Monday 7/13- Marrakech to Lisbon

This morning we got up early to beat the heat.  We didn't.  Airplanes don't like hot weather.  We took off at 7:15 and it was over 90 and very humid.  We flew at 6,000 feet and (aviation stuff) the density altitude was well over 9,000 feet.  The runways are long but that doesn't keep the engines cool.  We flew at lower power settings to try to beat the heat;  the trip to Lisbon took 3 1/2 hours. 

Starting off was as expected.  When Abdellah (our favorite cab driver) took us to the airport, there were the carts.  There were plenty inside but the 8 or 10 carts outside all had people attached to them.  A guy with a cart will come up to you and load up the baggage from the car.  Actually our guy was pretty helpful.  We told him (in French) that we were flying a private plane and he knew exactly where to take us.  First Passport Control, then Customs, then he took me to AIS (Airport Information Service).  There I paid the fees for landing, parking, etc. (about $150 bucks) in US dollars (no credit cards).  I gave the person who helped us 40 dirhams ($4) and thanked her.  The paperwork took about 40 minutes.  Then I went downstairs and walked to the plane.  The guy at the bottom of the steps thanked me for the 40 dirhams he knew I was about to give him.  At the plane the fun began.  About 5 people (individually) stopped to say goodbye (ready for a hand-shake).  Each got the customary 40 dirhams.  We then had to wait a bit while 3 planes from the Moroccan Airforce (1 in top pix) started up and taxied out.

We shook a few more hands and finally got clearance to start up the engines.  Then, permission to taxi followed with our clearance.  We took off in terrible heat and humidity, even at that hour of the morning.  The outside air temperature was 90 F at 6,000 feet.  We crossed the Mediterranean and got our first look at Portugal (2nd pix).  After about 45 minutes over land, we crossed the water bordering on the Atlantic with a first view of the cliffs just south of Lisbon (3rd pix).

Lisbon is a big city with a big airport.  We landed after our 3 1/2 hour flight (4th pix).  The service was good and prompt, as it usually is at big international airports.  You also have to drag your stuff further at these airports.  We left the plane in the "General Aviation Area", again using aluminum foil on all the windows to try and keep the inside heat down (5th pix).   Although this ain't Morocco, the temperature is still in the mid 80's. 

Now I'll catch up on the internet postings and answer any mail.  We were not able to gain access to the internet from Morocco yesterday so we put two pages up today.

Bill & Judy Schramm are leaving about 8:30 AM Wednesday morning to return to reality.  We'll either stay here until Thursday, or leave on Wednesday for France.  Tomorrow THE WORLD'S FAIR, which is called here-- EXPO '98.

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