Berlin Day 5/Austria Day 1 - Tues 28th
Germanwings airline, you are the bane of my existence.
First of all, I always cut it a bit close when I leave for a flight, because, well, look who we're talking about (I'm always on time, everyone else is just so early!) And if there's one thing I hate more than being late, it's being early and having to sit around. Plus, judging from my initial flight experience on this trip, you tend to get rushed through like a VIP if you have a flight to catch. Winning.
My flight leaves at 16:05, so check-in cuts off at 15:35. I get from the subway to the bus that'll take me to the airport at 15:13...so I decide to take a taxi to the airport, as I don't have 10 minutes to spare. The taxi was a good sport and sped heavily to get me there in good time, although he dropped me off at terminal A. Germanwings flies out of Terminal D. Of course. How do i know this? Only because I went to A, B, and C first, carrying 80 lbs of my life on my back and going through 2 separate security checks before someone clued in that I wasn't on that flight...makes me feel very safe.
I arrive at the proper check-in desk at 15:36 (naturally), flushed, sweaty, and panicking that I was too late to make my flight. Budget airlines are not nice when you miss planes...I would be out about 180 Euros...and luckily the passenger in front of me was being such a douche. (seriously...he walks away from the desk, looks at his assigned seat, then cuts in front of me again and is like "why did you give me something so far back? I want to sit close to the front of the plane. -- "I didn't have anything closer by a window." -- "well you should've told me, then I'd have the option to choose...very unprofessional that you didn't tell me until my pass was already printed, I'd like the other seat, THANKS.") After that display, the attendant was enthralled by my Canadian charm (I'm sure this is what happened) and allowed me to check in, as well as not pay extra for my carry-on (which was well over the 8kg limit--told you, I'm gonna come back with gymnast's arms!)
When I went through Germanwing security, I had to take all of my makeup and "liquids" out of my bag...which the lady so garishly assisted me with. She insisted that all liquids need to be contained in ONE 1L plastic bag "next time"...and forced me to repack my entire handbag that I had so carefully stacked before leaving the house this morning.
I showed her the plastic freezer bag that is definitely 1L in Canada...and she was like "no, that's like 5L. unacceptable." SERIOUSLY LADY, I packed what I packed, where I packed it, for a reason. My blush will crack and my makeup kit, while having a plastic window, has fabric on the other 3 sides and will not be spill-proof, whereas my PLASTIC FREEZER BAG with a seal, will do just fine. Hence why I packed it that way. UGH.
Not to mention that I've flown with this packing configuration twice already, on different BUDGET airlines, so don't try to tell me that's why your rules are different. They just defy logic.
Whatever. I obviously had time at the gate to repack my entire bag in the middle of the airport, which I did with relish, in full view of the security checkpoint I just went through.
On the plane now, I fly Berlin > Koln, transfer planes, then Koln > Vienna. Fingers crossed my bag makes it the entire way, but with Germanwings I am fully expecting it not to, and if it does, BONUS!
Once I get to the hostel, I'm meeting Jamie and his friend John, and hopefully we will try Wiener-schnitzel tonight! I've been looking forwards to this for like a week. I JUST clued in that it literally means "schnitzel from Wien (German for Vienna)"...this is much like my discovery of last summer, that Clamato juice contains clams.
Other activities I have in mind for Vienna are a bike tour, seeing the Lippazaner horses training, the Opera, and maybe a day-trip to Salzburg. I wouldn't say no to an alpine hot tub either.
Live update: another thing to hate about Germanwings: you order a drink (just a coffee, nothing crazy) and they don't tell you it's not free until you already have it and then owe them 2.50! SHENANIGANS.
On a more pleasant note, check out Bon Iver's newest album. I downloaded it before I left Berlin and am very impressed; I loved his first album and it seems he's done it again. Very easy listening. Sort of like Damien Rice, Javier Dunn, that sort of thing.
Live update 2: One thing I will give Germany, is that their airport food is way better than Canada's. I found it annoying that there were no fast-food places anywhere except in the touristy areas (no coffee to go on the corner, no subway, nothing! They want you to sit!), but the flip-side is that they have fresh grilled foccacia sandwiches for 2.80 in the airport. Score.
Live update 3: Landed in Vienna. On the express train to the city...16 mins, 10 Euros. Funny though, I just walked out of the airport. No stamp, no customs, nothing. Are we sure Austria is a real country? Now I have no proof I was ever here...makes me a bit uneasy, but I wasn't about to ask questions. Luckily, my bag made it, and I managed to read a text from Jamie that said they were at the hostel already (before my phone locked me out because I'm not in Germany anymore and will have to buy a new SIM card if I want to use it).