We made it! We arrived safely in Romania.
It was a tough travel, but it was generally okay. We were carrying heavy luggage and of course two cats – one cat being loud (Tommy), the other cowering in the corner of her travel bag (Ricky).
We left our home at around 9:30 in the morning and drove to Schiphol Airport. This took about 50 minutes. Before our ride to the airport and during, we saw a rainbow. We were hoping it was a sign of good luck. A sign that everything would end well. And it did.
Passing security at Schiphol Airport was relatively easy, for us as well as the cats. I tried to inform myself about whether it was possible to get a private screening room for the cats, and I was advised to ask security as soon as I arrived. Well, I asked a few people but it was very crowded and the staff seemed generally rather busy and short in their responses.
When we arrived at the body scanner, two friendly people guided me with the cats to a very small room where I took the cats out of their carriers one by one, and the man took the carriers to scan them, and the female gently felt around the harness of the cats. The process took just minutes (and would have been faster if it was easier to get the cats in and out of their soft carriers ^_^; ) and before we knew it, we passed security. Afterwards was the passport check and we went on our way to our departure area.
We boarded our (extremely packed) flight from Amsterdam to Bucharest, with two cats under the seats. I was very concerned about Tommy’s meowing bothering people, but luckily there were no complaints. Instead, a few people let out an ‘awww’ when I walked past them with a meowing cat. ^_^;
During the flight, we were given a sandwich. There was no choice available, everyone received the same. It was brown bread with a vegetarian spread. It tasted just fine, and it was my first (and only) meal of that day anyway. After the sandwich, we received a small (but super delicious) piece of cake. I drank a cola regular and a cup of tea without sugar. Much needed liquids on a reasonably heavy trip.
The cats were not fed since the night before. I was hoping there would be no accidents but… alas. Tommy did soil himself a couple of times out of fear. x_x
Anyway, the flight went well and in my opinion, time went by very quickly. I was happy about that. The sooner we would get to our destination, the sooner the cats could get out of their bags, stretch their legs and have some water. I brought a few small snacks for them as well.
An exciting taxi ride
Okay, I’ll be honest. I know more about computers than about smartphones. I was unable to connect to the internet at Otopeni Airport (they had WiFi, but only at the area we arrived initially) and was unable to even use my mobile data to open up the Uber or Bolt app. I wanted to book a taxi via either of these apps, but sadly could not. We didn’t have enough time to prepare properly beforehand… so we had no choice but to do what the entire internet advised us not to do: we took a taxi.
I asked a guy if he could drive us to our destination, with cats and all, and he said yes. I asked him what it would cost (I knew Uber or Bolt estimated 80 Lei – about 20 euros) but he didn’t know. “Depends on the meter,” he said. Yeah. I guess so. Let’s go I guess. He loaded in our baggage and we got in.
I wanted to grab my seat belt and he said “it doesn’t work, don’t worry about it”. Umm. Okay, I guess so then. What could happen in like 30 minutes of driving, I guess?
The drive took longer than I initially anticipated… and within minutes, the meter was at 130 Lei(!). I had no idea how long still to go. I wonder if he took any detours. Sadly after a while, the meter was no longer showing and it showed the driving route instead.
It was getting darker and that made it more exciting.
What was even more exciting is that he was casually texting someone (probably his family, because there were some pics of children) via WhatsApp while driving.
Pffff. Well, we made it! And it was only a total of 346 Lei. <_< He accepted euros as well, so I gave him 200 Lei and 25 euros.
Okay. We took a little financial hit, but at least we arrived safely.
Finally, we arrived!
The elevator is not trustworthy (I got stuck in it for several minutes trying to get it to reach the ground floor again, after going up and down several times and only seeing CONCRETE while opening the door) so we ended up needing to haul our luggage up to the 7th floor. Yes, that was quite the exercise. We were more than exhausted and needed to drink some water.
As for the cats, I first cleaned Tommy up in the bathroom a little bit. Ricky was let out as she didn’t soil herself. Well… I didn’t “let her out”, I had to actually drag her out. She was so scared. T_T
The cats started looking around the place and quickly found their hiding places for the next 24 hours: under the bed.
After a while, they come out every now and then and walk around. Tommy acclimated faster than Ricky, surprisingly. I would say that Tommy is 90% okay again. Ricky, maybe 60%.
On the day of arrival, yesterday, Tommy lied down on the floor and fell asleep. He was twitching. I think he fell asleep like a block and that’s what caused him to twitch a bit. Like, because of being fast asleep. It was an exciting day, after all.
And it’s still exciting. For all of us. We need some time to acclimatize. To a new temporary home. In a new country. New sounds. New smells.
Until next time!
Video: Flying to Romania with Cats