IAH-CDG-MUC-Salzburg Hbf. Long Day

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I’m writing this aboard our flight(but wasn’t able to post until after getting hotel WiFi) while enjoying a gin with an amuse bouce and tasty crazy crackers before dinner service starts.

Our departure from Houston was delayed due to the “late arrival of the aircraft from Paris”….Like the delay was an Act of God.

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Boarding was the typical scrum at the entry podium though I have to say Air France had LOTS of personnel around to help control the crowd. When I checked last night our flight was completely full save for 10 seats in premium economy and 1 in business. During a walk around the plane this morning before landing it appears to me that those were both full. I did not walk through the last curtain to the area where they allow the unwashed masses to congregate.

Upon our turn to the left we were overjoyed to see BEST, Air France’s marketing name for their new interiors. We each would have our own lie flat seat and more importantly because the new seats are laid out in a reverse herringbone layout, everyone had aisle access so no need to train with Cirque du Soleil to leave your seat without waking you neighbor. We were quickly settled in, and changed into our comfy airplane clothes – thin cotton lounge pants and t-shirts. Upon returning to our seats we were offered a champagne or oj. I will let my gentle reader determine which I selected from the previous posting where it was obvious which Mike went for!

We took off at 4:35 or about 30 minutes behind schedule. About 40 minutes later we were served the afore pictured cocktails and an amuse bouche of salmon which I declined in lieu of extra crackers. Unlike other airlines that offer hot nuts, AF hands you a box and you think huh, how chintzy but once you taste them oo la la. A delicious combination of butter, cheese, butter, salt and butter.


A tray with two Appetizers and a Salad was next placed on the tablecloth in front of me about 5:50. I asked the FA for wine auggestions and he said I had to have a splash of the white with the shrimp. And he was right. It was quite delicious…the shrimp were just shrimp. The duck foie gros was fine but I really prefer mine seared rather than cold but the Medoc that the FA poured made it most enjoyable.
  Also on the tray was what looked to be at least a quarter pound of unsalted artesian butter. I happened to turn the wrapping over and apparently it can last quite a while! It was very tasty.

  

Editors note: apparently the hotel wifi is also wonky so pictures aren’t loading very well, so I am going to publish the rest of this post without adding the photos into it.  If things improve I’ll come insert them later. So for the rest you will have to use your imaginations!

  
I selected the Tagine by chef Daniel Boulud made with chicken thighs , roasted cauliflower and Israel CousCous in a orange garlic sauce. I loved it …especially with the Landoc red wine.

  Mike had seared scallops in a lobster bisque. It was also good. Our dinners were served at 6:22 pm.

A plate of 2 Cheeses was dropped off at 6:36pm just before I had finished the delicious tagine.

I was pleased by the attentive service of the entire flight team, unlike our precious flights where they were aloof and not very friendly, this crew was very helpful and was always catching your eye to see if you needed anything.The Purser was especially attentive and assisted the FAs during service. He Wasnt just makin a show. When I smiled One time he came over to see if I needed anything.

  During dinner I watched the movie Carol. At just under two hours it was the Perfect length as it ended just as I was finishing my desert of three tasty moursels and a small scoop of fabulous mango sorbet.Mike had both the mango and the razberry sorbet. Along with a Cavalldos which he didn’t like.

  They quickly cleared our dishes and I pushed the lay flat button and was in Bed by 7:15 and asleep by 7:20

Woke up at 12:15. So five hours of GOOD sleep on the comfortable bed.

Breakfast was  not memorable except for more of the delicious last forever butter.
Began final descent at 100 am cst and we landed at 1:37 cst or 8:37 am here in Paris.
Taxing to the gate now about 15 min behind schedule so hopefully we can make our connection.

Our final descent at 100 am cst and we landed at 1:37 cst or 8:37 am here in Paris.
Taxiwd to the gate which apparently is in Germany so we arenow about 15 min behind schedule so hopefully we can make our connection.

We finally arrived at the gate but of course there was no one to operate the jetbridge so another delay 

But they were setting up two. That’s right, we turned left to board but we are using the front door to leave so once they opened it we were quickly off the plane and into the maze they call deGualle.

Luckily we landed at terminal 2 which is also our departure terminal BUT unlike most airports where terminal two means one building, that isn’t the case here. T2 is made of of several sections, we landed at F and had to make our way to E. For those of you familiar with DFW, terminal 2 is about the same size it appears as the whole complex there and each of these sections is similar to the various concourses there.

Anyway, we quickly made our way to E after a minor course correction partway through the maze. We had to go through security (think TSA) then tooka 10 minute walk via moving sidewalks from F to E. Upon arrival there we went through immigration, there was only one officer and about eighty folks waiting but we were able to use the Sky Priority line so it only took about 5 minutes.
  
We then has a very short walk and down some stairs to our “gate” which was actually a bus station where we waited for our ride to our plane which I presumed was parked out in the field.

Alas, after a 10 minute wait we boarded the bus, literally drove about 100 feet, disembarked it, climbed stairs back into what I think was the same building we left, walked through a jetway like tube which let to a jetway to our plane. So strange. It is like the designer of CDG really wanted to make a Rube Goldburg contraption to see how many ways to confuse passengers.
  
Anyway, made it aboard this Airbus 319 where we are sitting in the “business cabin”. Quite a difference from the last one. In Europe, domestic business class is not like domestic First or even economy plus/comfort. Biz is the first few rows of the cabin but the seats and the legroom are EXACTLY the same as throughout the plane (seems to be about the same as Southwest) BUT they block the middle seats and we got a snack. The snack of course included salmon so it was a good thing I ate my breakfast on the big plane. Though the hot (baked on board?) cheese roll was amazing! And much to Mike’s joy, no one constantly screaming Croissant? Croissant? Like on his last Air France domestic flight!
We landed uneventfully in Munich and after the lack of sleep Tuesday, the long day Wednesday, five hours of sleep, and general desire to “be there” we have elected to go straight to Salzburg rather than storing our luggage at the train station and spending a few hours in the old city.

  As in most civilized places, mass transit comes directly to the airport so after gathering our bags (always a relief to see them after giving them up to the belly of the plane) and going through customs we make our way to the Sbahn which we took to the Muchen Ost station (Muchen East) where we transferred to our train to Munich.

We are using a Bayern regional pass. It cost 22 euros for the first person and 5 additional for every additional up to 5. It is stored on the Deutshe Bahn (German rail) app on my phone and all we do is show it if asked. It’s good on anything we want to ride except for the fast trains. And since the fast train would only have saved us 10 minutes on the under 2 hour trip between Munich and Salzburg and would have cost more per person than what the pass for both of us cost, we decided the pass was the way to go.
As Mike said, we will just have to come back!

The train ride to Salxburg was relatively uneventful save for an inexplicable sudden disappearance of the 12:52 train so we didn’t leave until1:52 arriving in Salzburg at 3:40.  We did have to change cars once as I had failed to notice that some of the train split off and went elsewhere.

  1. Sam had selected our hotel here based on price and convenience…it was steps from the station which after dealing with backs on the train was most appreciated!
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