Wednesday, 12 February 2020

Hampton by Hilton (Munich, Germany)

Was an easy morning. Got up on time, ate breakfast, packed, checked out, and called Uber. Was in very good shape to make my flight to Larnaca. Had a bit of entertainment while waiting for the Uber driver. A taxi pulled into the turnabout driveway of the hotel and sat there. Other drivers (non Taxi) who were picking up passengers from the hotel asked to get around his car and he refused, not very politely, to move. I guess there is a conflict between the taxi drivers and limo and Uber drivers.

My Uber driver showed up just as the taxi left the hotel driveway. I found out that the driver was originally from Romania. We had a good chat on the way to the airport, which was a little over 30 minutes away. Along the way he asked me a question no one, as I recall has ever asked: Where would I rather live, in the U.S. or in Europe? It didn’t take me long to answer. My answer was Europe for three reasons: 1) Cost of Healthcare 2) Guns are rarely in the possession of the public 3) Availability and cost of public transportation. I went on to say that the U.S. is my home, where family and friends live, and is where I need to be. I can always visit Europe again.

When I walked into the terminal building I remembered what I had difficulties with when I was here before. Poor signage. 90% of the time I can walk in to airport terminals, look at the departure board and it tells me where to check in. I now remembered that you have to know which floor of the terminal to check in. If I’m correct, Munich is the only airport where the check in stations are on two different floors of the terminal.

At least the line at my airline check in station was short and I was finished there within a few minutes. I walked to through security and was at the gate within 15 minutes. Had plenty of time before boarding began. While waiting I noticed a mother trying to get her toddler daughter to stop crying. From the sounds of the child’s crying it sounded like the child wasn’t getting her way. Sounded like a fake cry. My mistake was paying attention to the child’s outburst. Was it any surprise that in the very large aircraft we shared that the child and mother would be sitting behind me? If was a very long flight to Athens. The child was fussing and crying the whole way. Thankfully this doesn’t happen too often.

Also, I sat next to a guy and while talking for awhile he eventually said that he was a private pilot and knew we would land late in Athens because of our late departure time (45 minutes late). Me, being the optimist, said that we will probably make up for the lost time and land not too much later. We didn’t talk after that. The plane did, in fact, land on time and my pilot friend gave me a thumbs up as the plane touched down.

In Athens I had to go through security again and also through Passport Control. At Passport Control they noted that my passport was a replacement for the one stolen. Then the agent asked to see proof when I entered Europe. I said that was recorded in my stolen passport but was able to show him on my phone via my Hilton application that I was in London one day at a Hilton and later that same day at another Hilton in Zurich. That seemed to be okay with him and I was on my way. The flight to Larnaca was uneventful and no crying from any of the passengers.

Took a taxi from the Larnaca airport to the flat where I stayed last November. I picked up the keys from my host’s mother who works in his father’s medical practice as receptionist and bookkeeper. He is a pathologist and his sister is a dentist who has her practice next door. Both offices are in the same building as the flat. We talked for a little while then I went up to the flat.

I was very hungry by this time. I didn’t eat on either flight and haven’t been eating on flights for the last several months. I’ve been taking along fruit to eat while flying. Just the thought now of eating the food on the plane makes me a little sick to my stomach.

After rolling my suitcase into the flat, found the envelop that contained my replacement credit and debit cards, then immediately left and walked to the nearby Pizza Hut. Some might say that Pizza Hut is better than airline food, but I beg to differ. After I had the takeaway pizza in hand I walked back to the flat but stopped off at a grocery along the way to buy beer to have with the pizza and milk for my coffee in the morning.

Just as I finished the last slice of pizza my doorbell rang and it was my host who had just come home from work. We chatted for a few minutes and said we would meet up again while I’m here. He works somewhere locally as an engineer.

I was in bed early and had a great night of sleep. Tomorrow I’ll get settled, get a haircut, grocery shopping, and do my wash. And probably take a few naps. I’m looking forward to resting while here in Larnaca.

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