It’s time to go from one extreme to the other. A few weeks ago I was skiing for the second time, in the French Alps - Val Thorens resort. For the past month or so I have been getting ready for the trip of a lifetime. As I write this post, I’m sitting at a gate in the Gates C area of Dusseldorf airport ready to jet off. Already, I’ve had a bit of an adventure in getting to here and I’m not even 2 days into my trip! :)
Read on to find some useful tips you might need when your planning your own trip.
About two months ago I took the leap and booked my flight for a trip I’ve always wanted to do. I naturally went straight to skyscanner.com to find the best/cheapest ways possible. So I settled on a 3-flight journey to get me to the first leg of my trip, which wasn’t the cheapest route but was definitely one of them. (See the costs involved at the end of this post)
Dublin Onwards - Bus & Flight 1
I took a JJKavanagh Airport one way bus to Dublin, leaving at 2:35am and arriving at 4am. I got to security. Being a little tired in Dublin Airport, I left my laptop at the security gate, as they routinely took it out into a separate tray. So I ended packing up my bag and stuff then left, only to discover at my gate that the laptop was gone! Oops. Thankfully I had an hour or so to play with so dashed back and got it from the Security “Lost” office. I flew with Aer Lingus to Munich departing Dublin at 6:50am and landed just over 2 hours later (10:15am Germany is 1 hour ahead of Irish time. GMT+1). Some pics below of the boys in green on the side of an Aer Lingus - Ireland plays England this weekend. I wonder were they onboard that plane…
Munich Onwards - Flight 2
I got to Munich on time, smooth landing. With a couple of hours to kill before my next stop I checked in my baggage for the next flight and went for a wander. Outside Terminal 2, Audi was showing off its new E-tron 55 Quattro and taking people for test drives. I must say it is some machine! Very futuristic. With a silent ride, an unreal interior and cockpit and little screens where the mirrors of previous decades used to be, an electric vision of the future flashed before me. Audi wasn’t the only car manufacturer showboating their new wheels. Jaguar also brought the EV400 to the E-table, with a mad orange colour.
As a big lover of cars and of BMW, I was delighted to see the re-introduction of the 8 series. As you can see below, an absolutely stunning looking piece of German engineering….and art. I threw in a pic of the Europcar Merc to complete the German Trio (If you’re not into cars, Audi, BMW & Mercedes are all German).
I was to fly with Eurowings both to Dusseldorf and then to my final destination. Which meant that my baggage was checked in once in Munich and then not collected until the end of my 3rd flight ;)
Dusseldorf onwards - Flight 3
Upon arriving in Dusseldorf I checked the Departures screen to make sure I was still on track as planned, only to discover that my final flight was delayed/cancelled until 1:25pm the following day (Fri 1st, causing me to arrive on Sat 2nd due to the length of the flight…). With that in mind, I wasn’t sure what the story with my checked baggage should be. So I contacted the info desk near the baggage reclaim and they offloaded all of the baggage after maybe 40 minutes.
I then made my way to the Eurowings Info desk to see what would happen next. The desk was naturally inundated with people doing the same journey. So they told me that I could check in that night to offload my baggage and that I could stay in the Maritim Hotel, five minutes walk away. that’ll do! The stay was covered by the airline and included a buffet evening meal and buffet breakfast. So I went to the baggage “Late Check-in” area and waited maybe 20 minutes to check in my big bag. But first, I had to take some things out for the hotel stay. Two German-friendly plug adapters. I checked in and went for some grub downstairs (food service stops around 7.30pm). Continental style. I got some of everything as was starving. Lamb and some other cold meats, bread n’ butter, some salad and something that resembled baby potatoes…I think that’s what they were anyway. Some desserts topped it off and I was happy.
The hotel was nice as was the room. Safety deposit box, nice bathroom, smart TV etc
Mini-fridge was stocked with some water, beers, some soft drinks, and some chocolate. I was dying with the thirst so opened one of the water bottles. Sparkling! Noooo. I had a bottle of the pilsner too. It had been a long day. Hopped in the shower, set my wake-up call for 8:15 am and headed off to sleep about 11.
I had a great sleep and woke up just before the scheduled American robot was to call me, stuck on some clothes and headed for breakfast. I had a good breakfast and a few coffees to get me going, and an apple and banana for the wait later. The bacon and sausages just aren't the same as Ireland. I was done by 9am.
I grabbed my towel and headed down to the “Wellness Pool” to kill some time by going for a sauna European style. Unfortunately, the sauna was out of action and I didn’t plan on any swimming between my flight so had no swimwear with me. Raging.
I went back to my room and packed and checked out about 10 am. I ended up throwing out a nice wooly pair of socks I was wearing, simply because they were a little sweaty and would have taken up too much space in my carry-on. Plus, I probably wouldn’t need big thick socks where I was going. :P
Everything ran smoothly and I made my way to gate C46 to await my final flight of the journey. Stay tuned to find out where I was off to.
- Security gate: Remember what you take out of your bag at the security gate! There’s a “lost” section, so there must be more like me…
- Pack lightly! (I’ll have another blog post dedicated to packing for a long trip later).
- Flight Delays/Cancellations: Be prepared for an overnight delay/cancellation - pack accordingly, and if necessary grab some essentials from your checked bag when you know you’re doing an overnighter.
- Mini-fridge charges: What you use from the mini fridge, you pay for upon checking out. For example, a bottle of water and a small bottle of Fanta cost me €7.40!
- Be willing to shed unnecessary luggage, like thick socks…
- Keep an eye on your flight infomration on the Flight Info Screens