The journey to CeBIT
You would think that flying from Dublin to Hanover would be a simple thing. After all, you can get direct flights from Dublin to probably a hundered cities between Aer Lingus and Ryanair. But, it turns out that Hanover is not one of those places. On the Thursday (15th) I was flying, Aer Lingus doesn't even fly there so instead I got to take SAS through Copenhagen.
I'm usually a bit wary of flights with short connection times, but I figured that (a) Copenhagen was a small airport and (b) SAS knew what they were doing by only giving me fourty-five minutes between flights. It turns out I was wrong about latter.
The flight into Dublin was delayed by just long enough that when I reached Copenhagen and sprinted the length of the airport I still missed the outgoing connection by five minutes. Naturally the next flight wasn't for another six hours.
Winded from my five-minute sprint through terminal three, I slowly made my way to the 'connections' desk. Either the Danish are just very well prepared or a lot of people miss their flights at Kastrup: they have one of the most organised areas for stranded passengers I've seen.
It turned out that there was a slightly faster way to get me to Hanover through Amsterdam, so I was booked on a different flight with KLM. Instead of leaving Copenhagen at 8 and arriving at 9, I'd leave Copenhagen at 6, go through Amsterdam, and arrive at 8 in Hanover. It sounded like a lot of extra work to save an hour but they didn't give me a choice.
As you might expect, when I finally landed in Hanover, my bags had been left behind in Amsterdam. I was told that they could be delivered directly to CeBIT the next day (a nice surprise) and then I got a taxi to take me to the apartment.
That's right, apartment. I guess it's quite common for families in Hanover to rent their house/apartment/room/whatever out during the show and go on holidays. In some cases, they don't actually leave and you end up sharing their house as well. A slightly foreign concept to me, but the Germans I was working with at the booth thought it was the most normal thing in the world. So I had an apartment, but had been unable to contact the host about when and where to pick up the keys.
Luckily, the final part of the day worked out and when I arrived at the building, my host was waiting outside with the keys. I headed upstairs, made myself a sandwich, and went to bed. We'll disregard the fact that (a) the apartment building had entrances to the rooms on an outside wall (like a motel), (b) none of the doors had numbers and (c) there were no outside lights. I wouldn't want to complain too much in a single post :)