My First Time Flying To Germany

It was September 1977 and my sister from Germany asked, ” that we take our next vacation in Germany”. We thought it over and agreed to go if we could get our passports with in the next thirty days as that is when our vacation would begin. Surprise, surprise our passports came with in two weeks. We then were able to get first class seating on Lufthansa it would be an 8 pm flight out of Miami International Airport to Frankfort, Germany with a connecting flight to Hamburg. We would arrive at 11:30 am there time. faxing copies of our antennary to her sister in Flensburg, Germany to confirm the time they would meet us at the Hamburg Terminal.
The days flew by and before I new it we were on our way to the airport. It began to peek when the limousine arrived to pick us up. Upon entering the airport which is enormous but sky caps were so helpful guided us to the right counter. With tickets and boarding passes in hand we entered the waiting area.
It was here that a new level of excitement arose as they announced we are now boarding first class passengers for Lufthansa flight to Germany. I actually began to get a headache as I imagined what if something went wrong while in Germany and they kept my wife as she was still a German citizen and what would they do to me being American. Second fear was what if we got hijacked. I tried everything to settle my mind. Finally in the plane and as we climbed up to about thirty thousand feet the plane leveled off. In no time down the isle came the stewardess confirming what we had chosen to eat. In no time two stewardesses returned with a warm hot meal. With my belly full I was able to relax so much I fell a sleep.
I was suddenly awake as my wife nudged me saying set up here comes the warm wake up towels. The stewardess was passing out these warm scented towels to help you wake up for Breakfast. Too me it felt like we had just finished eating supper. Time was also flying by and as the breakfast trays were picked up the captain announced we were on approach to Frankfurt Airport. What a sight from the air as I looked out my window I felt like I was going into a story book tale. There were small thatched roof houses and then there was homes with large red tiles. scattered about were small villages and the Frankfort. In no time we taxied up to the terminal and were on our way to collect our bags to get aboard a smaller prop-jet plane to Hamburg. The flight from Miami to Frankfort had no turbulences, but the flight from Frankfort to Hamburg was such that the plane rattled and bounced up and down. One of the passengers be hind me was laughing and spoke in German to his friend, my wife interped it to me,” he told his friend that this route has always had the worst turbulences’ od any flight path”.
Holding on and frequently checking my seat belt I viewed out the window which continued with farms and small villages with thatched roofs. Many of the fields facing the roads were lined with trees. My wife pointed out that when she was a young girl during the war that when she was walking to or from school and the air raid sirens sounded she had been told to go lay down flat in between the trees or bushes so the planes wouldn’t spot her and fire.
Finally A big city was in sight and the captain announced would be landing. Once on the ground we taxied up to the terminal. One of my fears of being hijacked did not happen. Entering the terminal up ahead we could see many people shouting and waving. then my wife in a teary voice there is my sister and her husband. Then the only word I understood was welcome and the rest was in German spoken at to me was 100 miles a minute. Collected our bags and making our way out of the terminal to their car. What lined up in front of the terminal was a whole line of yellow Mercedes Benz cabs to pick up fairs.
Leaving the park plaza and slowly merging into the very fast thick traffic we were on our way to Flensburg were they lived. What so unique was the different makes and model years of cars. For a moment it looked like being in New York city at rush hour. Taking over an hour of driving through some of the small villages I had viewed from the air and then merging onto the highway that went into Flensburg. The biggest surprise was the cobble stone streets and that Flensburg sits close to the water. Lined up were all types of boats and ships. Next we took this road that went up this very steep hill lined with stonewalls and old red brick buildings. I asked my wife how do they get downtown from here. She replied, “they walk up and down the stone steps following the path.” We were at there apartment not far from the to of the hill.
Everyday we did shot day trips down the hill to see one hundred years old churches, viewing the beautiful buildings and in the center of town was this large fountain and next to it was and outdoor patio restaurant which we had to stop and have some hot coffee and the most delightful piece of pastry. On other days we traveled to see some castles then to see my wife’s other sister in Duisburg which is near Dusseldorf. Once there we walked along the Rhine river and visited some of there 100 year old churches.
For me the restaurants with there ambiance each so different food was ever so delicious and with very healthy servings along with good German beer to help it slide down better. Desert was always saved for the next stop where of course I had to have the biggest slice of black forest cake and very hot coffee. “smack good”.
A word to the wise if you go there you need some very comfortable walking shoes as many streets are still cobble stone and there is and endless amount of hills. Oh yes learn the some very basic language to greet them or to thank them. You will find as I did many try to speak to you in English.
In no time the two weeks filled with day trips and the wonderful food, I was ready to come back home. On one day trip from Flensburg we drove in ten minutes in Denmark. I found this to be very interesting and can say you need to be ready for the climate and with plenty of film or disks to try and capture the beauty.
Flying back to America was ever so different and was going too be short. That is due to the time change we left at 11:30 am and arrived back in Miami airport at 8:00 pm on the same day. The flying time is the same but changing time to America time is what made all the difference. As we departed the plane and were in the limo home all my fears were gone. The only thing that happened I could feel I had gained some weight from the food I found so easy to eat. I got to loose the weight and then I will be ready for my next flight to somewhere mystical.

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