John Colter Trail 1807 — 1808

Day 41: September 23rd, 2005 Pittsburgh — Munich

Today I will go back home. I put all my stuff in the car. Then we depart. Because of a road construction in Sewickley, we must drive a big detour — just to hit the morning traffic. Despite all of this we still arrive in time at the airport.

We say good–bye and I walk with all my luggage over to the counter. There they have changed everything to self service. Because I just have paper tickets, I am really not sure what to do. And the employees don’t really seem to be willing to help. Only when I started to raise my voice, one walked over.

When asking, if I am here at the right place with my tickets, she answers, I must wait until she has finished the other passengers. Then she will take care of me. Now things are going as usual: My tickets are read in, my passport is checked and the luggage will be put on a scale.

There I receive the next evil glance: In fact, only suitcases with a maximum weight of 40lbs are allowed. My suitcase is way too heavy with 75lbs. But they still accept it and I can walk over to the gate. Today they are even less busy then last time. Because I already know in the meantime, what is expected to do with my video camera, I put it in an extra container. I also don’t forget to take my ticket out of the jacket. Only my belt is causing again trouble at the metal detector. But after taking off the buckle, everything is fine. To my surprise, they don’t want to take a look inside my bag.

I pack my stuff together and walk over to the gate. There I must wait for another hour, until the boarding starts on time at a quarter past ten. The airplane is completely full, because the plane earlier had issues. Therefore they have rebooked as much people as possible on this plane.

Next to me sits a young guy in a suit, who is on his way to an interview in Chicago. He really had a bad day today: First he ran into the CEO of his current company and then his plane had issues. He applies in Chicago at a SAP consulting company. I wish him the best of luck!

The plane starts with a heavy delay, because we stood forever at the runway. But they are able to catch up most of the delay. Because I have plenty of time for my connecting flight, I am totally relaxed.

In Chicago I do this endless walk to the gate. There I see some machines, where you have to check out, if you participate in the Visa Waiver Program. Lucky me, there are some advisers at these machines, who tell me, that there is the same process like at the immigration: Scanning the passport, taking a picture and taking finger prints. Then you get a receipt and you are allowed to leave the country. The green paperwork must still be handed over at the departure gate terminal. I am wondering, why they are not able to make this last step easier…

Now I must wait for a couple of hours, until finally the boarding for my flight starts. To my surprise I really received a window seat. Next to me sits a guy, whose group is completely scattered over the plane due to a booking mistake.

Beside a broken movie player, the whole flight was without any issues. We arrive on time just past 8am in Munich. Also my suitcase decided this time to take the same plane as I did. Then I walk through customs and am picked up by my parents.

Almost traditionally, they have bought “Weißwürste” and Oktoberfest beer for me. After I have placed my suitcase in my apartment and handed over my little presents, we drive over to get my TV. Then we drive to my grandma to pick up my car. Also my Cherokee starts without any jump starting. That looks promising for the winter time.

Back home, I prepare my “Weißwürste” and enjoy, just being home. Then I start to empty my suitcase, wash my clothes and do what needs to be done after a six weeks vacation…

  • Sights
  • General
  • Breakfast: Home
  • Dinner: Plane
  • Motel: Plane
  • Distance: —