Friday, February 3, 2012
It was quite a sight, yesterday morning. Very early, at 7.15 am, very cold at -11 oC. Dark. Chilling wind. Not wanting to wear our winter coats for just a short walk to the station – who needs a winter coat in the Horn of Africa? -, we had instead opted for multiple layers of shirts, jumpers, fleeces etc., counting on well-heated transport once we were on board of the train, all the way to Dusseldorf, where we were to catch a Turkish Airlines plane to Istanbul, connecting to Addis Ababa. And Sofia was wearing her Panama hat, in anticipation of the Ethiopian sun.
Did I comment on the joys of the Addis Ababa to Djibouti train yesterday? And did I perhaps sound a little cynical? Five minutes into Germany, the modern high-speed ICE train from Arnhem to Dusseldorf broke down, and was not going anywhere soon, anymore. When we finally got onto another train, we had almost two hours delay. And we had missed our Turkish Airlines flight, so much was clear. In the end we arrived 15 minutes before scheduled departure time - only to find out that the flight had been canceled all together. It had been snowing in Istanbul, airport was closed. Lucky break, under the circumstances!
The airline staff managed to reschedule us, via Frankfurt direct to Addis Ababa, and what was more, we now had the whole afternoon free to spend in Dusseldorf. Day 1 of our travels thus became Altstad, Rhein promenade, sauerkraut, bratwurst und bier. But boy, did we miss our winter coats!
Sofia, with 17 layers and Panama hat, on the Rhein promenade in Dusseldorf, with minus 10
(quite different from what we had expected from our first day..)