Passing by Ledward Barracks, Schweinfurt, in April 2017

There are extensive rebuilding plans for the former areal of Askren Manors and Ledward Barracks in Schweinfurt. Today, while visiting family in town, we drove by and I took some photos. It still looked the same to me, except for the big sign announcing the Abbruch (demolition).

Ledward Barracks, Schweinfurt

Lufthansa Strike and Hotel cancellation

This Dutch proverb really sums up my latest travel experience, He who is outside his door has the hardest part of his journey behind him.

Due to Lufthansa’s pilots’ strike on 24 and 25 November, I did not even get to set my foot outside the front door.

I usually book my trips online, but this time I wanted to give a travel agent friend my business. This cost me dearly. Where one can usually cancel online hotel bookings within a certain time frame without a charge, or a reduced charge, going through a travel agency is very different.

The travel agency uses a tour operator to do the hotel booking. We paid € 452 for three nights. We were informed of a refund of € 46 for the prepaid € 452 (billed in February). Hence, a letter had been sent to TUI, the tour operator. We lost € 406 on the hotel booking.

TUI’s response was predictable. There is no additional reimbursement.

The travel agent also neglected to tell me she would process our flight ticket refund. Only after some prompting, and so-called miscommunication, I was informed that the ticket seller would be sending her our refund. Of the initial € 564 for two tickets, we got € 452,32 refunded.

I also rechecked on our ferry tickets we had purchased for the route Tallinn – Helsinki. These were non-refundable tickets at € 52.

Needless to say, we not only lost this travel opportunity, but I also have to spend a considerable amount of time on research of how to get any money back. In money value alone, my travel companion and I have lost € 599, 68.

My letter to Lufthansa, with a detailed explanation of losses incurred, was sent off today.

I had also booked ‘additional services’ with Lufthansa online, such as a checked-in suitcase. This is another item I have to see when I get my money back. My letter to Lufthansa, requesting a refund for this separate online booking, was sent off on 12 December and to date, 6 January, I have had no reply.

Frankfurt Airport

On a more pleasant note, I was home alone for four days and did not get into trouble. My husband was in Paris with his brother during that time, and both children are away at university in Shanghai and the U.K.

Travel Destination: Balkonien

This summer, we did not go anywhere for various good reasons. I enjoy Balkonien right now, especially in the evenings.

For some, Balkonien is a so-called euphemism for staying at home during the summer. Yes, I’m fortunate to have the chance to stay here (see photo). I do not want the frenzy of crowded airports, delayed flights, days of preparation, and much more. I do enjoy traveling, but not when everyone else does. At least, not now.

*Welcome to Germany.info: Word of the Week: Balkonien

Balcony August 2016

 

*Welcome to Germany.info: Word of the Week: Balkonien

Winter Landscapes around Oberursel

We’ve had a fairly mild winter up until mid-week. A few days ago, it started getting colder and we got some long-awaited snow. I recognized my photo opportunity right there and then. El Niño could be back in a flash.

‘Glück ist der Zufall, der auf Bereitschaft trifft.’, I heard on TV yesterday. Basically, your real chance comes when conditions change, and you are prepared and willing to go along. Off I went to capture nature’s rapture on camera.

With the above statement, the announcer was describing a German skier’s luck in yesterday’s Ladies’ Ski Cross World Cup qualifications in Watles, Italy.

 

snowy path Germany

Somewhere near Oberhöchstadt, about 6km from Oberursel

Maria’s Beer Balcony in Germany

Over the weekend, we had family here from the U.S.A. for one night. Stopping in Oberursel for one night before hopping on the plane is the thing to do, or so it seems.

Last night, we had beer in the kitchen. But we reenacted it this morning, using the empty bottles as prompts.

Nephew John & wife Melissa, from the U.S.A., enjoying the last day of their honeymoon

It’s time to pack my own suitcase. I tell you more about it later.