England and Iceland - Day 9 and traveling
geothermal power plant Svartsengi and is renewed every two days. Superheated water is vented from the ground near a lava flow and used to run turbines that generate electricity. After going through the turbines, the steam and hot water passes through a heat exchanger to provide heat for a municipal water heating system. Then the water is fed into the lagoon for recreational and medicinal users to bathe in."
We exited the terminal, got on a tram, and went to our departing terminal. Essentially this is like entering a new airport- we are confronted with check-in desks for airlines, show ID again, go through security again... So we check in to our AirCanada flights, select "0 bags to check-in", because duh, our bags are already en route! and head to the pre-screening for US Customs, since we won't have to do it in DC this way.
Everything is going smoothly, until the last question during customs "And do you have all of your bags in your possession?" "Yes! Well, except of course my checked bag." Skkkrrrrr! You'd think I'd said something crazy. She then proceeded to make me feel like an idiot, "Your checked bag? This is US Customs- what if we wanted to search your bag? What do you mean it's checked?" And then me being very confused that I needed to explain what checking your bags means, "Well, I flew in on a different flight...so...my bag goes from that plane, to this new plane..." Then making me feel like more of an idiot, "You must mean you think your bag is being checked and brought to you right here in Customs all the way from Terminal 1. Why would you think that if you flew into Terminal 3, that your bag would magically arrive in Terminal 1?" At this point, Mom and Dad come up to me (we're on separate itineraries so we go through customs separately) and ask what's wrong, and the lady asks if they have all their bags. They answer same as me, and again she's just utterly shocked that we would think our bags would travel between the terminals. I'm slowly realizing that Toronto Airports "Terminals" function like completely different units and if we wanted our bags to fly out of one terminal, we had to bring them to said terminal. She calls over a supervisor who tells us we have two choices - continue on our flight and go to Dulles later in the week to get our bags, or we can try to go back and find our bags and essentially miss our flight. These don't sound like good options, and luckily Mom stays calm and asks if there's an option involving us AND our bags on this flight. He talks to more people, pulls us back to the AirCanada desk, who somehow finds our bags within seconds, "links" them to our names again, and says everything is fine, we can now go back through the pre-screening.
We CANNOT be the first people to have done this wrong! Why did the customs lady act all shocked that I had said I had a checked bag?! I don't understand the Toronto Airport! Apparently, now that our bags were linked to our names, they could be searched just fine and we didn't need to bring them through customs physically anymore. Still so confused.
We get through Customs, and there are finally signs to drop off your bags before security again. I don't know how the guy at the original bag-drop put new stickers on our bags if he had no itinerary for us at that terminal anymore. I don't know how we were supposed to know that that bag-drop was the wrong bag-drop. I don't know how we were supposed to know that the terminals operate independently from each other. I just don't get any of it. I also don't know how it ended up working out and our bags arrived at Reagan when we did. <end rant>
So my advice is to never fly through Toronto, if you can help it!
I'm so sorry, that was a really long rant to end a wonderful vacation! London was spectacular, Oxford was so full of history and I loved seeing the countryside with Blenheim Palace, and Iceland was so unlike anything I'd ever seen before. Iceland was definitely my favorite part of the trip! I'll have to spend some time there during the warm months! Thanks for following along with all of the pictures and stories! I promise some new food posts are in your future :-)