Nice sunset view as we pass over London, England, on our way to Albania.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Hiking in Albania, Kosovo, and Montenegro.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Porto, Portugal on June 25th!

Sunday, August 27, 2023

A pretty hectic end of the month!

We will be flying direct from Paris, France to Ottawa, Canada  on August 31st, only four days from now.

Our home town of Ottawa kind of gets left out when it comes to international flights. Despite the fact that it is the capital of Canada, and home to over a million people, almost all international flights depart from either Toronto or Montreal. So you normally have to connect in either one of those cities.

But Air France started service this past spring with direct flights from Paris CDG to Ottawa. 

We booked this flight for several reasons, although with the benefit of hindsight we possibly could have arranged things better. At the time (May 6th), we figured that the convenience of being able to fly direct from Europe to Ottawa without having to stop in either Toronto or Montreal was, and still is, a huge benefit. Also, the flight times are really reasonable.

And we booked our return flight at the same time, arriving back in Paris October 15th. We still don't know exactly where we are going from there, but one of the reasons we did that is because you can get to just about anywhere from Paris.

But the downside to all of this is that when we decided to fly from Paris, we didn't know what was going on with Max. And now that Max is sold, we need to leave him at the dealer where we bought him. And that means getting ourselves from the little town of Dulmen, Germany to Paris. 

Also sort of throwing a wrench into things was making a workable plan to have grandson Cameron come and visit. The plan ended up being that we would have to drop him off at Frankfurt airport, and then make our way back up to the town of Dulmen. We like to travel slowly, and this meant that we have been doing a lot more highway driving than we normally like.

Speaking of which, we arrived at Frankfurt airport yesterday morning around 10:30am. We have been here before, and knew that there was an oversize vehicle parking area really close to the terminal. We took the ticket, and got parked up. Didn't even think to check what it cost!

His flight didn't depart until 2:45pm, so we were early. And that's good. Except, we forgot that time was ticking by on the parking charges.

Cameron, in Frankfurt airport.

We had agreed with his parents not to use the unaccompanied minor service for this flight. He has flown enough now that he knows the drill. 

So we got him checked in, and found out that they wanted an extra €100 to get us a gate pass so that one of us could go with him to the boarding gate. No thanks!

So, we said goodbye at the entrance to security. He went in confidently on his own and never looked back! We made sure that he got his tablet connected to the airport WiFi so he could communicate with our daughter back in Canada. 

But, we hung around the airport until his flight departed just to make sure. By that time, it was after 3:00pm. I took the parking ticket over to get it validated so I could exit the lot, and the charge was €39 ($57 CAD, $42 USD). I just about had a heart attack. I walked over and checked the tiny charges board at the entrance, and sure enough it was €8 an hour with a €39 daily maximum. Yikes. Anyhow, nobody's fault but our own, but then thinking afterwards, we're not really sure what we could have done differently. What a rip off.

Cameron's flight was fine, and our son in law Justin picked him up in Halifax without an issue.

So, now we're back on our own. Max sure has a lot more room with only the two of us! But, it was fun having Cameron with us, and we look forward to seeing him again in October.

But we've got a hectic few days ahead of us. 

We left the airport and drove about 45 minutes north just to get ourselves out of the Frankfurt city area. 

Scenery along the way.

The Europaturm communications tower.

Traffic circle in Wetzlar, Germany.

We found some decent free overnight parking in the town of Wetzlar.

We will drive up past Dortmund today. Stop at a laundromat first thing tomorrow morning, then head directly to the dealer. We need to spend some time with our contact there and confirm the service work we want to have done so that the new owners will be able to take off with everything ready for them. Tuesday morning we need to pack our bags and sort through what we're leaving behind and give Max a final clean up. Then take the train to Dusseldorf Tuesday afternoon, then hotel overnight in Dusseldorf, then a ride share to Paris Wednesday morning. Then a hotel at Paris airport Wednesday night, and our flight to Ottawa on Thursday! Whew!

Looking forward to getting to Ottawa so we can relax!

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And in Canada...

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