To Piedmont by Way of Frankfurt

I love to travel. It typically gives me new perspectives. But it can also be exhausting if things don’t go right.

I’m off to Piedmont in Italy to see what there is to see and more specifically to eat good food, drink good wine and bicycle. Not too many straight shots into Turin from my neck of the woods so I left home early Saturday to catch a 7am flight to Washington DC and then from there a flight to Frankfurt, Germany where I would transfer to Turin – or Torino as the locals would say – before grabbing a car and driving to Alba in the heart of Piedmont wine country.

Pretty routine in the early going but the flight out of Washington ended up delayed. Doh! That didn’t leave much time for my connection once I arrived in Frankfurt so my baggage got hung up en route. Bummer. It’s nasty not being able to change into clean clothes after showering after a couple long flights. I’ve been very lucky over the year with baggage. I can only recall having it lost in transit a couple times. I was not so lucky this time.

In hindsight the short connection time was probably optimistic – when aren’t there delays – and I should have planned better. Though I’m not sure there were other flights from Frankfurt into Turin today. Even the one I was on was at best half full.

Frankfurt is not my favorite airport. The times I’ve been through it have always presented unusual logistics. For example, our completely full 777 did not park at a gate with a jet bridge, instead it parked at a remote location on the tarmac and several buses came to pick us up and then drive us far across the airport. From there you proceed through passport control. I was very thankful I’d squeezed onto the 1st bus and was wedged up near the door. It allowed me to be perhaps 8th in line at passport control instead of 100th in line. From there I ran to the A concourse to catch my connection. But to get there I first had to go through security again. That always strikes me as odd. I just got off the plane and thru passport control and I never left a secure area but yet I have to go through security again. Thankfully that was moving quickly. Off and running again I found my gate and as before, no plane parked at the gate. Instead, a bus was parked at the gate. So we board a bus and drive halfway across the airport to a regional jet parked on the tarmac. My connection took me the full 45 minutes I had available and I was feeling happy I’d managed it in that amount of time. If only my luggage had made it too… Sure hope it gets here tomorrow.

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