Europe Trip: Hello, Europe!

I know I’ve written about this trip in my previous blog in Multiply, but I wanted to include it here. And rewrite it too. So here goes.

April 2012 was the first time I ever set foot in Europe. Now that I think of it a year later, the whole trip still felt like a dream. I couldn’t say it was THE best time of my life, but it certainly ranks one of the top ten best moments.

I work in the travel and tourism industry, so I guess a chance to visit parts of the world would come eventually. I got to follow and observe a Japanese group touring Central Europe (which included Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Czech Republic and Germany) for 10 days. It sounds like I was on a business trip (sure, I had to write a report after that) but it actually felt like I was vacationing with these additional people 😀

My departure was set to be around mid-April, and the whole process to get the Schengen visa started from mid March. It was really hectic and frustrating, and I remember breaking down and crying a couple of times (I’m a very weepy person) because of the stress. Anyway, due to help of very many people around me, I was able to receive my visa a day before my departure date on 17 April 2012 to Vienna.

I flew with Singapore Airlines on the 17th. The flight, of course, was non-direct, stopping via Singapore and Frankfurt. When I was about to leave for the airport with the shuttle bus, the most horrible rain started and I was worried that I would be late for my flight. Even the slightest rain turns Jakarta roads into a crazed up gridlock. Luckily, I was able to arrive at the airport with plenty of time for my flight.

The person at check in desk was very kind to offer me an earlier flight, so I would have a little bit of more time for transit at Singapore. At first, I was worried my mom, who accompanied me to the airport, would be left alone waiting for my brother to come and pick her up. But in the end I took the earlier flight, because I couldn’t risk being late for the connecting flight to Frankfurt. I felt really really bad, but there was nothing I could do.

15 hours later, I arrived at Frankfurt and it was so … overwhelming. I have been overseas flights alone before, but this felt different. I was kinda scared and worried something would go wrong. I quickly looked up my flight and saw that it was scheduled to be in Terminal A, Gate 1.

Imagine my horror when I found out that A1 was just a default for flights that weren’t assigned gates yet. When I asked the attendant at the A1 gate, why the flight there wasn’t mines, she told me that my flight was at Gate A30. It was so, so far. So I ran the whole way ( with the help of travelators, of course) and got to the right gate with time to spare. Phew!

So after about 17 hours of flight time, I arrived at Vienna on 18 April 2012 at 1 in the afternoon, local time. Since the group I was supposed to follow would be arriving at 4, I decided to just hang around at the airport instead of going to the city for a little alone (but I assume would be a very hurried) adventure. So I ate a late lunch at McDonald’s (I know it’s not very creative, but hey, you can’t blame someone looking for a little familiarity in a foreign country).

Anyway, it was 4 in the afternoon before I knew it and the group arrived. They were all elderly people, with a total of 26 people with 1 tour leader. I introduced myself to the tour leader, and then we all headed for the bus to take us to the hotel after buying some food at a bakery inside the airport. On the journey to the hotel, the tour leader introduced me to the group; where I worked, the reason why I was following accompanying them, and for how long I would be staying with them. I think they were really tired after the long flight, so they just nodded in silence.

Hotel am Samsegang

After we arrived at the hotel (am Samsegang in the suburbs of Vienna) and checked-in, everyone all hurried up to their rooms to get a rest. I got a room with a balcony in it. Since I was also very tired that day, I too decided to rest, but first run a bath and then lie down while watching TV. But since the blanket was so, so warm so I eventually fell asleep around 6 PM ^^;;

Cozy room

Next up will be 19 April 2012, Budapest.

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3 thoughts on “Europe Trip: Hello, Europe!

  1. So those fLat, non-eLevating escaLators are caLLed eLevators! :p
    Aaaa can’t wait for the next posts, speciaLLy the ones with food pictures 😀

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