17 August 2008

Transit to Zagreb

Finally here in Zagreb! It took a while (nearly 30 hours) but I made it.

Since my flight left from Dulles in DC, I took the Megabus to DC. Its one of the new cheap bus services on the east coast and it definitely kicks any of the Chinatown bus's asses. Our bus was even a double decker!

Ride down wasn't too bad, until we got to DC - then we were stuck in traffic for another hour or so (ugh!). But my friend Justin took me out to lunch before I took the bus out to the airport.

Dulles Airport was a nightmare! Of course I got the check-in guy who just HATED life and wasn't helpful at all. I paid for a bigger seat in Economy Plus but they still put me in a small seat in the last row of the plane. He also wouldn't help me with options to cancel my leg from Zagreb to Split. All in all check in and security took nearly 2 hours! God - i thought JFK was bad.

Luckily, the guy at the gate was more friendly and he got me a window seat in Economy Plus (bigger seats). The flight wasn't too bad, but you now have to pay for alcoholic drinks - damn United - most international carriers let you get sloshed for free.

I landed in Frankfurt at about 6.30 in the morning - but because they weren't ready for us - we didn't get off the plane and into the airport until about 7.30 AM. Still trying to cancel the last leg of my flight (Zagreb to Split), no one was really helpful at all.

So - with my 10 hour layover in Frankfurt - I decided to check out the town. It really isn't a bad city - I saw the old town, and the shops with all the high-end luxury stores. It was exactly what I would have thought of when thinking of a typical German city. Walked around the Main river, and learned to use the S-Bahn and the U-Bahn - Frankfurt's subway system.

Later in the morning - I met up with my old friend Aleks who happens to live in Frankfurt. She took me out to a fun brunch at a restaurant that was completely white - tables, curtains, doors, and seats. Then, later we went to what she claims as the "coolest" part of Frankfurt to hang out in a cafe.

Before long - it was back to the airport for the quick 1 hour flight to Zagreb - Croatia's capital city. I went to the Croatian Air customer service desk to beg them to let me off the next leg - expecting to fail. She said - "no problem" and even had them take my bag off the next flight and give it to me! Talk about good customer service. Why can't American carriers be more friendly.

Since I wasn't expecting to be in Zagreb for another day - I didn't have any accommodations planned, so I went to the hostel where I had reservations for the next night. Unfortunately they were full - and so was every hostel in my guidebook. UGH! I ended up splurging and stayed in a budget hotel for about 60 Euro - 3 times as much as the hostels. It was good for my 1st night to have TV, private bath, and even free breakfast since the jet-lag was really getting to me. I slept well that night........

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