July 14, 2006

Headed to Germany, for Sachsenring!

After breakfast on Tuesday, there was a slight change in my normal routine of catching the Aeropuerto Bus to the airport. Because I was travelling with two suitcases (and my helmet!!), I needed to catch a cab. It's always a bad sign when the driver needs your help to pick up your bags and put them in the trunk, but somehow I survived the geriatric ride and made it to the airport with time to spare. That's when it got interesting. Check in? No problem! Just put the suitcases on the scale and find out that I'm 30 kilo's overweight for the economy class travel in Europe! The travel agent whispered that he'd always wanted to visit Hawaii, so he said he'd cut me some slack and only charge me for ten kilo's extra baggage fee. Phew, I was a little worried for a second. . . . . until they told me it was ten Euros per kilo! That's a 120 USD!! Who walks around with that much cash? Not me. Anymore, haha. Anyways, go to a different counter to pay, and discover that my credit card has apparently stopped working. Big thank you to Citibank Mastercard for realizing that my card was stolen, freezing my account, sending me a new card, not sending me a new PIN number at the same time, and then locking out my card because I didn't make the payment on time (thanks to the account being frozen). Big, big thanks. A couple frantic phone calls, and thirty minutes later I was still S.O.L, and now gradually running out of time. I'm thinking, there's no way I'm going to miss this flight, because I AM GOING HOME afterwards! Long story short, I go to a different counter guy, this time an english speaker, and we try again. And it works. Phew.

Just about the best thing that can happen on a flight, happenned. Yay for me! WAHHHHHHHH WAHHHHH!

What was really bugging me on the plane was the prospect of paying an overweight luggage fee again, on the way to the States. Overage charges for "international" travel on Lufthansa are 30 Euros per kilo, so I was looking at a grand! For a freaking suitcase filled with souvenirs. Man, oh man. I'm still working on a couple options, like handing every member of my team a plastic bag filled with clothes, but I can see that causing a massive problem at Customs. Did anyone give you anything to carry for them? Oh man. But, solutions are the name of the game, and I think I'll be ok. One way or another.

Here's a shot of Frankfurt airport, where I transferred to a flight for Dresden. Then, a bit of a drive to get to Chemnitz, where I'd be staying for the race week. The Germans like their industrial design.

But in a lot of ways, they're still enamored with the eighties. Would you like some Michael Knight with that?

Some of my team mates are exhausted, since they've not had a week off in almsot two months. D'antin competes in both the MotoGP and Spanish Championships, and it's an impossible schedule.

Once in the air. . . . it all becomes a blur. I only ask that I be woken up for food or drink. I managed to stay awake for lift-off, and had some nice tomato juice when I took this photo.

Like I mentioned earlier, the Germans like their industrial design.

That's it for now, see you guys later!

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