As you may have noticed I have not put up a new blog in a couple of weeks, I received a little bit of bad news from the UK about an accident my mother had; she is OK but has two broken wrists to contend with now so I decided to make an overdue trip to visit!
It has been three and a half years since I have been to the UK and whilst excited to be catching up with some friends and family I was a little anxious about the journey as I knew that I would miss my wife terribly, however I packed my bag and left home at midday on the 9th of November at arrived at the airport just as planned! From there on in the journey went downhill, I would say rapidly but nothing happened rapidly over the next 6 days! I was sat at Budapest airport and the delays on the departure board just kept on racking up, with a connecting flight to the UK booked for that evening things were not looking good. Well my fears proved to be correct, we landed at Munich and I raced off the plane to find out that, whilst also delayed, my ongoing flight to Birmingham had left 10 minutes before.
As you can see from the image above, I was certainly not the only person left in the unenviable position of having to spend a night on a put me up in the departure lounge of Munich Airport. I should have landed at 22:40 UK time however I was still in a queue at the Lufthansa service desk at 1am Munich Time, eventually I got transferred to a flight the following morning and given 2 €10 vouchers for Mcdonalds, I have spent 3.5 years eating the freshest of produce and wonderful home cooked food and now my dinner for the evening and breakfast was to be the joys of MaccyD’s, joy of Joy. However I was starving so I joined the impossibly long queue and got myself a burger and some drink and returned to the airport hoping to grab me a bed that the fire brigade were delivering, what do you know I was too late for that too… So I spent the night not sleeping perched on a bench reading my Kindle trying not to think about how on earth I was going to plan my onward travel. I got to about 5am and returned to the “M” place for some breakfast before getting into the internet cafe that was due to be opened at 6am, despite my frustration and lack of sleep I even managed to do my civic duty and feed a homeless guy who was sheltering inside the square in front of the airport as it was bloody cold. He approached me for money or cigarettes, having neither I explained in broken German/English that I had a Mcdonalds voucher that I can not get any change from but he was welcome to spend what ever was left over from my breakfast (it turned out to be more than I actually spent), I certainly did not feel quite so generous in a couple of hours time!
I returned to the terminal went to the interweb cafe type thing as I do not have one of the uber-duber phones that take your blood pressure and access the internet, infact our telephone makes phone calls and sends SMS messages and in all reality is only used as an alarm clock to let us know what day we need to take our bins out! I managed to get on Facebook and update a few people on how things were going and essentially moan a lot, I also planned my onward travel based on my new departure time. I passed through customs again managed to get out the duty free shop only to discover that my transfer flight was also delayed due to fog… There was only one thing to do and that was have a beer, it was just after 7am however I had eaten and as far as I was concerned I had not slept and therefore it could not be morning and to early to drink!!! My plane was delayed by 3 half litres of beers and fortunately that enabled me to sleep quite well to my final flight destination of Birmingham. You may think that sounds like a terrible trip but it gets worst, I got to the coach station shwre my trip to the North East was booked only to discover that the next available coach was an hour off, “excellent” I thought, wrangled a bit with the management staff and managed to pursuade them not to charge me for a new ticket, sat down and all of a sudden… You guessed it delayed aghain, another 2 bloody hours. I finally arrived at my my hotel at 22:00 hours a full 35 hours after leaving my tranquil home.
It was great to see friends and family again and was really good to spend time with my Mom although I do wish it was under nicer circumstances and I even managed to take some half decent pictures when I was not at the hospital (which I am sure will appear here in the near future). However the journey was anything but fun, in fact I would go as far as saying it was the most horrendous journey I have ever had to make and to top off the 6 day trip back to the land of my birth I also experienced two delayed flights on my way home although I did manage to reduce the 35 hour journey to 21 hours and managed to split that with an evening chatting with good friends in a pub in Birmingham City Centre!
The good news is that I am back home now, the bad news is I have spent all of our money as someone seemed to have doubled the cost of everything since I was last in the UK over three years ago! So now I am putting my feet up with a glass of home brewed wine hoping for snow, because when the snow comes even if I tempted to go away again I cannot 😉