As I already mentioned in last week’s post, I currently have a whole batch of weekly trips coming up. So it might not come as a huge surprise that this week started with another packed suitcase.
Compared to some of my other trips, this Monday morning did not start too bad. I had a relatively late flight (9.30 that is) from City Airport to Düsseldorf, so rather than getting a cab at the crack of dawn I opted for the train / DLR. Meaning I only had to get up around half an hour earlier than usual (as opposed to a 7 o’clock flight from Heathrow to Copenhagen next week that will see me get into a cab around 4am).
The first leg of the travel went well and I arrived at City Airport well in time to grab a light breakfast and coffee at Pret a Manger before boarding my flight. At least that was the plan. When it approached 9 o’clock and my flight was due to start boarding, we were notified that the flight was delayed by approx. 45 minutes.
There are days when a message like this would jeopardize my whole itinerary for the day, luckily this time it should not create too much of a problem. I only had one meeting in the afternoon and stayed in the area over night, so no frantic rush back to the airport or to a train station after my meeting.
Come 10 o’clock we eventually boarded (so a good hour behind schedule). The flight wasn’t terribly busy, so at least we could all make ourselves very comfortable (basically everyone could have two rows of their own if they fancied).
It wasn’t just our flight delayed this morning; it seems up and down the country flights were delayed due to bad weather. So even though we boarded and were ready to go, we were stuck at the gate for almost another hour waiting for a departure slot before we were eventually allowed to start towards the runway…
So overall we ended up with a good hour and a half delay on our 45 minute flight to Düsseldorf.
The flight itself was calm and quick and approaching Düsseldorf we were greeted by glorious sunshine. But the joy was short-lived, as touching down we were in for yet another wait and delay. The plane was parked at an outer post and we had to wait for busses to take us to the terminal (it always puzzles me when that happens. Surely no flight just miraculously appears on the stand, everyone is informed that this flight will touch down… so it should be plain obvious that busses are required the minute a flight is directed to an outer post… or am I missing something here?)
Followed by more waiting time at passport control.
Typical Monday so to speak… one thing leads to another.
Meanwhile my client got a little impatient waiting to pick me up. After all, getting to Düsseldorf was only the start of the day… we did still had some work to get on with.
Eventually we made it into the car and to our meeting, without any further delay. Woohoo, about time. And since this was our only appointment for the day, I was still fairly relaxed…
Silly me… little did I remember that we agreed to drop by another dealership on the way to the hotel. Completely blanked that off my mind. Making this day just a tad longer than originally hoped for.
Just after 7pm I made it to the hotel, by now well tired and starving (you might have noticed that there wasn’t any mention of food since my light breakfast? Yep, story of my life, my ‘lunch’ consisted of two sneaky Polos (peppermints for you non-UKs) in the car.
So even though I specifically picked a hotel in the city center, I did not actually see a thing of Leverkusen. The furthest I got was to the restaurant around the corner (as recommended by reception staff) for dinner and back to my hotel room to catch up with emails, blog posts and some German television programme.
The touristy tour of Leverkusen will have to wait for another time.