Suitcase: A cautionary tale.

From the window of our hotel room, we could watch the busy movements of the crowds growing and dispersing after each flight. The plane would land on the tarmac with a great squeal from the tyres before the plane approached the terminal.

Frankfurt-Hahn Airport is deceptive. It is not close to Frankfurt, or Hahn, as I understand it. It’s outside of a town called Koblenz. This airport caters for most of the budget airlines for Europe who touchdown here every couple of hours.

There is a shuttle bus that leaves every hour on the hour to Frankfurt, about 70 minutes away. These shuttle buses are packed with budget travelers who have come from the flights ready to shimmy their way to a seat. I know from my own bus experiences that it’s really a two-person juggle to get seats, as well as your luggage, on board.

Jez and I were packing our bags to leave our hotel and join the group of travelers on the shuttle bus later in the afternoon. As I paused briefly to watch the new influx of weary bodies stumble and queue up for the bus, I wondered where these people were going with their huge suitcases and plastic carry bags. Five minutes later, the bus closed up the luggage compartment and with a hiss of the brakes, pulled away from the curb.

The airport footpath was now empty again, save for one, lonely, dark blue suitcase.

My heart rate surged. Unaccompanied luggage.

In the scramble for seats, someone must have forgotten to load the suitcase on the the bus. I felt sympathy for the poor person that left behind the bag, but as time went on, I was concerned that no one had moved it from the footpath. Jez and I checked out of our room and wheeled our luggage across to the bus stop. I eyed the suitcase warily, not knowing what to think of it’s presence.

I approached the ticket booth with trepidation, as my lack of German language skills was going to be put on display.

“Excuse me, uhh, there is a suitcase over there that has been left behind.”

“Yes?” said the grey-haired man behind the glass.

“Yes, a blue one, just by the steps… It’s been there a while.” I explained.

“Okay, they will call” he said with a thick accent, turning back to his machine and ending the conversation. I walked back to the line and our own suitcases.

Fifteen minutes later, our bus trundled up to the bus stop and groaned as it let us on board. Jez was in charge of getting our bags in the hold and I was in charge of the seat scoring. I made sure that we had a window seat so that we could watch as we passed the lovely landscapes of Germany. But before we pulled away from the curb, I caught one last glance at the lonely blue suitcase and wondered: “What will happen to you?”

Unattended baggage. Jan 31, 2008 1:34 PM. Uploaded by: MeraM Tags: travel …


The long journey home

We have had an amazing time here at the Nature One Festival.

It’s out there. It’s different. I think that I’ve learned a lot about the festival scene overseas!

While we’re packing our backs for the final time, we are also dreading our journey home. As Australians, we can gloat about our beautiful country as much as we like, but it doesn’t make it any closer to the rest of the world!!!

We’re catching a bus from Frankfurt-Hahn to Frankfurt International Airport, then a flight from Frankfurt to Singapore with a three hour layover. From there, we will catch an A380 back in to Sydney which will arrive at about 6:30am. We will be over 24hrs in transit. It ain’t gonna be pretty!

We have work and Uni awaiting us at home, I wonder how quickly we will settle in to it all?

Over & Out 🙂 xx

Nature One

Our next stop was Frankfurt Hahn Airport, about an hour out of Frankfurt for the Nature One dance festival. Although we were both excited about the two-day festival, we were extremely unsure about what we would find at the airport hotel. We had tried to find information about what was there, if there were any shops or places to eat but to no avail! I persuaded Jez to stop at a supermarket in Frankfurt to stock up on food and some supplies just incase there wasn’t anything to eat in between the hotel breakfasts. When we arrived there however, we were pleasantly surprised to find a bakery or sorts and an American hot dog stand, both open 24hrs!

Our hotel room was incredible… in the sense that it was not even 50meters from the tarmac. Jez and I had a great time plane spotting while we were there!

Nature One was an incredible experience. Firstly, it was bizarre going to a festival where no one spoke English. Of course, most people are able to speak English but the conversations around you are all in German. Secondly, we saw an incredible line up of DJs. We saw, in those two nights, all the DJs that we would see over the course of a year in Australia. Thirdly, the location was an old US missile base. We just don’t have these types of venues at home and even if we did I don’t think they would put a dance festival in there!

Even though it was the middle of Summer, the nights at the festival were freezing cold! We wore jumpers and jeans and we were still feeling icy. It wasn’t such an issue when you were in a crowd, but on the long walk back to the shuttle bus at 6am, it was bloody cold.

We only had one moment of panic at the festival, when I lost Jez in a crowd for a good half hour. It was up there with one of the worst experience of the trip – I left Jez for 20 seconds to put down my drink and then wasn’t able to find him again! I retraced my steps and looked around for him, then decided to stand on a nearby platform so that I could try to find him in the crowd. I searched for Jez’s grey hoodie, only to find that every second guy was wearing one! At this point, I was really starting to panic. The drunk German guy standing next to me pointed to the crowd and must have said something along the lines of “Good luck trying to find them!”. I was so very close to tears. Stupidly, we hadn’t arranged a place to meet and we didn’t have our mobiles on us. After about twenty minutes of standing on the platform, I finally spotted Jez standing behind a really tall guy. Jez didn’t seemed too phased, but words cannot describe how relieved I was!!

As soon as the sun began to rise on Sunday morning, we knew that our trip was coming to an end. Nature One was the last big event for our holiday and it was over so quickly! We got back to the hotel, depressed at the thought of packing our bags for the long trip back to Australia.