Tuesday, November 03, 2009

23 October: Joburg to Frankfurt to Toronto to Winnipeg

Left Johannesburg on the evening of the 22nd. The flight to Frankfurt on Lufthansa was fine ... although quite cramped for a 10 hour flight :( Plus I didn't have my prefered aisle seat (I like to be able to get up and out of my seat on a whim). They gave me all 3 boarding passes and checked my luggage all the way thru to Winnipeg (which made me slightly nervous after my Zanzibar experience ... ).

On the plus side I did manage to get some sleep after they served dinner. Dinner was fine. Options were Chicken or Vegetarian which I found surprising, but very pleasing since I had the Veg option: Butternut Ravioli. The movies were completely useless - only 1 screen up in the middle of the aisle :P Side note: Now that I see their logo and tagline "There's no better way to fly", I feel I should point out that every single other airline I flew on this trip was a better way to fly than my Lufthansa experience!

Frankfurt Airport was pretty boring with a much smaller Duty-Free area than I was expecting. But I did buy myself an 8Gb SD Card for my new Camera :) A bargain at only 39EUR (apparently, Varen told me they cost like R700 back home), and I can assure you it turned out to be more than neccessary over the next week!

I had Toasted Cheese and Tomato with Hot Chocolate just after I arrived (around 6am) because I hadn't had the stomach for breakfast on the plane immediately after waking up. And then later (I had a 5hr stop-over) I had my first McDonalds breakfast: Egg & Bacon McMuffin with Orange Juice. I wasn't all that impressed to be honest ... and I've heard loads of people raving about McD's breakfasts. What's the fuss about??

The flight to Canada (on Air Canada) was slightly delayed due to bad weather in Frankfurt (their arriving flight only landed after I'd already gone thru into our boarding area!)

It was a *much* better flying experience! Consoles in every seat-back and wider seats. I watched Year One, mostly since it was almost the only thing they were showing I hadn't already seen and I'll happily tell you I'm glad I didn't bother to watch it on big screen. But it was perfectly acceptable for whiling away time on an aeroplane. I also started watching Aliens, which I've never actually seen ... but I got bored half-way thru. So instead I dozed for a bit. Ate the "Chicken or Beef" hot lunch and mostly read my book. Got a Spinach & Ricotta pastry as a snack before we landed too, which was delish! Another flight offering a meat or veg option as a standard ... nice.

Arriving in Toronto was interesting. Although my luggage had been checked thru to Winnipeg in Johannesburg, everyone still has to collect their luggage and go thru customs before putting it back on a conveyor belt to head to your next destination (I realised it works the same in Joburg when I landed back at home). Makes sense I guess but since we were running about an hour and a half late, I wasn't especially enamoured with the idea. (Although seeing my luggage safely in Toronto did cause a sigh of relief! Haha)

Anyway, I did end up having enough time before my 4pm flight to Winnipeg. I met up with @clairam at our boarding gate and we had a very easy flight, chatting and swapping life stories all the way to Winnipeg - I can only wonder what the rest of the tiny plane thought ;) We flew on an Air Canada Jazz flight which is like a scaled-down purchase-your-own-food version, not to different from our Kulula etc.

> Follow @clairam on Twitter:

Winnipeg was 6 degreesC when we arrived. And no, babe, there was no one there to say "Well done, you Win a Peg!" when we arrived :( Haha. A big joke between Varen and I. Anyway, after we got our luggage, we caught a taxi to our hotel, The Fort Garry. A lot more larny than either of us were expecting but, I guess we're not exactly the "average traveler" for this trip (@clairam and I were, as expected, on the very young end of the scale with the vast majority of travelers being around our combined age!)

After I'd had a very refreshing shower (and someone had eventually brought a pair of scissors to my room so I could cut the cable-tie on my bag and get to some fresh clothes), we headed off to hunt down some dinner, which turned out to be at Pizza Hut (luckily we're both firm believers in trying out all the take-out cuisine we can't appreciate back home in South Africa ... and there is plenty of it!) Couldn't help thinking of Varen tho when I saw Root Beer on their menu!

After that, at 10:40pm, after traveling for over 30 hours, it was definitely time for bed!

Oh, and I must just say that this hotel honestly has the *most divine* bed I've slept in in my entire life. They are so plush and you just melt into them surrounded by puffy duvet and pillows. Bliss ;)


Louisa said...

I'm so glad your luggage managed to stay with you this time! If you have to do McBreakfast what you want to try out is the mega mcmuffin thingy...much better than the others.

Tamara said...

I don't get the fuss over McD brekkies either.

Glad you got good sleep in a comfey bed when you arrived.

Anonymous said...

welcome back lady, really looking forward to reading all about this trip.

AngelConradie said...

So did you try the root beer?
And I am so with you on McD breakfasts. Possibly the worst thing I have ever tasted!

phillygirl said...

@angel - I had a few sips of each when he drank them but, I am not really a fan of it at all ... I far prefer Ginger Beer, which he can NOT stand - haha :)

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