This year I took my grandsons and younger daughter (their aunt) to the Christmas markets, our trip planned for last December which diverted to Venice and Rome six days before we were to fly, when the German Christmas markets cancelled and Austria closed their borders to foreigners. My guys are 13 and 15, and we flew out the night before Thanksgiving so we could get in 9 nights on the ground and miss only the 5 days of school the next week. Our plan: three nights each in Rothenburg, Salzburg, and Munich.
I bought our tickets in July, knowing the prices would probably drop, but that Delta would refund the difference. They did drop, and Delta did refund a couple of hundred bucks each, and put it in directly in the boys’ accounts, not mine, LOL. A few weeks before our trip Delta offered a great upgrade price for Comfort which made the flight better for all of us. Nobody got much sleep, and the child who needed the decongestant packed all his meds in his checked bag, but it was still better than it could have been. (As luck would have it, the back of the plane was practically empty, and we could have probably had entire rows if we had stayed there!)
I decided to do this trip all by train, and booked the two ICE trains and even the VGN day ticket ahead of time, infinitely better that standing on a platform trying to figure out the ticketing machine. Got the discount prices available ahead of time and had all the tickets on my phone. That said, even though I have an EU driver’s license and can comfortably drive almost anywhere in Europe (not London and Naples!) let me decide to take a train, and I am probably going to screw up something.
Landed in FRA, claimed our checked bags in minutes, took the shuttle to the long distance train station, and started looking for our nonexistent platform 9. Might as well have been looking for platform 11 1/2. Total rookie mistake. Even though I googled this several times before I bought tickets, the train we are ticketed on is leaving from the Frankfurt Hauptbanhof, NOT the FRA airport!
Luckily I had built in a little extra time, as now I had to buy tickets to get us into the city and find the train going there. With the help of a kind local at the ticket machine, I got my sleepy travelers to the Hbh and even had time to feed them before we took the first of three more trains to get to Rothenburg. Hours later, arriving at our Rothenburg hotel at almost 4PM, all I could think was “if I had driven, we would have been here hours ago!”