Sunday, September 20, 2009

getting there - airport to airport

It's always exciting, starting our trip. We get to the airport (thank you Craig, for driving us!) and I park in a seat, while Marc paces. Marc always paces. Usually I read, but this time I knitted (and grinned):

Marc was asking if Lufthansa provided electrical outlets in economy class. The answer was no.

The flight to Munich was uneventful, which is the way I like my flights to Munich. It was hard to get used to hearing all that German being spoken. I think I slept for 3-4 hours, and Marc probably dozed a bit here and there. Once, the flight attendant was making some kind of announcement, and right after the German version ended, Marc leaned over and said, "I understand what they're saying, it just doesn't seem to be what they mean." He kept hearing them saying things like Fuhrer and Mind the Fuhrer. I'm laughing while I type this.

The Munich airport isn't very big, but passengers exit the airplane and are driven in shuttle buses to the terminal for the extremely long walk to the gates. The inside of the terminals were very sterile and charmless. When it was time to board the plane for Zagreb, we walked down 4 flights of stairs to a waiting shuttle bus, which drove us to a far corner of the tarmac. When the bus parked at the plane, we all had to wait while the airplane was being readied, and then a couple of people waiting in a car got to board the plane. VIPs of some kind. He was much older than she was, and he must have been the VIP. He wore a casual white suit with blue suede shoes (no kidding), and he looked tired. She was a young blond Eastern European hottie, if you know what that means. It was a tiny plane and they sat in "First Class," which comprised the first 3 rows. We were in row 4, and the flight attendant pulled the tiny, short blue curtains over the top of the seat in front of me. Marc and I laughed. Short flight, land in Zagreb.

I've never had an easier time entering a country. There was no paperwork, no forms to sign, we just walked up to a window, showed our passports, and went to get our luggage. Period. No questions, how long are you staying, where are you going, nothing. We got our luggage, got our rental car, and got some dollars exchanged for kuna, the local currency.

The woman who worked at the currency exchange was right out of a bad movie featuring the most stereotypical Slavic woman you could imagine. Her lanky, greasy, thin hair hung to her shoulders. A bit of a mustache. She had a very high forehead and thick messy eyebrows.....all atop a nasty scowl. A large nose. Small eyes. Scowl - worth mentioning twice. Marc asked her if the exchange rate at the airport was fairly close to what we'd find in other places and she scowled a little harder and said "how would I know."

Welcome to Croatia.

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