With a very short notice I had the chance to make a very fast trip to Strasbourg. So here it goes my insights:
Flight: LIS/MUC ( LH4541 )
Airplane: Airbus A320-211
Duration of the flight: 2:37 minutes
Photo © Anto Blazevic
Lately I've been returning to fly some airlines that I flew during the 80's, and LH was one of those....my first ( and last! ) flight with LH was in 1981/09/07 from GVA to FRA, flying in a 737-130 - D-ABEA - and I had to wait 25 years to get back. Anyway our flight arrived late and we left LIS with a delay of around 30 minutes, nothing really bad and our flight was not full, around 75% ocupation and when I did the check in I asked for a seat ahead of the wing and window, and a nice LH asked me if I wanted the first Economy seat after Business....well of course I said yes and at the end I had the all row for me, and that was great!
We had to take the long taxiway run because our runway was 21, after a few minutes here we where, an ATR42 from Atlas of Marroco landed, a TP A319 also landed and then we lined-up with the runway and took of quite lightly. The weather was cloudy but gave us the chance to still see ait of Lisbon downtown until we started to make the stardard tight left turn and head to north. When we left the layer of clouds I noticed that we "had company", another airplane already in his FL was cruising close by leaving a nice white trail, I never identified it but it was a bit higher than us. Then the captain spoke, his name was Mathias Riedel and he gave us all the infomation possible, we would cruise at FL360 and the ride would be quite smooth. Our A320 although is one of the early series ( it was 16 years and 8 months old when I flew it...) looked in really good condition, no pop-TV's but that was ok. After some time already at FL360 the crew served us a hot meal, it consisted of pasta with vegetables and cheese, quite tasty indeed, bread, a pastry and I had 2 glasses of white wine. Over Spain the weather cleared out a bit and we could see the Iberic Meseta and when the sun started to go down it was just in time to see the Pyrenees and the snow on top of it, very beautifull indeed. Then the night came and I could not see anything else, just noticed that when we started to go down that we passed ome clouds and started to rain, then on the final moments before we landed we overflew quite low Munique....it looked to me a very big city, it was my first time there and I was impressed, I could also see the Allianz Arena far away but with that distinct aspect....that stadium can be seen from the air at night at a very long distance...even if you feel you are lost and don't know were you're going if you see Allianz Stadium you'll know that YOU ARE LANDING AT MUC!!!
The landing was good, we left in one of those taxiways I cannot identify and then I had a great look of MUC...huuuuge, modern, bright, oh well just a great german airport that's it!!! We parked outside the gates, so we left via stairs and boarded a bus to the main terminal. Then I had around 2 hours transit to continue my flight.
MUC airport is very nice, very modern with plenty of shops and great stuff, the problem is for an humble portuguese like me the prices are german and although I use the EURO these prices are hard t reach....but we can always find something and I had the chance to buy 2 Bayern Munchen jerseys to them!!! So after sometime mainly looking to those lovely shops it was time to board my flight.
Flight: MUC/SXB ( LH4202 )
Airplane: Canadair CRJ200
Duration of the flight: 0:48 minutes
Photo © Anto Blazevic
The boarding was fast and we had maybe a dozen passengers to fly that night, so actually our flight left a few minutes early. When I was going to seat down there was a very serious businessman that probably didn't like my face too much so has soon has the door was closed he moved right away..well good for me, I had again a full row!!! Again I have to mention that those windows of the CRJ200 are very low and once again I needed to slide down so I could see something...well at night there's not a lot to see but....well let's go ahead with the report, after a long taxy we finnally left, quite fast and light and soon we were in our FL, I don't know what altitude we flew but it doesn't look it was that high, the fly was going pretty fast but still LH crew managed to gave us one Toblerone chocolate bar, 2 glasses of juice and that was it!!! Soon we started to descend, I noticed that we passed close to a small mountain and I noticed how classic the CRJ200 is when it lands, he drops down the nose almost like a DC-6, and just a few minutes latter we landed! Just when we were leaving the runway I saw an AF A320 landing. We left our airplane, boarded a bus and I saw a few AF planes or franshising airlines with AF livery...I saw a Fokker F70, a ERJ140, and two AF A320's, also a 733F from Aeropostale, that's it.....SXB is quite small but efficient. Then I headed to downtown, SXB have a great Information department and I just noticed that if you travel by taxi it can cost you a fortune ( around 40 Euros..) but if you get a combo ticket bus+tram it's only 5,10 Euros...I took the 2nd. option and it worked perfectly.
Strasbourg is just a very intense, great, awesome place....it is in France but all the names are in german.....it looked that I was in a Twilling Zone!!! But I soon found out that I was above all in Alsace...that's it...no France or Germany...Alsace that's the magic name! The cathedral it's just unbelievable....I have no words....all it was Christmas season and down town had the spirit...so I had a great fun there and I want to come back with my wife!!! Well after my meeting it was time to come.
From Strasbourg I had to travel to FRA but this itenerary is donne by bus. I took the bus at the station and until you get to the highway the bus just goes around the city for about 1/2 hour, so let's say that the real trip it's only 2:15 minutes + 30 minutes sight seeing Strasbourg!!! The trip was smooth, I passed the Maginot Line area and then I started to imagine all those intense times during WWII, the trip was nice and I arrived on time at FRA. It was now time to get back to LIS.
Flight: FRA/LIS ( TP579 )
Airplane: Airbus A319-111
Duration of the flight: 2:49 minutes
Photo © Jenny Coffey
Our plane arrived some minutes late again, but everything went ok. The occupation was maybe around 85% but our A319 looked in a worst condition that the LH A320, and the plane is just 7 years old....oh well, before we started our psuback we got stucked by an Air China 744 - B2445 - but soon we we ready to taxy, a long one again until we reached our runway. It was night so there was not a lot to see, the take-off was ok and this time I could check our flight. Our Capt. Pedro Teixeira gave a good information regarding our flight and things went smooth. We flew FL390/800 kms/hour and after 50 minutes of flight we saw well above and cristal clear Paris by night...now I understand why they call City of Light...it was fantastic!!! Soon the crew served us a meal, a hot sandwish with cheese, ham and mushroom, delicious, a pastry and drinks, I got a beer with the sandwish and it blended well. I had a japonese in the aisle with noone in the middle seat so once again I was quite lucky. The flight went really well, we gain around 15 minutes from our 30 minutes delay, the final moments of the flight we were crusing quite fast, around 890 kms/hour and soon we started to descend to LIS landing again in RN21.
And that was my latest trip report.