Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Vacation Coda: Stranded in Frankfurt

Well, this isn't how I expected my vacation to end. I'm stranded in a Holiday Inn Express outside Frankfurt, Germany. Hopefull, Lufthansa willing, I will be home tonight about 22 hours late.

I dont think I've ever had any problems on the "outbound" side of my vacations, but this is the second year in a row I've had a "missed connection" induced delay to my return. Last year, it was because of the volcano in Iceland whose name looked like someone's cat walked across their keyboard. This year, it was labor problems at Lufthansa. The rumor was that it was a "work to rule" slowdown -- a form of labor action where the employees rigidly and extremely follow the letter of the rules, crippling the business. As a result, my plane was an hour late in leaving Budapest. Coincidentally, that was the length of my scheduled layover in Frankfurt after one of the flight legs got shifted after I bought my ticket. But the plane had to circle somewhere in Germany for quite awhile and it was nearly two hours late in getting to the gate ni Frankfurt. The flight to Vancouver (with the connection from YVR to LAS) was long gone. I had to wait in a four-hour long line to get rebooked on a flight today, with a plane change in Denver.

At least Lufthansa put us up in a hotel, albeit a Holiday Inn Express somewhere near the airport well outside Frankfurt. They gave us meal vouchers worth 20 euro, which paid for a nice dinner at an Italian restaurant near the hotel, the Ristorante Tommasini. I had both a tall beer and a digestif, a Vecchio Amoro del Capo which was awesomely good. And the dinner was surprisingly good, as I had no expectations for German-Italian food, which I guess would be the Holy Roman Empire.

The hotel was OK.

I loved the shower. Nice water pressure, and you could specifically set the water temperature, instead of guessing somewhere along a dial. Those Germans. They're all about the cleanliness.

Hopefully I will get out of Frankfurt today. Off to the airport to find out.

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