Desflurane's Romaniacs Blog

Chronicle of My Participation in the World's Toughest Enduro Rally – Again…

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Things didn’t go so well in Frankfurt

Posted by desflurane on June 30, 2013

As mentioned, I arrived in San Francisco just in time for the boarding to start. It was immediately halted due to some kind of issue with the catering – and we waited…

Ultimately the flight took off a full hour behind schedule. The pilot promised that we would still be “nearly on time” in Frankfurt. This turned out to be almost true.

The flight itself wasn’t so bad. I paid extra to get the Economy Plus seating and a little more on top to get the aisle seat on an exit row. This translated into plenty of leg room – so that I could fully stretch out and almost get comfortable. Airliner seats have their limitations after all…

On the strong recommendation of some frequent-flier type friends, I got some Ambien (zolpidem) to help me get some sleep on the ten hour flight. After lunch was finished and I had time to attend to all the necessary details (ahem…) I popped a 5mg tablet, snuggled into my neck-pillow-donut-thingy and fully expected to awaken in Frankfurt.

Not so much.

I did fall asleep, no doubt about that. The Ambien was certainly useful there. But less than an hour later I was wide awake watching some of the first in flight movie. Not what I had in mind.

After assuring myself that I was not chemically altered in any significant way, I gulped down another 5mg. Again I drifted off, and again I was crisply awake less than two hours later. I decided not to push my luck and take any more. Next time I’ll just take two right from the get-go and see if I get a better result. I don’t know if it was related to the Ambien, but I did have a nice headache by the time we landed in Frankfurt.

The wheels hit tarmack at about 11:00am, after copious taxiing, deplaning onto the runway, loading up on a bus, going through passport control as well as security, I discovered the time to be 11:30. My flight to Vienna was scheduled for an 11:40 departure. Somehow the workings of fate were confounded and my gate was not in fact at the opposite end of the terminal! It was however four flights of stairs above me – the stairs were at the opposite end of the terminal. With five minutes to go I ran flat-out all the way down the terminal, up the flights of stairs and back down the length of the terminal, arriving at my gate at 11:36 (there was a digital clock right above the desk – ultra practical Germans!)

The plane was gone.

I was directed to the Lufthansa service desk where I learned that I had already been booked on the next flight to Vienna – about three o’clock that afternoon – and that there was no connecting flight to Sibiu until tomorrow. Right…

The girl at the desk chatted with me for a minute about the weather in San Francisco, since she is spending ten days there starting next week. She further informed me that I could reach Sibiu via Munich! The flight departing at 3:00pm with a connecting flight that would get me on Romanian soil (wait for it…) just after midnight!


Rather than spending the afternoon catching up with the Romaniacs crowd and perhaps taking a spin on my (Dougie’s) bike I’m screwing around in airports until tomorrow! Not so awesome.

So as I write this I am seated in a large cafeteria-style pizza restaurant in the heart of Munich International, eating my margherita pizza with a knife and fork, washing it down with cold-ish Coke Zero. My next flight starts boarding in – oh let’s see here – three and a half hours!

Honestly after cramming some food down my neck and swilling a bit of much, much, much-needed caffeine, the prospects don’t seem so bleak after all. My biggest worry is just that I may roll in to the HQ Ramada around 1:00am and find nobody there to direct me to the room Alex has reserved for me. That is assuming that I can get to the hotel from the airport without trouble just around midnight…

But it will all work out fine.

If I were to make a list of things I would rather be doing this week than riding in the tenth edition of Red Bull Romaniacs… It would be extremely short, I can tell you that!


One Response to “Things didn’t go so well in Frankfurt”

  1. Kjetil said

    Brandon…keep your chin up…we,re here waiting for ya…..

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