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24 December 2014

travel diaries | nuremberg christmas markets pt. 1

flying is a funny old thing, innit. i love travelling, right. do it a lot. do it a lot more than some people, and definitely a lot less than others, but as someone who does it a fair amount, i suppose i have to enjoy certain elements of it. i'm a good flyer - i've never been in a scary situation (knock on wood), i've never worried about the left falangey, and i've never had a horrendous tale to tell. sure, i've had my fair share of awkward landings and shocking turbulence, but that's all part of the fun. you're in a big giant bird, for crying out loud. it's a feat of pure engineering that that big metal thing stays in the sky for as long as it's supposed to, and beyond that i don't question the theory too much.

but, on friday, as we stood on the tarmac staring at our stupid ryan air plane from the freezing ground below, i should have known something was wrong. i should have listened to my gut that this wasn't going to be a good time. i should have... what? i don't know. turned around? gone home? well, no. it turned out to not be that bad, but still... i've never had to stand and stare at a plane before, waiting, willing for its doors to open and let us board. 

you might have heard how - shortly after we actually boarded that plane, all the airspace above london was closed. we actually found this out via twitter, after the pilot was unable to give us any information whatsoever. after about twenty minutes of silence from the cockpit, we turned our phones back on to a barrage of messages letting us know we were "lucky" to have "left when we did" because "blah blah blah". didn't feel lucky, tell you that much. two extra hours sat on that plane on top of the hour twenty flight to germany, was two hours too many for my liking.

estimated departure time: 2.35, actual taxi time: 5:35. why? well, we surmised that it was because someone needed to hard reset the modem in the clock tower. i imagine it was something more serious than that, but after two hours sat on that tarmac, we really were quite delirious about the whole thing. so much so, that when we fiiiiiinally were allowed to take off, a round of applause rang out from the cabin. had to feel for that cabin crew though, so sucked it up and kept everyone calm despite the lack of communication from outside, and after telling us that they don't get paid while they're grounded. fair play to them, i would have just taken a seat and let the customers run wild.

well, we made it to nuremberg with far less hiccups once we finally left though, which was a relief. we grabbed a cab to our air b&b for the weekend, before recharging, refreshing and heading out into the cool bavarian night, headed to the markets... just as they were closing for the night. swell! we wandered among the dying masses, driven by the smell of sausages, and ended up inside an authentic german food hall, where i made the rookie error of ordering a starter while the others ordered incredible meals that included pork knuckle, pulled duck and beer sauce. i was a foooool, let it be known!

at least the beer was tasty! i think we were happy to concede a loss to day one, but with the lights of the christmas markets making disappointment a hard emotion to retain, we headed home and hoped for better things to come. and, they did... more on that later.

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