Our departure date was the day after the Courts dropped mask wearing on planes. Arriving at the San Diego airport, we immediately find out the flight is delayed four hours- to leave at 11:00pm. We find out that the pilot tested positive for covid!!!!!
So we had 7+hrs from the time we left our house until we got off the ground. We then missed our connection to Munich, but thankfully , we caught the last connection out that same day, arriving Munich around midnight.
In Munich at that hour, the airport was dead, passport control took maybe 10 minutes. We had to find the S-bahn, knew which trains to get, but fumbled once again at the ticket machines. The machines wouldn't take our visa- no pin #. We thankfully had small bills and coin in currency- the machines don't like to give a lot of change, and don't like 20 Euro notes unless your fare is close to that amount. I THINK we could have bought the tickets via the DB app- maybe someone here can confirm. ( We had no problem buying subsequent tickets using the DB app and our visas credit card.) Someone mentioned on the Forum that there is a change machine, but I'm not sure where.
On the flight, about half the passengers were wearing masks, but none of the crew were. We were on the newly-configured British Airways plane- no First Class, 12 rows of Business Class, no climbing over folks. The window seats are all single seats with lots of room, and the middle section is only two seats, not four. The Asian Vegetarian meals were great, as advised here.
After we boarded the S-1 train, there's an announcement that a construction problem requires us to exit the train at Munich Ost , if our destination is the central train station. People around were very helpful, figured out on their apps what the next connection was, and the platform #. Thankfully so many Germans were so fluent in English. We find ourselves at 12:30 am standing outside on a cold platform at Munich Ost [East} hoping our new-found friends were correct.
We finally get to Munich central train station, and our hotel is directly across the street, we were told.
Guess what- we didn't know which exit was for the main entrance. There's lots of construction around the exit we chose , so at 1:00am we are wandering the street lost, not seeing our hotel. Back into the train station for security (perceived) , no one to ask, and we wandered to another exit, and whoa- there's our hotel immediately across the street. I should have researched in advanced what train tracks numbers were by the main entrance. The Marriott Aloft Hotel is directly across from the main entrance to the train station, and was a very convenient choice. However, this is a case study in exhaustion after 24 hours of traveling, and how brain fog sets in. I couldn't imagine doing more traveling that evening: not by train, and certainly not by car.
A few lessons, at least for myself:
Plan that your first day of flying might take two days. Had we bought the train ticket to Salzburg that first night, it would have been money lost. For us, one connection a trip is enough ( SAN to Munich, not SAN to Munich to Salzburg.)
Plan that you may lose a day at the beginning.
Have local currency in hand including smaller bills.
Know how to make international calls. I learned this now at 70 years old- hit zero two times for ++, to call the Munich hotel to hold our room.
Have electrical adapters for the country of your transiting airport, to charge your electronics on the layover ( I did have UK adapters.) And USB-c adaptors for the I-phone 13.
Access to the Business Class lounge was a life-saver for the extended time in the San Diego airport. We bonded with several passengers also delayed, so that really helped.
More later, but Salzburg is wonderful, no crowds, no tour groups, no one is wearing masks (except on train) but us!!! ( I can see it's easy to get exposed, and I want to go home on time!)
Sorry so long , not sleeping regularly yet, more coming!