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Rolling with travel challenges

Sometimes travel doesn’t go as planned. This morning, I had to get from Heidelberg to Frankfurt for a 10am flight. I knew I would have to leave the hotel at about 6am to take a taxi to the Heidelberg train station, then another train from Manheim to Frankfurt. If it all worked out, I would have plenty of time to get from where the train station is to the terminal for my flight, which is probably 1km of walking through the terminals, or a bus ride.

The night before, I asked about getting a taxi at 6am. The hotel and restaurant staff both said I can just walk around the corner to the taxi stand. They assured me that there will certainly be taxis there at 6am and it was the best option.

There were no taxis at 6am, so I started walking towards the Heidelberg train station (36 minute walk) hoping to catch a taxi at the next taxi stand.

No taxis at that spot either. Did I mention that the cute town of Heidelberg is very quiet at 6am?

I continued walking. At about half way there, I saw a 3rd taxi stand and there was a taxi! I got in and decided to skip the Heidelberg-Mannheim route and just had him bring me to the Mannheim train station. I asked about going all the way to Frankfurt, but he said he cannot, because he was only supposed to work the greater Stuttgart area. But at least he got me to the Mannheim station with enough time to get a cheese-covered pretzel for breakfast. Of course, like many German taxi drivers, he “wasn’t able to take a credit card” so I had to dig out cash. The taxi was a brand new Mercedes; I’m sure he was able to take a credit card.

I got to the Frankfurt airport, walked my 1 kilometer to my terminal, got through the German version of TSA security, and found my gate.

Lorie had requested some marzipan, but this little terminal only had a limited duty free shop, so there wasn’t much to choose from.

Time to board, but KLM had given my seat away, and bumped me to business class. Although on a small Emberair airplane, there is zero difference than a regular seat, but they’d probably give me champagne. I had work to do and it was only 10am, so my upgrade meant nothing.

While waiting to board, they announced the plane would be delayed by about an hour. I got in line with others to find out more and heard the KLM people say “maybe an hour delay, but the weather is really bad”. So while standing in line, I searched for train options and found one leaving in 90 minutes that would get me home about 4 hours later than planned. However, when buying the train ticket it said I would most likely have to stand … for the entire 3 hours and 45 minute train ride. 1st class was only 80 Euro more.

Now I had to walk my 1 kilometer back to where the train departs, but I knew my way pretty well by now. Along the way, I realized I had the option to find better marzipan for Lorie, so at least she gets to benefit from my travel challenges.

Now as I sit in my quiet (no talking) comfortable 1st class room with 3 others, enjoying the spotty-but-free Wi-Fi, I can watch the German country side go by. I still have work to do, but I wonder if they will serve me champagne?

  1. Dad
    March 23, 2019 at 11:44 pm

    Good Story……….I don’t like Schnapps either. Now know where Heidelberg and Frankfurt are located. Traveling in Europe is no different than USA, Always something that goes astray. Nice looking train station.

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