Visiting Germany

I put a post up about my flight to Celle, and had intended to put up some updates throughout the trip, but work consumed a lot of my time and I didn’t quite have time to get them done while I was there.  In addition, there wasn’t enough interesting things happening on each day to post.   

Celle Day 1

Forgot my razor.  Got a very good shave from a hotel razor.  Forgot to exchange currency, hotel can’t.  Slept pretty well considering a total lack of preparation.Celle Photo

Work went well today, met some new folks and attended a meeting completely conducted in German.  That part was hard.  I got the meaning of most things, but had to circle back after the meeting on a few.

When I got back to the hotel after work, I went for a 2 mile run and got to see the castle here in Celle.  It was a good run, but there are so many pedestrians here that the sidewalks are hard to navigate with others walking.  Also, it is hard to find a atm.  I found out that most are housed in doors here, not a lot of drive thru traffic I guess.

Heading to get a sandwich for dinner then back to get some work email cleaned up.

Celle Day 2

Not a lot to report on day 2.  Spent a little time walking around the city center.  Work went well, full day of meetings.  Took a tour of our facility and realized just how big it is.  Likely about the same size as my home office, but much more spread out.  This is where the majority of my exercise came from today.

Celle Day 3

Morning meetings, afternoon catching up on normal work stuff.

After work, I decided to take another quick run.  I was given a guide map from a co-worker in Celle that recommended a route that would take me around the castle again. I decided to make a second lap around the castle to get a good look.  Not as impressive as I would have hoped.  After that, I ran through the city centre again, looking for our restaurant for the night.  After I found it, I ran back to the hotel.A Run In Celle

Found my boss and went for dinner.  It was quite a nice dinner, followed by packing so that we could leave in the morning without a lot of hassle

Celle Day 4

Not quite as eventful a day since we were basically right off to the airport to catch our Hanover to Frankfurt flight.  While the flight boarded and left late, we arrived on time.

Frankfurt to Houston flight boards and leaves on time.  I have spent the first hours of the flight watching Captain Phillips and Gravity.  Decided to take a quick break to write the update for Day 3 and partial of day 4.

A few hours later now.  Having watched all of Gravity (eh) and Iron Man 3, I am moving on to yet another movie, Percy Jackson Something or Other.  I had an awesome seat at the bulkhead.

photoI am home now.  Emily and I went out to the CB&I Tri to support a friend this weekend.  Em will be posting about that in the next day or so.

A Flight that Almost Wasn’t

As I said in my last post, I am in Germany for work.  There was a time when I travelled for work a lot more and I got used to travel.  I had status with an airline and could use the clubs when I was waiting for flights.  When things didn’t go right, the airline would find ways to make it up to me.  I almost always was upgraded to business class, except for a few times when it was completely booked.  It was a good time.

Now, however, I travel quite infrequently.  I don’t have status, and I am not used to travel.  So, Saturday, after our ride and run, I got ready to head to the airport.  Emily dropped me off around 3:30.  For a bit I sat and entertained myself, reading the news, playing games, and just generally goofing around.  Boarded the flight at 5 and got comfortable.  The flight was to take off at 6, but that didn’t happen.

Issue #1

We were first delayed due to a maintenance issue with one of the bathrooms.  I guess I was happy that they wanted to fix this and not make us suffer without.  The problem was that it wasn’t recognized until it was flight time, so the doors were closed and we were ready to push back.  Around 6:30, the captain announced that the problem was corrected and we would be getting on our way.

Issue #2

Since this is a flight “over water” (quoted from the captain), there is some sort of check that has to be done once the doors are closed.  Since our flight opened and then re-closed the doors, we had to have the check done a second time.  We were first told to expect a 10 minute delay.  This soon turned to 20 minutes, then finally the check was completed at 30 minutes.  We were going to push back an hour late.  Not a big deal as far as delays go.

Issue #3

We pushed back from the gate at 7.  Once out, we sat for about a half hour, not moving just a few hundred yards from the gate.  No announcements were made.  At 7:30, the captain made an announcement that one of the engines was not starting and that we were going to head back to the gate and the there was a possibility of another plane taking the place of the one we were on.  By the time we arrived back at the gate we were told that there was another plane and that if we had connections that would be missed due to late departure, we should talk to a gate agent.  I waited in line until about 9 to get this done, but wasn’t far enough in the line to get it done before needing to run to the next gate to make our new plane.

As far as issues go, I am happy that they found the problems while we were on the ground and not in the air.  Better safe travel than expedited.

Once on the new plane all seemed to go well.  We pushed back at around 10pm, just 4 hours late.  In the air, I watched a movie and dinner was served.  The options were so very appealing, it was hard to choose.  In the end, I decided on Chef Boyardee pasta.  It was not good.  I did eat it since I hadn’t had anything to eat since before noon, and based on the options (the others being spicy indian food and chicken with cream sauce) I made the right decision.

I haven’t mentioned yet, but I don’t sleep well on planes.  It’s uncomfortable and I typically just nod off and wake up in seconds.  I like that United had personal screens on this flight and I could choose from a bunch of different options.  That was until . . .

Issue #4

My screen stopped responding.  I could not choose a movie and it would not play anything.  Several resets later and I still couldn’t do anything.  So, not much to do but sit and wait to land.

Over the next couple of days I will send some updates from Germany.  I have a few runs planned.

 

UPDATE – 

After our first flight was delayed so long, we made it to Frankfurt with -2 hours to make our original flight and about 30 minutes to catch another.  We moved directly to that flight, but were turned away to get Lufthansa boarding passes.  This proved to be a bit challenging.  Apparently our tickets were goofed due to the disruption to our earlier flight.  While waiting for the tickets to reprocess, we missed that flight.  Soon after we were put on a flight, and now we had a finish line in sight.  40 minutes later, we landed in Hanover.