorded 24,842 deaths.

One alternative for us was Portugal. Portugal regularly has the highest vaccination rate in the world. Currently 83% of the population is fully vaccinated. In addition there is a directly flight to Porto, sparing us time in big airports among crowds.

Before we begin today’s journey, I will recap a quick trip I took to Cologne in October 2020, one year ago. Sensing a tough winter with the pandemic, I wanted to take advantage of the calm before the storm.  My travel through empty airports in Calgary and London was eerie.

Today we take off for Amsterdam.  Our next update will be from that beautiful city.

It has been a while! I visited Amsterdam as fresh young university student in 1968.  Paris had seen rioting in the Left Bank and beyond by leftists that nearly toppled the government.  The Soviet Union was about to invade Czechoslovakia.

Each age has its tumult. And we have our share today.