I flew with Lufthansa for the first time and was quite pleased with the service and accommodations. The plane was an Airbus A330 - a pretty large plane. The flight attendants were all smiles, kindness, and, thankfully, spoke both Deutsch and English.
The flight was direct (I didn't want to spend my precious time away from work on lay-overs) and scheduled to be 10 hours long but we had a tail wind and landed almost an hour ahead of schedule. I reserved a window seat with only one seat adjacent to it before an aisle.
All beverages and several, alcoholic or not, were offered free of charge. I tried some German red and white wines. Water was frequently passed out, too, which I really appreciated.
Two meals were served. The dinner option I chose was a curried lamb and rice (sorry, forgot to remove the foil lid in the photo), and the breakfast was egg frittata with veggies. You can also see in the picture my notebooks: one is my day-to-day-keep-my-life-in-order notebook, and the other is my Germany travel journal which will morph into a sort of memento from the trip, stuffed with journal entries, tickets, and other tidbits.
I had hoped to sleep 6-8 hours, but ended up being wide awake - just my luck - for all but a few hours. For those few hours I got pretty terrible sleep as the seat in front of me was fully reclined, leaving me unable to rest by folding forward, which is my preferred method on a plane. And by preferred I mean basically the only way I can manage to sleep on a plane, so I've learned.
The leg room was typical for a plane, but given the length of the trip, my knee began to bother me. Nothing painful, but very achy and restless. Needless to say, I started to worry about the marathon. I did some stretching in the aisle but wasn't sure how much it would help. I just tried to not think about the up-coming race.
I had good fortune in the game of "am I going to get a cool seat buddy or not" roulette. My seat buddy's name is Michael; he is German, speaks English (thank goodness), and lives in Freising, which is just north of Munich in Bavaria. (The oldest brewery in the world, Weihenstephan, is in that town. Unfortunately my itinerary doesn't allow for a visit. Also, I'm not much into beer, so I wasn't too bothered.) Anyway, Michael was in Dallas for work. It turns out that we are employed by companies in related industries - small world (kind of). We enjoyed chatting and got to know one another. We talked some, did our own thing some. It was a perfect blend of interaction. And he didn't mind my practicing basic German travel phrases with him. I'm sure I sounded like a 5-year-old, but he was good-natured about it. He's a friendly fellow I'm glad to have met.
|A Small Town Outside of the Frankfurt|
|Lots of Farm Land|
When we landed there was something going on such that we had to disembark via ladder and take a bus into the airport terminal. I managed to leave my neck rest pillow thing on the plane. I swear I fastened it to my backpack. It must have unsnapped while I was exiting. Ah, well. It was still $20 well spent for all the use I got from it over the years.
Once to the terminal I said goodbye to Michael (he had another flight to catch to Munich), and then I managed my way to the baggage claim. It was a bit of a hike - the Frankfurt Airport is huge. Once there I gathered my bag, and reached out to Judith who would be meeting me. (She's a German friend who lives in Frankfurt; we met during our Study Abroad stays in Australia.)
|"Welcome" in German|
Judith wasn't expecting the flight to land so early and was in transit when I got through Customs (which was super easy and my first time using my renewed US Passport - yay!). I had some time to kill so I used the ATM to get Euros (my first time using/having Euros), and bought some bottled water since I couldn't find a water fountain.
Judith spied me and we had a nice little reunion full of smiles and hugs. Before we made our way to a cafe to wait for our other friend, Inge, she told me about the bottle recycling program where I could return bottles to merchants for a refund. The bottle pictured below fetched me E0.25! I know of some similar programs in the US, but it's usually only available in certain states and doesn't refund nearly as much. It may be silly, but I was happy for this new experience. Yay for being green!
Judith and I enjoyed catching up with one another over hot beverages while we waited for Inge's flight to arrive. True to form, Inge cried a tiny bit during our reunion. I love her bold emotions. It was so wonderful to see these two lovely ladies! We had much to catch up on and just a few days to do it!
I left DFW at 4 PM on Thursday, 21 September 2017, flew for 9 hours, and landed at FRA at 9 AM on Friday, 22 September 2017. With having worked a half day before flying out and only getting 3 hours of less-than-quality sleep, I knew the day ahead would be long. But I would be visiting with two of my favorite people in the world and seeing a new country and continent for the first time. Onward to Frankfurt!