After 22 hours of travel and a 9 hour time difference we arrived safely in Krakow at the Hotel Maltaῄski. We are on the ‘1st floor’ in European speak – which means we’re on the second floor. Think of it as we are on the first floor above ground.
I don’t think of myself as a small-town person. But I’m used to Southwest Airlines’ smaller planes. There were a lot of people in Houston waiting to get on Lufthansa Flight 441 to Frankfurt – I never actually saw the plane till after we landed. I mean this plane was huge – sort of a flying cruise ship with three gangways funneling passengers on board from a two-story gate. In plane talk it was an Airbus 800, one of the largest, if not the largest, passenger planes flying. One cool feature is the camera mounted on the tail so you can see the actual plane take off. Did I mention Lufthansa serves free wine?
Maybe it’s a bit geekey, but at the end of the flight I had to turn off the Nook so I thumbed through the in-flight magazine. The Airbus 800 is a full two-deck plane that holds 526 passengers (and every seat was taken) with a max take off weight of 560,000 kg. I haven’t converted to pounds – but it’s a huge creature that would stun the Wright Brothers. When you consider a Boeing 747 holds a maximum of 362 passengers, you get the picture.
Like the country mouse in the city for the first time, I was determined to get a picture of this flying leviathan after we landed in Frankfurt. I wasn’t the only one in the terminal snapping photos. But I should have let it go. Right after taking the picture below I started walking back to where Rick stood. I didn’t see the low, attached tables extending from the seats lined up in the terminal. While I’m looking at the plane I walked into one of the tables and fell down hard. So now I’m nursing two large bruises on my right shin and thigh. And try finding ice in a European airport. Graceful is as graceful does.
Tomorrow we begin exploring Krakow, and thanks to Mike Richard of Livingkrakow.com who helped me plan this trip, I have a map of the downtown area with specific addresses Rick and I will track down.