We had originally booked a direct flight from Zagreb to Dublin, using our credits with Croatia Airlines from our 2020 cancelled trip. In fact, our decision to visit Ireland was based, in part, on the fact that there was a direct flight from Zagreb. However, that flight was cancelled a month before the trip, and we had to switch to flights that connected through Frankfurt Airport, instead. There were two choices for this. One gave us only an hour between flights. The other would have landed us in Dublin much, much later, leaving us trying to get to Belfast very late at night, and we had a tour booked the next morning from Belfast. Either that, or we would have had to change several of our bookings for Ireland and waste hours hanging around Frankfurt airport. So, we booked the 1 hour connection and crossed our fingers. We landed in Frankfurt and deplaned on the tarmac, away from the terminal. We were herded onto shuttles that took us to a terminal. From there, we followed the signs to get us to our boarding gate. This led us up and down several flights of stairs or escalators, and then to another shuttle which took us to another terminal. We were running whenever we could. At the next terminal, we encountered more stairs and, finally, a long, long lineup in front of a sign indicating the direction to our gate. We asked a worker about it, hoping that it wasn’t our lineup, but, alas, it was. We were certain we would not make our flight at this point, but we got into line. It moved more quickly than expected, and we found that it led down another set of stairs and into yet another shuttle! The shuttle took us out to the tarmac and to a plane that was parked one plane over from the Croatia airlines plane we had vacated earlier! Three shuttles, two terminals, and numerous stairs and escalators, and we’d ended up right back where we started from! Grrrr. This was not our first hairy Frankfurt Airport experience, but we vow it will be our last. It’s a truly ridiculous airport.
We caught our breath and destressed on the flight to Dublin, and, once we landed, had just over an hour to wait for our bus to Belfast. So, we ate lunch in the mezzanine food court, and then went outside to wait for the bus, which arrived half an hour late and almost full. There was room only for those of us who had reserved tickets online in advance, so we were very glad we had done so. There isn’t a lot of legroom on these buses. We sat behind a couple who had their seats fully reclined. I didn’t want to recline my seat, because I had noticed that the guy behind me was tall and had long legs. However, this meant that my knees were right against the seatback in front of me. The man in that seat was annoyed by this, I guess, because he kept slamming back against his seatback and bashing it into my knees. I finally said loudly, “Excuse me!!” The woman beside him looked back and saw that I had no room, so she switched seats with the man and they both moved their seatbacks up a little. I was more comfortable after that.
(To be continued...)