Zee Germans

When Alex proposed to Svenja, we knew that the wedding would take place in Germany – which meant a holiday for us! So, when the time came, we started doing lots of planning, took lots of leave, and put together a holiday like not many others before.

    

This holiday was to include 7 countries, driving approximately 4500 km’s, numerous flights, train trips, and lots and lots and lots of fun beer.

Our route went like this:

Dubai – Doha – Munich – Zurich by air ; Zurich – Lorrach by car ; Lorrach – Dresden by car ; Dresden – Prague by train ; Prague – Chemnitz – Prague by car ; Prague – Krakow by train ; Krakow – Berlin – Munster by air ; Munster – Wilhelmshaven by car ; Wilhelmshaven – Hamburg by car ; Hamburg – Berlin by car ; Berlin – Munich by car ; Munich – Austria – Liechtenstein – Zurich by car (these 4 all in one day!) ; Zurich – Furkepass (Alps) – Lake Geneva (Monteaux) – Zurich by car ; Zurich – Doha – Dubai by air .

I am splitting the holiday up into different blog posts for the different sections – so you’ll get the most out of each, and don’t have to read one loooooooooooong post all in one go 🙂

1) Arrival in Germany/ Wedding (this blog post)

2) Czech Republic and MotoGP

3) Poland

4) Hamburg

5) Berlin

6) Munich

7) Austria/Switzerland

We left Dubai on a late night flight, via Doha, Qatar, to Zurich, where Alex was to fetch us from the airport and drive us to his hometown Lorrach, Germany – 1 hour away. Having flown this route many times before, we knew that a close connection (45 minutes) is enough time to get to the connecting flight.

But not if they depart from Dubai about 20 minutes late!!!! No-sirreee! We landed in Doha with about 10 minutes to spare, but our luggage was not going to make it. There was no way I was getting on that plane without my luggage – especially since we weren’t going to be staying at Alex’s for long – only 1 night.

So, off to the transfer desk we go to try and arrange seats on the next flight. 24 hours later! No thanks! But after lots of arguing, we managed to get ourselves booked onto a flight departing about 8 hours later, travelling to Munich, and then Zurich. We’d land in Zurich 10 hours later than originally planned. Fine. Off to the airport stopover hotel for a crappy night’s 4 hours sleep, a measly breakfast the next morning, and back off to the airport for our very long flight.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, this is your Captain speaking. We have a slight delay of about 10 minutes. Sit tight and we’ll be off soon.”

No panic – we have about 1 hour in Munich to connect so we should be fine.

But alas – we take off from Doha nearly one hour late!!!!!!! Yup, that means there goes the connecting time in Munich. Well, there was nothing we could do about it now – we’re on the plane, and at least going to land in a European city, with potentially many other national flights within Germany. We’ll handle this when we get to Munich. The pilot does a good job of catching up time though and we land with a good 30 minutes or so to spare – but Munich airport is rather large, and we have no boarding passes for our onward flight. RUN!

We head straight to the gate where we’re meant to be boarding the Munich-Zurich flight, and arrive there 5 minutes past when the plane was meant to depart – only to find that everyone is sitting there, calmly. Chatting away. Is this the *next* flight? Is the flight delayed? We get told that air traffic control is down across the entire airport – has been for an hour – and we should just sit tight. We get issued with boarding passes, and our bags are confirmed as being on the plane! WOOHOO!

Anyway, we finally make it to Zurich, now about 12 hours late, but we’re there; the braai is already going, and the beers are cold. And it’s great to be with the rest of our friends 🙂

So, as mentioned, we were only spending one night here as the next morning we headed off to Prague, Czech Republic, for the boys stag night / girls sight seeing. We drove approximately 700km’s from Lorrach (south west Germany) to Dresden (eastern Germany, bordering with Czech Republic). Here we hopped on a train and within a few hours were in Prague.

Read about it here. We spent 2 nights in Prague, and then a few of us went in different directions.

Murray, Natasha and I headed off (on an overnight train) for 2 nights in Krakow, Poland. You can read about that here.

We then flew from Krakow to Munster, northern Germany, where Alex once again fetched us and we drove for about 1.5 hours up to Wilhelmshaven (northern Germany). This is where the wedding was to be taking place – and we spent 4 nights here. Finally a time to rest just a little bit ;p

  

The wedding took place in Jever, in a castle! It was absolutely beautiful!!

This beer is made locally in Jever – the castle shown on the glass is the castle that Alex & Svenja got married in!

  

  

After the wedding, we got transferred down to the harbour and all jumped on a boat, and went for a little cruise around the area. We each took a balloon as we got on, and as the boat exited the harbour, we all released the balloons into the air – lovely!!!

  

From there, we headed back to the hotel where we now had about 4 hours to kill before the reception started. Drinking time. Nap time. Party time!

You can see the full wedding photo album here.

First dance

The rest of the stay in Wilhelmshaven was very chilled. From here on, the travelling shifted into high-speed mode! We left 2 days after the wedding, and headed east to Hamburg.

I end this blog here, but please continue reading the travels in Prague; Krakow; Hamburg; Berlin; Munich and Austria/Switzerland. We finally left Europe from Zurich and headed back to Dubai for some very well-deserved rest.

The photos from all these travels can be found here.

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