Fortunately, I had no trouble getting slightly over three hours of solid sleep, although knowing myself (thanks to FitBit) chances are unlikely that I got any decent REM sleep in such a short time…but still way better than nothing or trying to snooze in a lounge!
Skipped checkout at the hotel, having previously told them I had no charges (award night) so please check me out at 9am, I went straight to the terminal where Egyptian bureaucracy was at its finest, and it took two or three counters to figure out who would give me the correct departures queue so that I could go through immigration.
Despite trying to cut it close and maximize sleep, I still had nearly 20 minutes to visit the lounge for some espresso, and then it was off to the gate, where I still made it a solid 10 minutes before boarding. This seems to happen to me every time in Cairo – I should learn my lesson that I never need as much time as I think I will. Of course, the time I do that will be the one where I do actually need the time…
Lufthansa flight 587
Cairo, Egypt (CAI) to Munich, Germany (MUC)
Depart 07:30, Arrive:10:35, flight time: 4:05
Airbus A321, Registration D-AIDE, Manufactured 2011, Seat 8D
Miles Flown Year-to-Date: 139,037
Lifetime Miles Flown: 2,659,099
Surprisingly, this flight was completely sold out, and every seat was taken. In “EuroBusiness” this just means a regular coach seat with the middle blocked, which is a pretty crummy way to treat someone on a four hour flight, but nothing you can do about it if you want to fly Lufthansa, and a small price to pay for flying first class across the water.
We even got a…reasonable…breakfast:
Landing in Munich was right on time, but we were at the very last gate, and it was quite a walk to immigration and security, but still made it to the gate about 10 minutes before boarding. What are the chances – everything was working out perfectly this trip!
Lufthansa flight 105
Munich, Germany (MUC) to Frankfurt, Germany (FRA)
Depart 12:00, Arrive:13:00, flight time: 1:00
Airbus A321, Registration D-AISK, Manufactured 2008, Seat 8F
Miles Flown Year-to-Date: 139,223
Lifetime Miles Flown: 2,659,285
I’ve said it before, but I’m always impressed that on a 35 minute flight Lufthansa can still turn out a snack that’s better than what most US carriers offer on three hour flights. Seriously, how hard can it be? I can’t imagine it costs much/any more!
Got to my hotel in Frankfurt around 2pm, and was straight to bed for a two hour nap. I was wrecked from only getting three hours the night before, and knew that even if I took a long nap I’d sleep well that night. Plus, very little change of time zone meant I wouldn’t have that to deal with so nap it was! Felt quite a bit better after two hours, and grabbed some coffee and then wandered around the city just stretching the legs for a few hours.
Ended up at my favourite watering hole, NaÏv, which I’ve posted on here before. The selection didn’t didn’t disappoint, and had an imperial oatmeal stout from Sudden Death Brewing called Mr. Cinnamon Roll. Delicious! Plus the old school goalie mask as part of the logo made it extra cool!
After a great night of sleep, decided to buy a train ticket and head down to Speyer where there was a museum I’ve wanted to see for a quite a while. Bought the ticket, off on the train, and only then did I do my research. Bit of a bonus this trip, because turned out that the Speyer Cathedral was a UNESCO World Heritage Site as well. I promised myself I’ll never start on another travel list, but it’s fun to still check them off when I come upon them…
Statues outside the cathedral:
Trying to get artsy inside the cathedral…I really like how this shot turned out.
Finally after a bit of a long walk made it to the Technik Museum Speyer – which had an amazing collection of planes, trains, and automobiles. I’ll confess I skipped everything but the aviation displays, but that alone took me almost three hours – nearly unheard of for me in a museum!
First plane was a McDonnell F-101 Voodoo:
Mi-8 Helicopter which you could actually go inside:
The inside has definitely seen better days:
Selfie inside this ancient helicopter:
Next up was an Antonov An-22, the largest propeller powered aircraft ever made. Huge cargo plane. Inside:
That’s a whole lot of cargo space:
Look into the flight deck, through an unfortunately scratched up portal:
Looking out through the observation dome on the top…Lufthansa 747 in the background!
Antonov An-22 from the outside…simply huge. Amazing how something so big can get off the ground with just propeller power!
Vickers Viscount 814. Getting up to this level involved climbing several stories of metal steps, while being able to see down the entire time. Even once I got up here, you could see down through the metal grated walkway. Not great for someone terrified of heights, but my desire to see the planes won out!
Quick, terrified selfie outside the plane:
Inside…this poor passenger looks almost as terrified as I was!
Artsy shot just along the fuselage:
Across the grating, and up another couple of terrifying stories, and it was into the Lufthansa 747. The plane was pitched at maybe 10 degrees as you can see in this photo, and walking inside was absolutely terrifying to me. The back of the plane had a cutaway, so you could see all the innards you don’t normally see when seated:
There’s no question which way I’m going! As someone who had the privlege to fly the Lufthansa 747-400 in both business and first, this was really cool to see!
Most terrifying part of the entire museum….economy class!
FInally, into a hangar at the back of the museum, where a Soviet Buran Space Shuttle was stored:
The Buran from another angle:
Wing and tail shot….
Buran thrusters…I was fascinated by this thing!
Climbed up just a couple stories this time, to get a glance inside the cargo bay of the Buran:
Looking down on the wing:
I had no idea that there was a series of prototypes for Buran, all of which were launched into space. The Bor-5 was the prototype vehicle, and one was displayed in the museum. Super cool!
Final shot of the 747 and the Viscount as I headed to get a snack before leaving:
Quick snack at the museum of red bull and some delicious plum cake before leaving the museum. I’ve never seen plum cake anywhere but Germany…and in mom’s kitchen growing up. Given mom’s entire family came from Germany, I have to believe that’s what influenced it. Plum cake was one of those foods of my youth that when I (rarely) find it now, I can’t resist!
One more 747 shot…because they’re just so sexy…
Walking back through Speyer to the train station…
Wild AND cheese? This is my type of town!
Fun shot of a smaller German street:
Train snack of salami baguette and some traditional Frankfurter Apfelwein:
Fun graffiti in Frankfurt. I am how I am!
Train snack…how can you not love a train company that gives you free gummi bears?!
Wonderful day exploring the Speyer museum, and next time I get a full day near Frankfurt I want to travel to Sinsheim and view the other Technik museum there – which has a Concorde and a Soviet Concordeski!
Next up, the flight back to Washington…and finishing this blog just in time before heading back on my next trip.