15 March 2012

Bangalore or Bust: A Travel Log (Day 2)

Author's note: For the next several weeks, I'll be posting tidbits of a travel log, which I kept during a two-week business trip (the reason I was in sporadic contact with the world recently). Enjoy!

For those who haven't yet seen the other posts in this travel log, check them out:

Day 1

(And again, if you're interested in seeing more photos than I'm providing, check out one of my co-workers' blogs from the same trip)

Day 2, Friday (2/24)…or is it Saturday?

Arrived in Frankfurt after a long and grueling journey over the North Atlantic, including a long stretch of heavy turbulence just past Newfoundland, which wouldn't have let me sleep even if I could. Seeing glimpses of England in the dark through heavy cloud cover was entertaining (even though none of those pictures turned out). Also exciting, having to disembark the plane far away from the terminal, under the watch of armed guards (no pictures, even if I'd had the guts to take them), and to be bussed to the terminal what seemed like miles (or kilometers) away. Walking around the terminal, we then had to pass through even *more* security checkpoints, with additional gun-toting guards nearby. Loads of entertainment.

Um, did someone take a wrong turn? Is there a terminal nearby?

No Photoshop skills here...this really was how close (actually, sometimes closer) the planes were to the bus.
 
The business lounge at this airport was far larger than the one in Dallas, but even so, the selection of drinks and snacks (in my opinion) was less. Having eaten breakfast on the plane an hour before landing, I didn’t partake.

 
Sorry, Boeing, but wasn’t all that impressed with the business class seating on the 747. Really, who puts a nose gear under high-dollar seats, with all the noise and heavy vibration? Other than that, the seating and accommodations were about the same. And of course, I was finally able to take a short 3-hour nap after having been awake since around 5AM Thursday. Accounting for the time differential that comes with the roughly 1PM departure at Frankfurt), that was around 24 hours without sleep.

The 747, which served as our transport on most of our international legs.
So large, I couldn't even get it all in one shot at the gate.

There was a little bit of nervousness watching the Airshow flight track, since our flight from Frankfurt to Bangalore took us right past Iraq and kissing the Iranian border. That’s always a bit unnerving (and you just hope that the GPS is working the entire time). But if not for that journey, I wouldn’t have the opportunity to see Kuwait and the Persian Gulf at night. Quite a sight, and you can tell the vast difference between that nation and the rest of the countries to the north and west, and the others farther east. Bare wastelands with hardly any lights at all, versus vast swaths of modern illumination. Sadly, these pictures didn't turn out either...

One would think, being an engineer, I’d be used to sitting for hours on end. However, plane rides for 8 or 10 hours at a clip are a bit excessive. Even when you can choose your seat position, even reclining to almost flat, there's only so much comfort that can be obtained on a plane, even when you're not experiencing that turbulence over the Atlantic.

And that's all for today...be sure to come back for the next installment...