Off to Berlin!
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This is another one of my crazy trips to meet up with friends who are working an international convention abroad. This year's convention is in Berlin, and I am so excited to get over there and see it. Berlin has always been a dream destination -- so much history, so much culture. Plus, this will allow me to keep my new year's resolution by visiting a new country again this year. My friends and I looked at a lot of options -- St. Petersburg, Russia; Krakow and Warsaw, Poland; and Stockholm, Sweden. In the end, we settled on Copenhagen, Denmark as I was able to find some cheap airfare there on Sterling Air's website.
I used my frequent flier miles to get to Berlin, and had enough to fly First or Business Class thanks to lots of business travel. Because I used miles, I was at the mercy of the carriers' designated seats for non-revenue travel, so was sent to Chicago and on to London Heathrow on American Airlines, then British Airways on to Berlin Tegel airport. The return was more convoluted -- Aer Lingus from Berlin Schonefeld to Dublin, Ireland; Aer Lingus again to Boston; then American to Chicago, and finally back to Austin. It was a lot of time in the air, but worth it to be able to make the trip!
My flight to Chicago was uneventful -- Super 80, no meal. The gentleman seated next to me was pretty interesting to speak with -- he's a sports writer for a national magazine -- writes about hunting and fishing. He was on his way to Mackinaw Island on Lake Michigan to do a story on fishing for Coho Salmon there.
Had a three hour layover at O'Hare. We were to leave for London at 9:50pm, but were delayed for about an hour due to air traffic and weather (typical of O'Hare). My original flight plan was to fly into Gatwick, take a train to Heathrow, and then fly to Tegel -- thank goodness this one opened up, as the train intra-London sounded like a nightmare! I think I have a cracked rib from a fall I had on a biking event last week, so lifting luggage is not a lot of fun right now. My flight to Heathrow was awesome! Boeing 777 with seats that fold down flat! I had a delightful flight attendant named Deanne -- funny, attentive and not too intrusive. The flight took about 7 hours -- I caught a 3 hour sleep after watching The History Boys on the video. Deanne woke me up about an hour and a half out of Heathrow and I had an omelette and tea as we flew over Ireland as the sun was coming up. Very beautiful skies!