View from our hike near Beauregard-Baret, France.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Saint-Côme-et-Maruéjols, France.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Towards Andorra.

Sunday, November 6, 2022

Reunited with our motorhome Max!

When we left you on the previous blog post, we were sitting at the boarding gate for our early morning flight from Tirana, Albania to Dortmund, Germany.

They were telling us that our flight would be ten minutes late leaving, and twenty minutes late arriving. Not a big deal, since we had lots of time. Or so I thought!

We've never flown with Wizz Air before. They are a popular European discount airline that charges extra for every little thing. I actually don't have a problem with that. You pay for what you want. And generally, I want to get from A to B as cheaply as possible.

And they were fine. As expected, the seating is really close together, Good thing I had an aisle seat so that I could at least have one knee not jammed into the back of the seat ahead of me. I actually found it more comfortable to sit kind of sideways with both knees aimed towards the aisle. And good thing it was only a two hour flight.

So when we arrived in Dortmund, most people just couldn't wait to get their seatbelt off and start opening the overhead bins. Even though the plane wasn't even at the gate yet! The pilot actually stopped the plane, opened the cockpit door, and told everybody they weren't moving again until everybody was back in their seat with their seatbelt on. We've been on 111 different airplanes in the last ten years and we have never seen anything like it.

So we eventually get off the plane and into the terminal and have to go through EU immigration. There were only two immigration officers to process the whole planeload. I figured that with Dortmund being a small airport things would be been pretty quick, but not in this case.

I don't know if you've been reading the news about illegal immigrants from Albania, but this is probably why the border officers were putting these people under extra scrutiny. Most of the people on the plane were Albanian citizens, and they were checking to make sure everybody had return tickets, and asking lots of questions. When Ruth and I got up there, the guy looks at our passports and says "Oh. Canadians!" He looked surprised. Asked us a couple of questions, stamped our passports, and waved us through.  It took just over an hour in total. 

Then, to the train station. The weather was nicer than forecast. It was sunny, but cool with a temperature about 8C (47F). It was €3 each to take the bus, or a free twenty minute walk. Of course we were happy to walk.

At the train station, we had to figure out the ticket machine. Even with the language set to English, it was difficult to figure out. We asked a local girl to help us, and she did. It was €17 ($23 CAD, $17 USD) each for the one hour trip, and we had to connect in the city of Dortmund itself.

In Dortmund, we had almost an hour wait for the next train to Dulmen. There was a football (soccer) game going on in town, and lots of fans all dressed in the team colors... and lots of police. Even with riot gear. 

By the time we got off the train in Dulmen, it was 1:40pm! About two hours later than I figured it would be.

It's about a twenty minute walk from the Dulmen train station to the dealership where Max was waiting for us. Part of the walk goes through this field!

The guy who we normally deal with is on holidays, so I knew that he wouldn't be there. We had to find another guy who spoke English, and he had a difficult time finding our keys. He also couldn't find our invoice for some of the service work we had done. He said we could deal with our regular guy when he returns from holiday, and pay the bill later. 

It was 2:25pm by the time we were finally reunited with Max.

Max is raring to go!

And the reason I keep mentioning the time is because we had quite a lot to do to get ourselves set up. And grocery stores in Germany are closed on Sundays and we had to do a big shop.

We got everything put away enough to be able to travel, then moved Max over to fill the fresh water tank. With that done, we drove a couple of blocks over to a self serve fuel station and filled both propane (LPG) tanks. And put in enough fuel to get us to France where diesel fuel is a bit cheaper than Germany.

Then it was off to the grocery store. I had originally planned to do about an hours drive that afternoon, but now that it was later than we figured we changed the plan. Plus, we were pretty tired, having got up at 4am that morning! So we went to the Dulmen free motorhome parking which is conveniently located next to an Aldi and a Lidl store. We did some shopping and then spent the night right there.

Our location right now.

This morning, we are on the road early, and putting some miles on while the road is quiet. Headed for Belgium!

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And in Canada...

4 comments:

  1. Glad you made it back to Max safely, if a bit later than expected. Looks pretty chilly from what Ruth is wearing. Enjoy your travels forward!

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    1. So are we, it was so nice to be back in him and to get back to our "normal" life of travel.

      It actually wasn't too bad, I was almost to warm on our hike from the train to Max. It looks like I am dressed up warm but I just have a couple of light layers on under my rain/wind jacket.

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  2. Wow, that was convenient! Happy to see all is well with Max and you are reunited! The plane issue was very common in Mexico. Then in the last 5 years or so things changed and people became more educated. A failure on part of the airline industry though, not explaining why you should or shouldn't do things.

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    1. It is really nice that the motorhome dealership isn't all that far away from the train station. It feels so good to be back with Max. :-)

      I don't know what the issue was with this plane load of people but they really were an impatient lot! The airline attendants, announced enough times to stay seated and buckled in until the plane stops at our designated spot and the seatbelt sign is turned off for their own safety and that of their fellow passengers but they still didn't pay a bit of attention to it and it was said both in Albanian and English. We just had to shake our heads!

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