Got up in the cold damp darkness of 5 am Meaux, a small township very close to Paris. Dressed up quickly, packed what was left to pack in a flash and left just as fast, a quick hug to Blandine, my host, and on the way to the airport, I was. Berlin was waiting.
Marching down on the rocky pavement, looking at all the old buildings surrounding me, getting the stink eye from the local night people.
Board the bus towards Charles-de-Gaulle Terminal one. Arrive only to realize that Air Berlin does not fly from there. At all. Ever. Look back at my boarding pass, and in super tiny characters I see that I’m flying from ORLY Airport, which is on the other side of Paris, one hour and a half away. Look at my watch, and still have time since I’m very in advance. Take the train there, arrive about 10-15m before boarding starts. Boarding lasts 30 minutes so I figure I have enough time until I am refused at the check-in counter. They won’t take my backpack.
They tell me the plane arrived earlier, so they closed the luggage bay earlier too. I tell them it’s unfair and makes no sense. They tell me they can’t check me in. Employee calls the coordinator, and they refuse me too.
Only to realize 10 minutes later that I am checked in already, all they need is to put my bag in the plane. He realizes his mistake, but it’s too late, after rushing me through security and telling me I am to just board my whole pack in the place, I arrive to see my plane on the Tarmac, preparing to take off.
The disappointment passed, I call Air Berlin to complain. Fast forward one hour of utter annoyance. I just book another flight. Air Berlin offered me that too, for 347 euros. Easyjet did it for 140.
I was in Berlin just a few hours late. A friendly face greeting me, Marianne, one of my two travel mates in Ireland & Scotland came to say hi. A puff of German air and some conversation later. I was on my way to discovering the not-so-reliable Berlin transport system. Getting Marianne hours late to a meeting with her friends for dinner, and me, to chill in Alexanderplatz alone until my friend and host could come and pick me up.
In retrospect, Paris is a very nice city, but not a city for me. People are too unhappy, tourists literally own the place, and everything is crazy expensive. While some people are nice, and it is a very pretty city. It is very hard to enjoy it to its full potential with all that waiting.
I will have to go back as I didn’t get the opportunity to visit the Louvre museum or the catacombs, but I really think I just didn’t get the ”French vibe” as much as I can say it was pretty to look at but it’s insides were pretty grey.
Berlin is quite the opposite. It’s pretty grey on the outside, but seems pretty colorful and crazy on the inside. Wanderlust is biting me in the butt again. Sounds like I know where I will be heading on my weekends if Munich doesn’t hold up.
Time to learn some German…