My journey to Braunschweig started out at Manchester airport terminal three, an admittedly unexciting but not unpleasant experience, checking in/security checks where fast, a cheeky gin and tonic to calm the nerves and a few coffees to keep me awake/pass the time, the plane was on time and I arrived in Southampton (somewhere I was previously unaware had an airport) on schedule. I wish I could say my experience at Southampton was similar, for a small airport, as well as one that apparently prides itself on getting passengers through to the departure lounge quickly it was in reality quite the opposite, at one point I was worried about having to rush for my flight, this turned out to be a rather optimistic thought. I had twice that day narrowly avoided problems with one Flybe flight before me being cancelled and another delayed, I must say I then went into “mega stress” mode when I heard my flight had been delayed due to “technical problems” (the same reason given for the other two, doesn’t really do much to reassure you), and that “more information” would be given at 11.00, thankfully at roughly 10.50 we where placed at a different gate and reassigned a different plane which ended up taking off 45 minutes behind schedule, I knew how much of a struggle it would then be to meet my following travel connections.
My plane touched down in Hanover at about 14.00, there was no chance of me getting my 14.06 S-Bahn service, I had hoped there would be a customer service desk that I could get my tickets exchanged, alas I couldn’t find one and ended paying for an additional ticket on a later service with the hope it would get into Hanover Hauptbahnhof in time for my following and final train. I arrived with 2 minutes to find my platform and run to it, burdened with luggage I was exhausted by the time I reached to train though relieved nonetheless.I found much pleasure in the knowledge that I didn’t have to stand up for the next 45 minutes.
It was on that train however that I experienced my first moment of panic over the prospective future of this trip, or doubt over my efficiency in the German language, I had, by this point, communicated with one or two people on my trip, an man in a lift asking me which floor, a ticket inspector asking to see my ticket and a woman I had to ask for help when I was unsure about the ticket machine (turned out it wasn’t actually working) and had been able to pick up at least the general gist of what they where saying and had been able to reply without looking like a complete idiot, it was on this train however that a group of teenagers sat in front of me, after a short while I slowly began to realize I could barely pick out a single word they where saying to each other, maybe I should refrain from speaking to anyone even slightly younger than me for the duration of this journey hehe
By this point you may be wondering why I have added a secondary title onto this, well the simple answer is Germany is unbelievably hot at the moment, I knew it would be warmer and less windy than England at the moment but nothing like this, I may need to go clothes shopping, the weather would have been a pleasant surprise had I not planned to walk to my hotel after failing to work out a reasonably tram/bus route online, it was only a 15 minute walk, though in this heat it seemed to never end, I occasionally, optimistically, looked up at the side roads in the hope I had arrived but I still had quite a walk, by the time I had reached the hotel I was glad to be using the automatic key service due to the lack of reception staff (may 1st being labour day is a public holiday in germany), I did not look in a fit state to be communicating with other human beings, I have since cooled down a fair bit and am rather enjoying my hotel with TV and internet access, I find tomorrow somewhat daunting only due to the fact that my feet are rather exhausted from the journey already.