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Tuesday, 11 March 2014

The Flight Travel Bug

Dear friends,

I dunno how you feel about flying but I think it is one of the best things one can experience while traveling. I would rather fly than go by train/bus/car... you name it! I never was frightened of it and even though I had moments in which I thought the plane would crash or just disintegrate I managed to get home safe and sound. I can bet that happened because someone up there really loves me and because my mum and my Granny always pray for me when they know I am on a plane ;) It's good to have backup, you know, and they are part of my team and have my back covered! ;)
The first flight I have taken was a direct flight between Bucharest and New York. It was somewhere in the beginning of summer of 2007 and I went all by myself. It was a 8 to 9 hours direct flight taking me to the JFK Airport - it was the longest and most boring trip by plane I ever made! I remember that at least half of the trip (both going to NYC and coming back, 3-4 months later, to Bucharest) I slept it through. The taking off and the landing were always the high spots of the day and the plane was so big that everything was very smooth. No bumps and no turbulences! I was also in a very bad position to look outside the window so there was nothing interesting to do except read and listen to music or even watch a movie - I cannot remember the type of the plane, but I can tell you it was DELTA Airlines and it was huge, as I could not see the end of it, while inside. It had 3 rows of chairs of each 3 chairs - 9 seats in a row, and I was in the middle row... Lucky me!
Now leave me be with my book! My precioussssss...
But it was that flight and those 3-4 months of Work & Travel that made me catch The Flight Travel Bug - well... at least that is how I call it :) I had already The Travel Bug in me so this was the next level ;) My first solo trip outside of borders was at the end of 12th grade when I went to Greece. Since that trip I always wanted to see more and know more of the world so when I heard about Work & Travel I immediately join in. My mum already saw it coming and she knew she would not be able to stop me. Hey! She even said it that I am stubborn and if I put my mind to it I can go through walls ;) and I guess that is a good thing! I also believe I got this "bug" ever since I my mum was pregnant with me ;)) She had trips outside the border while being with me, so I thank her for giving me the opportunity of tasting the world ever since I was inside her! :)
Up, up in the air - Krakow/Frankfurt Flight
The most hardcore flight I had was the flight from Bucharest to Iasi, when I came back from the NYC and I had so much luggage that there was no way I could be able to come in any other way. Already my baggages were way overweight... I had an internal flight with TAROM Airlines and WOW! That was quite a thrill! Now please bare in mind that this was 2007 and things may have changed since then, but I have to tell you the truth about my experience then ;) It was a short flight - under 50 minutes - but the aircraft looked so old and rusty and made this most frightening noises that I thought it would self-disintegrate! I was not able to bucle my seatbelt properly... It was the first and last time I ever asked assistance for it - come on, it ain't rocket science but that one just would not listen! I was next to the wing and had seats near the window so I would watch the propeller and check it if it would stop.
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I have to also point out that Iasi Airport is quite a small airport and even if we had and we have frequent flights from it, they are all connection flights with small passenger airplanes. The runway is very short so you always get this feeling of empty stomatch and swelling ears when landing and taking off. If you ever took off/landed a plane in that Airport you are a hero and there is no place you could not land ;) It is like the ultimate test of experience!
Sweets for the flight provided by the lovely steward ladies
I had the pleasure of taking off from Iasi Airport last time around 4 years back, but then it was with lovely Austrian Airlines and it went off a bit smoother. I was not scared of the aircraft as it looked squeeky clean and fresh, but I had one of the most uncomfortable experiences ever! We were having the Iasi - Vienna flight and when we started entering the Austrian flying space I got waken up by a sudden bump. We had turbulences and there was a storm going on - I had window seats, my fav, so I opened the window to look out. Lo and behold! The sky was dark-blue and there was lightning everywhere! I did not panic, but turned to my friend, who was stading on the other side, next to the window. I could see her face and how panicked she was. In this state you must always remain seated and wear the belt so I could not go to her and hold her and keep her calm - all I could do is speak to her from a distance. I would never forget the jump that woke me up, I actually jumped a full 2-3 cm from it - thank God! I always have the seatbelt on! or I might have hit my head...
Beer & Sandwiches on the Frankfurt/Krakow flight
But none of the above mentioned makes me afraid of flying. The only place I can feel fully at peace - weirdly enough! - is in the airports and in the airplanes. I have not fright of them and I fear not the turbulences. I have never been plane sick and I know that someone there up loves me and no matter where I would be I would die. So why not enjoy a plane trip?! ;) I love having time in airports to wonder around the bookshops and the duty frees and looking at people walk by in a hurry or casually strolling along. We are so different from one another yet we enjoy the same basic things in life - food, clothing, books, good company. I have never in my life missed a plane - though once, when Magda & I were in UK almost missed it... but that is another story, another madness of finding in time the gate and nearly having a heart attack at the beginning of the plane stairs, but hey! I can laugh about that now! ;) I hope that I never shall miss one ;)
Lovely views from the Frankfurt/Krakow flight
So when my adorable husband booked the flights for the trip we had to Koln/Cologne I was all a smile! It so happens that at least once I year I get to fly and that always brings a huge smile upon my face! He found this great connection Krakow-Frankfurt by plane + Frankfurt-Koln by ICE Train (fast train, took us there in less than a hour!). We flew with Lufthansa Airlines and it was lovely - no turbulences, no bad planes. When we went to Frankfurt we had a lovely sweet cake with sour cherry and yogurt - that simply melted in your mouth! And on the flight back we had chicken-cheese sandwiches and we went wild and we each had a beer, a German beer ;) We had a lovely view and I managed to snap some pictures - all the above pictures were taken just a week or so ago, in our trip to/from Germany.
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Now a thing that is always very important for me - as you can see in the pictures above too ;) - is to have always a book with me. Be that as it may: travel alone or travel with someone, I always take a good book with me. I know the other person might doze off or might read as well or listen to music & I know that not all the time I will be able to find something interesting to watch on the window. The book is my escape! This time I had the honor of taking with me Florence & Giles, as I had a few unfinished chapters. I finished it on the first day in Koln ;) so on our way back I needed to buy a new one ;)))) But more on that maybe later on!

Yours truly,
A LadyBug With The Flight Travel Bug :)