When I flew back from New Zealand, I came across an article about interesting hotels of the world. Most were the typical exotic types: posh rooms and lavish spas with four-digit price tags. The one that caught my eye didn’t include either feature, and its price also wasn’t sky-high. Apparently, a little more than a decade ago, a 747 came to its final resting place not in an airplane graveyard but rather as a hostel. I figured the chance of a consensual nap in the cockpit of a 747 was going to be rare if not impossible, so I took the bait and booked the trip. As London had been, it was supposed to have been a quick weekend: two nights sleeping in the plane, then back to Germany. The drive to Munich started off cloudy, and the Alps weren’t visible as I flew on to Zurich.
Being behind on blog posts affords the benefit of having more time to contemplate my experiences but adds the risk of forgetting nuances. Blowing the dust off a three-month old trip and the thousand photos that accompanied it is a bit of an endeavor, but this post starts another month and a half before that. In January, I had a business trip to China that began with me watching the sun rise from business class, a perk of work travel while on a German contract.
The trip was short and didn’t leave much free time to ponder. The last time we saw blue skies was just before we descended into the industrious smog, but on our last day rains the previous evening washed away enough particulate to allow the sun to poke through just after sunrise.
Less than two months afterward, I would watch a sunrise coming into the same airport (albeit from “poky” economy class), this time, though, en route to a destination where the forecast predicted no smog but rather enveloping fog.
Being so close to the mountains, I had hoped — and expected — that I could ski several times between December and April and figured that by the end of the season I would know enough about skis and my type of skiing to buy skis. A lack of being around in December and a dearth of snow in January made skiing a lot less common than thought, however, and by February I began to get fidgety about not being in mountains so close they are home. Thankfully, I was saved from the doldrums of valley life by… commercial aviation!