Monday, 15 December 2014

Flying high (or Popping my ears TWICE on day VII)

Different continent, different country. I still I wake up too early (3:45 am today) and eat too much for breakfast ;-)

More running around is planned for today. Seamus is supposed to pick me up at 8:15 am and during breakfast at 7 am I already try to come up with the best guess of how late he will be.  When starting this post during breakfast at 7:20 am I'm guessing that he will be 8 minutes late.

I'm standing outside my hotel at 8:14.  Scary as it is, Seamus picks me up at exactly 8:23, which means my estimate of the time he would be late was accurate to the minute.

But all is forgiven, for he drives a VW ELECTRIC CAR.  We stop at his place to pick up Jemma, who got to sleep in a bit.  Then it’s time to drive to Untersberg.  Seamus, just like Uwe in Frankfurt, only has ears and eyes for his NAVI, the navigational direction system on his cell phone.  We arrive at the base station of the cable car at Untersberg at 5 to 9 and after paying 22 Euros per person we get onto the cable car that leaves at exactly 9 am.
This is just a tad scarier than the cable car at Grouse Mountain in Vancouver (and a tad cheaper ;-).
This cable will carry us UP 1400 meters to an elevation of 1800 meters.
Halfway up the ride, I realize that the gondola looks just similar to the one used in a James Bond film.

We expect JAWS, the guy with the metal teeth to start gnawing at the cable any minute!

PLEASE! Don't bite !

Seamus starting to look small
There is something about summits.  Being at 1795 meters  in the cable car station just isn't enough if there is a peak above you at the height of 1800something meters.  So I head uphill to get to the top.

Harry refuses to pose in front of the mountain range
The view greeting us when we head down again ;still gives me wobbly knees !

We head to the airport region. The master plan was to have lunch/breakfast at the Red Bull Hangar (Red Bull and it’s flying squadron apparently originated in Austria) while charging Seamus’ electric coop car.  Alas, neither is there a charging station anywhere close to the Red Bull people, nor is there a vacant table in their restaurant.  Red Bullshyt, I say !
So we head back the about 1 km to the airport and have some breakfast + coffee / sandwich + wine inside the terminal building.  Checking in takes 2 minutes and the security check is an easy breeze as well, except the metal detector selects me as a random pat-down target.  I enjoy it ;-)

I have less than one hour to kill when I reach the security-cleared waiting area and have trouble staying awake again. 
No Asian languages present here, But Russian & Turkish are.

I fall asleep as soon as I get to me seat in the plane, sleep through take-off, and wake up high over Germany half-way to Cologne.

Another 2.80 Euros for the train to Cologne Central Station and I check into my hotel 5 minutes later.  

Not my Pic

The web site of my hotel recommends the Big China Restaurant just around the corner.  A bit of internet research shows that they have a buffet, which I’m not really partial to.  But when I get there and ask, they right away bring out the a la carte menu.  I order a Koelsch (my very first of this trip) and some fried rice with poultry and those tiny salted fish.  I have finally found Salted Fish and Chicken Fried Rice.  I couldn't find it in Vancouver, but I have found it in the first Chinese restaurant I have visited in Germany in 20 years !   And it's YUMMY! 

At 5 pm I crash again, wake up at 10 pm only to call Grandma and to fall asleep again.

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