The fifth floor of a parking garage can seem an insurmountable mountain to climb at the end of an endless forced hike.
Let me explain.
I landed @ Frankfurt Flughafen – right?
But I had flown out of Ramstein. Since I hadn’t been sure when or if I was going to be able to get on an outbound flight, I had driven the 100+km to Ramstein. There is also the small consideration that the PAX terminal is not exactly next door to the train station in Landstuhl so my original decision to drive becomes obvious, especially since it is the only car we have.
It also explains why retrieving the car wasn’t something that I could leave for a day or two.
After going unconscious about 2330 until a rude alarm dragged me out of deep sleep at 0900 I staggered out to the Eldest’s car since she had offered a ride to the train station. Discovering last night that the XX:03 S1 went to Homburg (and thus not requiring a train change), obviously I would be foolish to pick another time.
This morning, after fortifying myself and headache with lots of caffeine and a piece of cheesecake I fought and lost the battle with the ticket machines in the station. They just did not like my UBS card. Not at all, none of them which left me fumbling for change at the on-train dispenser.
Finding a seat (can anyone explain to me why some people who buy a ticket seem to think it entitles them completely take over a four seat section and be insulted when you move their stuff to sit down?) I carefully went through my pockets and possessions: wallet, bag, bahn card, 1st class supplement, knitting. Ticket? 15 minutes of fruitless searching during which we arrived at Mannheim I still had not located that ticket. I know that I put my 6.40E in the machine and picked up my change. I could swear that I picked it put. The ticket wasn’t left in the machine (at least it wasn’t there when I went back to check).
This left me with a dilema. Buy another ticket or have cab fare to get from Landstuhl train station to Ramstein. Obvious. I don’t believe in illegal traveling – here called Schwarzfahren. So, plunking my remaining change in the machine I purchased another ticket and collapsed back into my seat to knit on the way to Landstuhl.
As it turns out, the hike over is not all that bad. There are field roads most of the way, leaving me to stomp along the grassy verge along the old runway which is now the road leading up to the gate. Through the gate, right at the second light, right @ the traffic circle and I could see the long term parking ramp past the PAX terminal which was now on my right.
Now, do you think I could find my car keys?