Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Lufthansa FRA-PEK Dinner

The service was excellent with three or four flight attendants sharing duties upstairs.

Our dinner was tasty, Kathy choosing a veal and asparagus dish, and Brian hitting the jackpot with a spicy shrimp plate.

Brian nibbled at the continental breakfast, and we both managed four hours or so of sleep in the comfortable flatbeds.

We landed around 8:45 AM local time.

FRA Terminal 1 Lufthansa Senator Lounge

It’s our first stop before boarding a Lufthansa 747 for a nine-hour flight  to Beijing.

After a long layover at PEK, we board a four-hour China Southern flight to Haikou (HAK).

We’re not precisely sure that everything has been worked out between Hainan and China Southern, but we have six hours on the ground at PEK and hopefully there will be no major hitches.

There we have another awkward layover before boarding a nine-hour Hainan flight to Sydney, landing around noon local time, about 10,000 miles and 33 hours after taking off from Frankfurt.

At the gate...

The upper deck - our favorite place in the sky...

Unlike United’s 744s, this one has overheads as well as the storage bins under the window. Everything fits.

Lots of room for our feet as well...

Monday, May 20, 2019

Frankfurt Airport Hilton Executive Lounge

Our second visit here within a few days. Many airport Hiltons don’t have an Executive Lounge, and this is a perfectly nice one, and very uncrowded on this particular Monday night.

A Double Upgrade at the Frankfurt Airport Hilton

Even better, we were granted a 3:00PM checkout. Why are we happy? Check our upcoming itinerary below.

Even a powder room off the living room...

Tomorrow, May 21, around 5:00PM we fly on Lufthansa from Frankfurt to Beijing, Lansing at 8:30AM.

There we have a long layover, due to Hainan’s cancellation of a flight. We board a China Southern flight around 5:55PM (the result of negotiations with Hainan) and fly to HAK (Haikou) on a four-flight, arriving at 9:45PM.

We depart on Hainan Airlines at 1:30AM, May 22, and land at Sydney (SYD) at 12:50PM, 10,860 flight miles later.

Yes, it’s all in Business Class and we’ll have lounge access. We may be stupid but we’re not (completely) crazy.

Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof

We stay aboard to take the next stop, Frankfurt Airport.

There’s always something to see when traveling by train.

Train in the Rain

Lightning and wind and rain but it’s cozy in our seats.

The train’s speed determines the angle of the rain on the windows.

Here we are in a station.

We’re moving here.

Here we’re moving faster.

Hey, it’s a way to pass the time on a rainy afternoon.

On the other hand, sipping a draft beer on a German train is an even better way to pass the time.

Germany’s Kleingärten

No, they’re not shantytowns. 

Kleingärten (singular Kleingärten), also known as Schrebergärten, result from an idea suggested in the 1860s in Germany, leased allotments to give city dwellers their own little back yards in which their children could play.

People started to grow their own crops as well.

They’re all over Germany, and not uncommon to spot near train tracks. 

We just passed a large “neighborhood” as we left Dresden.

More information here: 

Similar allotment garden schemes exist in many countries, including the US and Canada, where they are usually called Community Gardens. More information than you probably need here:

Dresden Hauptbahnhof

We checked out of the Hilton and beat the rain predicted in a leisurely 10-minute walk to the tram stop.

We mislaid the 4-ride ticket we bought on arrival so paid another €1.60 each on the onboard dispenser to ride back to the train station.

We leave on ICE 1558 at 12:10 PM, and are scheduled to arrive at Frankfurt Airport 4 hours 45 minutes later, at 4:55 PM, our longest train ride of this trip.

And here it is.

All aboard (except they whistle instead)...

Bonus: We’re in the first car, and the train driver is clearly visible in his glassed-in compartment at the very front, as is his view of the tracks.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Dresden’s Best Wurst

We’re not actually sure, but that’s more or less what the sign on the booth claimed when we went back to the market today.

As a German Dixieland band performed for a happy crowd, we listened in as we enjoyed one smoked sausage and one Thuringer Bratwurst. 

The dogs and the music were both sehr gut!

And now for our second and final Happy Hour in the Dresden Hilton Executive Lounge. We’ve really enjoyed our stay here.

Visiting Dresden’s Albertinum Museum

We strolled around for awhile after a late breakfast before circling back to the Albertinum, only a short distance from the Hilton.

At €12 each, including an audio guide, it’s a decent bargain. It’s not overwhelmingly huge, but there’s a lot to take in on its three floors of exhibitions, from 5000 BC Assyrian panels, Egyptian mummies and Greek vases, right up to art so modern that it doesn’t interest us.

Some highlights include the sculpture halls.

We spot a Klimt early on.

From there it’s the Assyrians, Egyptians, and Greeks.

An abundance of spaciousness in an uncrowded museum today...

Here’s a Degas. By golly, we know this painting.

And Gaugin is painting Tahiti.

Van Gogh’s Still Life with Quinces, painted toward the  end of his short life...

A detail of Vincent’s brush work...

We always confuse Monet and Manet. Isn’t that annoying? In the Albertinum, they’re hanging next to each other. We’re not sure if that helps or hurts.

Monet’s Jar of Peaches...

Manet’s Lady in Pink...

A fairly early portrait by Renoir...

We move right along to a self-portrait by Oskar Kokoschka. The OK in the upper left corner just might provide a clue as to the painter.

We then spot Fruit Bowl, Mandoline, Bottle by Pablo someone-or-other.

There’s a large Chagall on display as well.

All in all, a very satisfying couple of hours spanning 7,000 years or so of art.