Monday, July 27, 2009
Day Zero - Travel News
News so far,.....
The trip started off. Well it didn't actually, as our flight was delayed for 12 hours. I was on my way to the airport, about 10 minutes out when the dreaded phonecall came informing me that we would be flyign out at 09h00 the next morning. I turned around & went home for another night with the family. Dion stayed at home, & the Goodrum's booked into a hotel near the airport with all their luggage.
The after hours contact number I was provided the night before was unanswered. However, upon arrival, the departure sign notioned that the flight had been delayed for 24 hours! What! I had to get up at 04h00 to travel all the way to OR Tambo for yet another delay! Waiting until the ticket office opened, we were informed that the flight would indeed be taking off at 09h00. Twits!
We were naturally overweight - but our new chum at the airport, Kingsely, decided that we had been stuffed around enough already & waived the costs! Yes, Karma. Our carefully packed bags & boxes were then lugged off to destinations unknown, undoubtably falling under the intense scrutiny of many eyes. I suspect though that at those wee hours of the morning, the prying hands had better things to do & thankfully our bags were untouched.
Another amazing karmic experience was that the majority of passengers the night before had booked onto alternate flights, so the flight SAA made up for us was empty - about 150 passengers on the Airbus A300'sh (a white one for those more interested in the technical details, Simon). So, once we started into the climb, everybody climbed out of their seats & spread out across the aircraft with 4 seats being used as sleepers etc.
The flight was uneventful after that, the service on SAA was excellent, food good & the leg room, even in economy was a good 20-30 cms more than the Emirates sardine can. The fact that we were able to fly direct to Munich was also a godsend, not having to wait for the connecting flight in some pit of hadesso made the flight infinitely more pleasurable.
The best past was arriving in Munich (hell, the police & customs are friendly) we collected our unopened baggage, nothing to declare (except Denny (Dion) that was stopped at customs - he claims it was due to his Tx case, but we all know the real reason was his somewhat guilty look), out into arrivals & Wolfgangs friendly smile. Of course a quick round of Starbucks was called essential (such a clever marketing ploy - they have their shop next to the exit with the smell of fresh coffee wafting across). The packing of the bus was somewat challenging, but we were soon all squeezed in, radio tuned to "Bayern 3", because Wolfie claims it gives the best traffic reports, & we were soon whizzing down a virtually trafficless highway. The crossing from Germany to Austria was marred only by a frantic scramble for passports - which was not necessary as their was no border control anymore & Wolfie giggled for virtually the rest of the trip to our wooden ski-hut style accommodation in the quaint farming hamlet of Hallwang (approx 5 km's from Salzburg). Everything was unpacked (with a dash of speed), and we shot off to the Hallwang festival for a round of beers & supper.
What a brilliant day.