Day 21: And Home!

Pumped and ready to go?  Yeah, I’m pretty sure we weren’t, but, nevertheless, we were up and about at 6:15 am, checking out and catching a cab by 7:15, and arriving at the airport by 7:50.

Getting through security was only a minor headache: after an security agent unpacked our carefully packed souvenir bag, we had to repack everything.  Glad she didn’t confiscate our chocolates!!

Even so, we decided that it would be a good plan to go shopping and get some more chocolate.  You know, just in case of some of random bag check while boarding or in the waiting area.

And then we waited.  Our flight was boarding at 10:30, so we had a couple hours to wait afyer arriving at the gate. Wait, wait, wait…

To get to the plane, we had to hop a transfer bus from the terminal like we had during our last flight.  Fortunately, the plane was bigger, so we didn’t have to worry about a lack of space for our bags. Of course, we didn’t know that up front, so we queued up early (first crazy Americans in line) to get on the earliest bus.

On the plane we found ample space for the carry ons, as well as our packs, since we were in the emergency exit aisle.  On Lufthansa, you’re not allowed to put bags under the seats in front of you if you’re in those aisles.

Ready to leave Hamburg
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Once we were situated, the other buses arrived and our last passengers got on the plane, a mother and her four children, ranging in age from 5 to infant.

The flight was supposed to leave at 11:00, but we were late getting moving, partially because one of the aforementioned kids started crying, and as three of the kids had a row to themselves and the one crying was in that row, the mom got up during taxi to the runway, only to get a nice German reprimand.

So, the flight took off at 11:20 and landed at 11:59. Fast flight!

Landing in Frankfort
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Once we’d landed and stopped in the middle of the tarmac, we found we would, once again, have to take a bus from the plane to the terminal.

So, by the time we got to the terminal, it was 12:21 pm.  Our connecting flight was schedules to leave at 1:10 pm.  Seems like a reasonable amount of time to get between gates, right?  And I suppose it might be, if your gate were not a mile away with passport control and and a security check in between.

Thanks to our training of walking many miles daily over the past three weeks, the recommendation of a woman flying to San Fran to ask someone if we could cut in line and the kindness of a teen flying to Tampa to allow us to cut in front of him, we were able to make it to our gate, Z69, in 28 minutes, by 11:49.

 Made it to our gate!!!
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Sure, we were able to make it on time, but turned out the whole airport was running slow.  We got to the plane, but boarding had barely begun. We got onboard the plane, only to find out that, owing to many air traffic controllers being on holiday, we would be delayed by at least an hour. In the end, we took off an hour and forty minutes late at 2:48 pm.

 After running so far, flight was delayed!
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In the meantime, we had a blast hanging out in our seats, serenaded by a chorus of babies as they struck up their sorrow-filled tunes. Poor things.  By that time, I wanted to join in with them, believe me!!

The longer we were on the flight, the more it seemed like we were on a baby plane.  Seriously, I have never been on a flight with so many of them at once.  And my head started to feel like it was going to explode, as there was this constant crying and it wouldn’t stop.  I finally had to lock myself in the bathroom for a few minutes to escape!!

But, in the end, the babies calmed down, the lights went down, and we got some well-deserved relaxation, after an amazing trip!!

Our Plane Home
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What an amazing journey it has been!  Starting in Hungary and sailing our way across the continent!  Who would have thought it possible?

So, now, with that trip behind us: where to next?  We’re ready to go!