All I did through my journey was sleep..wake up to eat and then go back to sleep. Some think I am blessed to have such an appetite for sleep :)
My flight to dubai and then to frankfurt was late by half an hour. only trouble was to keep myself awake while waiting for my boarding. Sid was constantly talking to me :)
My first international flight beckoned soon and i was led into a huge flight.
Landed in Dubai at around 7. Found my way around in dubai airport - found out that gate 143 iis where i have to head to check-in for my connecting flight to frankfurt.
Emailed family about my whereabouts from dubai airport.
Till the time i reached dubai, i felt like i feel when i do my regular Mumbai-Pune-Bangalore travel. Dubai airport was an eye-opener. A huge mix of culture and color. Although very less time spent there, nevertheless enough to find a similarity with Mumbai. I would like to visit the place some day - a more detailed visit.
There was nothing spectacular about the flight. My neighbours were enjoying a hearty discussion parts of which i managed to gather in between deep slumber. one was approximately 50 and he was frustrated that he and his wife are having to live away from each other for long - she in China and he in Germany - and how he enjoyed his recent trip to China. The other guy was mostly listening, but would keep talking about some company he worked for which had huge operations in China.
I reached Frankfurt just 15 minutes late. the official stamping my passport thought that if he spoke german very loudly i would understand. eventually he realised that was not working. in some time i realised he wanted to see my invitation letter and id card and the works. as soon as he saw the papers in my hand he stamped my passport and quickly packed me off :D
After almost picking up somebody elses luggage, i managed to get out of the conveyor belt area. i had a huge suitcase, a shoulder bag and a very heavvily stuffed laptop bag on my shoulders.
i thanked Sid and Siddhi a zillion times for discouraging me from carrying any more luggage.
The signs to the railway station were confusing. finally i managed to get someone who knew English. The skyline from Terminal 2(where i was) to Terminal 1(where railway stations were) was free and smooth. Luggage was extremely difficult to manage. there were so many escalators and stairs that i had to cross to reach here. anyone who knows my fear of escalators will know how difficult it was for me to manaover my luggage along.
i had started my cell phone with the SIM given by Mahaboob and i could see that there is full network. i was hoping Sid would call. i was constantly thinking about him. meanwhile i ahd to get to the railway station and it seemed a long long way away.
i got to know from the information centre(finally someone who spoke English!!!) regarding the direction i wasd to take and many escalators later i met this clone of mine - same height, same haircut, same hair color, similar spectacles.
i asked her if i could follow her. thankfully for me she thought i was amusing and allowed me to follow her. after some time she even helped me carry my luggage. that was much more than i asked for. only i know, i could do with some help. my limbs were numb with moving my luggage around for so long and with so many hurdles.
my first swipe of my forex card was for the ticket from Frankfurt to Cologne Hbf station. the girl helped me and we had to get the tickets and call M and then reach get to platform 6, terminal 2 for long distance trains in about 7 minutes because it was 2 minutes past 3pm and the train was scheduled to arrive at 3.09 :D
we got the ticket and managed to reach platform 6. the lookalike (the reason for my safe arrival at cologne) even gave me her cell fone to call m from. i didnt even thank her at the end of it. just didnt have the time.
Mira told me she will pick me from Cologne railway station.
3.47PM my train reached Cologne Hauptbanof :)