My two last trips haven’t really worked out quite as planned. You might have already read about my last weekend’s bus tragedy, and if not, you have now a great chance to do it. The previous trip before the bus episode was about two weeks ago when I was flying back to Germany during the worst storm of the decade after a long weekend in Finland.
Let’s try to make a long story short:
On Monday the 9th of June, 2014 my flight was due to land to Düsseldorf airport at 9.20 pm. After a very bumpy flight I couldn’t help noticing we had stayed circling above Düsseldorf for about 45 minutes without descending at all, so it was quite obvious something wasn’t right. The weather was stormy and turbulence felt quite strong, especially when flying through the storm clouds. I would describe it as ‘the worst roller coaster ride of my life’. Except that instead of a roller coaster, we were in an airplane, god knows how many kilometers up in the air!
During every bump I felt dizzy in my head and at the same time my stomach was somersaulting. Not to forget to mention all the lightning and the screams in the cabin (some of the passengers might have been a little bit more scared than I was). Anyway, those screams are always lifting up the atmosphere nicely when flying in a strong turbulence, don’t you think?
After circling in the sky for some time the captain announced that Düsseldorf airport was closed due to the storm. New destination: Brussels (this is when all the passengers in the cabin started cheering, obviously). After about half an hour flight we landed safely at Brussels airport. The captain announced that we need to wait a while before getting stairs and an airport bus to pick us up.
Oops, I guess I said long story short: So there we were, sitting on the plane at Brussels airport for about three hours (sometimes in a pitch dark plane as the mechanics were doing some tests due to a technical problem on the plane, and all the electricity had to be switched off every once in a while). We were never told what sort of technical problem we were dealing with. I only knew that the airport personnel was checking on the wings, and as I’ve seen nearly every episode of Air Crash Investigations, I felt myself quite an expert with any kind of issues. So I thought the problem might lie with the flaps. The aircraft personnel instead was whispering about a leak on the plane. Without having any idea what the truth was, the captain only announced that we’d find out soon if the problem can be fixed and perhaps we could still fly back to Düsseldorf.
Honestly speaking, this was the first time I started to feel some sort of panic. As mentioned earlier, as a big fan of Aircrash Investigations, the first thing on my mind was that if there really is a technical problem on the plane, I’d rather stay in Brussels. Thank you!
Finally they transferred us to the airport facilities and we were provided with a bus drive to Düsseldorf airport. Even if I live only two train stops from the airport, the trains weren’t running due to fallen trees on the train tracks. So I ended up getting a taxi and paying three times more compared to normal because of the exact same reason than with the trains; wherever the taxi driver tried to go, the road was blocked either by the police or fallen trees, and we had to turn around. I was back home at 5.30 am on Tuesday morning and had quite a sleepy working day that day.
To get back to the original topic and the title of this post, I received a customer refund from last weekend’s bus episode; a code for free return journey with the same bus company to any destination. So I booked my bus tickets today and we set a new date with Katarina in Konstanz for Friday. I wonder if I finally have some luck and the bus would actually arrive. Or can I really be that unlucky, that something goes wrong again. Keep your fingers crossed, my friends, for the good old saying to be true: third time lucky!
Travel sure broadens the mind!
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