Guttentag Germany!

May 19, 2012 at 11:08 pm 1 comment

What an interesting 48 hours! As previously blogged about, our original flight on Thursday evening from Vancouver to London was cancelled. We were then scheduled to “hopefully” be placed on the next available British Airways plane leaving around 12:15am Saturday morning Vancouver time. But our team was much more eager to get the show on the road, plus we didn’t want to risk seeing that flight cancelled as well. So after about 2 hours of fierce but polite negotiating between Air Canada and British Airways, we were able to secure a ticket transfer to ride stand-by on the 6:30pm from an Air Canada flight from Vancouver to London. It looked like our luck was beginning to turn around as we all got on that flight put us in London around noon their time, or 4am West Coast time Saturday morning. We were then scheduled to catch a connecting British Airways flight to Dusseldorf at 1:30pm London time but our luck quickly ran out again.

We missed our our connecting flight in London time by 3 minutes. That’s right, 3 minutes! The British Airways clerk said we were too late and the gate was closed so we would have to reschedule even though the plane wasn’t even leaving for another 35 minutes. Even more frustrating was that our cross-Atlantic flight was forced to circle around Heathrow Airport for about 20 minutes due to congestion. So if we were allowed to land on time then we would not have missed our connecting flight to Germany. Oh well. We ended up waiting at Heathrow for about 3.5 hours, spent mostly trying to stay awake. We were able to take the 5pm from London to Dusseldorf and arrived around 7:30pm Saturday evening German time which is 9 hours ahead of west coast time.

Upon arrival we were greeted by a very welcoming German Rotarian named Hermann. He helped us with our bags and off we went on the roughly 90 minute car ride to Munster. Germany is beautiful! It looks a lot like home but without the mountains. We drove past several wind turbines along the way, as well as an E.ON. Office. E.ON is the world’s largest investor owned utility and I will have a chance to meet with some of their staff later during our stay. So it looks like I am in the right place! Did I mention this place is beautiful!!!

I was checked into the Stadthotel Munster for the night, and another Rotarian named Gregor took Laura, Andrea and I out for a nice dinner down the street. Authentic Italian pizza and it was delicious. We finished off the night watching the end of the Bayern Munich vs. Chelsea Champions League final. For Germans, this is like their Super Bowl. It was pretty neat to watch how into their sports the Germans get. I know the feeling! It would have been even better if Munich won. They lost in a shootout. Ouch! Seeing your favorite sports teams lose a big game is a feeling I know all too well, so I sympathize for my German brethren.

Finally got some sleep just after midnight German time. Now we are about to regroup for our first official day here, and I can’t wait.

Pictures of our travel experience and first night in Germany to come soon. Stay tuned.





Entry filed under: Team Blog.

Surfing the net…not soaring among the clouds Sunday: A great day to be in Munster

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Patti Ertel  |  May 20, 2012 at 10:44 am

    Sounds like a really long trip with some frustration, but hopefully that is all out of the way. looking forward to more blogs. Have a great day and hopefully no more surprises while you are there.
    Have fun


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