When I saw a flight to
Before it became too late, I took the matter into my own hands. I made sure the price had been correctly debited on my bank account just to make sure I had not had a dream, and then phoned a friend who works at the airport. She was able to retrieve my details, and surprise, surprise – I found out I was leaving as soon as the following weekend!
When I book a low-cost flight I am not too fussy. The aim seems to get the best deal, regardless of where the airport actually is, what particular things can be done in the area, or what exact times the flights are. On closer inspection it turned out that the airport was 2 hours away from
I looked for an alternative and found that Hahn airport is actually closer to the
The weather forecast in fact was not exactly encouraging, so things might take an unexpected turn. With foresight I packed a pair of waterproof trousers, a cap, a rain jacket and a big plastic rubbish bag to cover my backpack in case it rained. After landing at the airport, the weather was dull and cold, but the English bus driver said the temperature would be warmer down in the valley. Oddly enough we conversed in tentative German. Although it impaired my possibilities of expression, I was determined to make use of it in the next two days, so I thought I’d better start brushing it up from the very beginning.
I hired a bike in Zell and pedalled down the river passing quaint timbered houses and a suggestive landscape of vineyards, sometimes dangerously creeping up the steep slopes. Huge barges loaded with containers or heaps of coal navigated on the waterway. They were so long that I wondered how they could negotiate the river bends. Many other cyclists plied the same road, or the one on the opposite bank.
I got to the small
The following morning I met an elderly couple in the breakfast hall. Flemish Belgians, they had driven the
I got back to Zell with yet no rain and had a picnic lunch. I also bought a bottle of white, just not to regret one day not making a feast on the flagship product of the region. Well, probably a bottle was a bit too much, but I had no driving or more cycling to do, so I could slowly sober up in the hostel near the airport where I was lucky to find a bed. On a bad note, German pillows are so soft they hardly let me sleep, even with white wine in my veins!