Friday, January 19, 2007

Our Own Apollo 13

If you could get a prize for picking the wrong numbers for the lottery then I could have made a career of it.

Of all the nights I have to pick over the last weeks and next months to book a flight to London, I had to choose the one on which the hurricane, known as Kyrill here in deepest Bavaria, came to town.

We were booked on an EasyJet flight to Stansted, due to leave at 21.45, which was about the time when the storm was predicted to reach its peak... but the news from the airport was positive; only a few flights had been cancelled and most were leaving on time.

However, getting to the bleedin' airport was proving to be a problem! A recorded announcement on the local train advised passengers for the airport to change at a particular station, so we dutifully all got off the train which then whisked away into the darkness. Right after that the displays on the platform announced that all further trains had now been cancelled! The stations here operate on a very automatic basis so there was no-one about to get information from or scream at... so now what?

A mad dash for taxis of course! In the end we managed to share one with two Hungarians who were flying back to Budapest.

Got to the airport, checked in, passed through passport control and the steely, slit-eyed gaze of the border police and assembled at gate C5. Boarding was scheduled for 21.15. At 21.14 and a half an announcement was made:
"This is an announcement for EasyJet passengers to London. Your flight has been cancelled so what the hell are you all doing waiting around here, suckers?" (Or words to that effect)

So we trudged off back through passport control, again subjected to the steely, slit-eyed gaze of the border police, got our luggage back and went off to stand in an enormously long queue in front of the EasyJet counter to find out what to do next.

It transpired - after an hour of mind-crushingly boring waiting - that all the flights for today, Friday, and tomorrow were full but we could go on stand-by and maybe get lucky(!!).

The alternative was to rebook the flights completely at some other time (free of extra charge). As we were only going for a long weekend anyway it seemed a better alternative than spending even more time at Munich bloody Airport with the slender hope of a flight.

So, let's get home... ah, the local trains aren't running! But there is the Lufthansa bus to Munich centre which has suddenly become twice as expensive as usual. Ok, on we get... the driver couldn't leave straight away because a truck had got itself wedged in front of us.. ho hum... lots of shouting and engine-revving, gears clashing... then off we go... by now I was SO looking forward to a beer but I still had to undergo the last indignity of the night when I tripped down the stairs of the bus after we had arrived in the centre, stumbled, bounced and fell out onto the hard wet pavement... yoo hoo.

So we had set off for our aim, had some mishaps on the way, turned round and despite a few more mishaps got back home safely... now, was it just a coincidence that Apollo 13 was on TV last night?

1 comment:

Anji said...

Sometimes it's better to stay at home...

We think that a prize should be awarded for guessing which numbers DON'T come out on the Lottery.