Monday, January 28, 2008

Getting to Perm

We left Phoenix and flew to Charlotte, NC at noon on Friday January 25th. Of course it was chaotic before we left, trying to get the final things packed and taking care of last minute stuff before leaving . The trip from Charlotte to Frankfurt was pretty long by bearable. Of course we were on the world's biggest, most technically advanced airship and guess who had the only two in-flight entertainment systems that didn't work? We were so excited when the pilot announced that we were only sixty miles so we started putting our pillows, blankets, books, IPod and laptop away. This last sixty miles felt like the longest part of the trip but we did enjoy the amazing views of the quaint German countryside. I couldn’t take my eyes off what seemed to be like never-ending hills of bright green land and sparsely inhabited hamlets. Once in Frankfurt it was easy to find our way around.
First we figured out where our gate to Moscow was going to be, then found a shady luggage storage operation, which we used anyway as to not lug all our stuff around the whole day. After getting ripped off exchanging dollars for euros we decided to ride the train downtown and find the hotel where we will be staying for one night on the way back. Chris thought this would be a good idea since we will be getting back to Frankfurt late on Thursday night. We spent about five hours in the downtown area of Offenbach, checked out the hotel where we were able to clean-up a bit, then spent a few hours walking around a pretty neat marketplace in the center of town. We had lunch at what appeared to be a popular hang-out and had a real authentic meal. Chris of course had to try the local cuisine so he had some German sausage and schnitzel. I was a bit more conservative and didn’t want to take any chance of getting sick before we got to Perm so I stuck to the good ole loaded bake potato. We got back to the airport with enough time to check out some duty-free shops, get through the really long security lines and still get to our gate about an hour ahead of our flight. Funny thing now that were on the Russian airline is that they boarded everyone five minutes before our scheduled departure time and still left on time. Everyone was still milling around stowing their stuff and the plane just backed up and started to taxi to the runway. Guess they want to maintain their #1 standing as Russia's top on-time performer!