Benelux complete

Indeed, I added Luxembourg to my list of countries I’ve already visited, thanks to Pawel, who lived there for an internship at the European parliament and who invited me to come over, so I visited him twice last Summer. In the first part, I’ll talk about the rides to- and from Luxembourg and in a seperate post coming up later on, I try to recall some of our adventures in Luxembourg…

The rides from Marburg to Luxembourg and back were probably one of the cheapest rides from one country into another. Why? From Marburg, you can go to Luxembourg with local trains with a change in Gießen and Koblenz involved. People with certain disabilities can request an extra token (a „Wertmarke“) that allows us to travel by local public transport free of charge.

However, as for local traffic from Germany into another country, exceptions may apply. One of these exceptions are the local trains between Koblenz and Luxembourg. From Igel to Luxembourg city, it is therefore necessary to buy a ticket.

The German website oepnv-info.de offers plenty of information concerning traveling with handicap in- and outside Germany.

Pawel was supposed to pick me up at Luxembourg central station but he was stuck at an event which took longer than expected, so he suggested that I could hopp on a bus and travel to a certain stop where they would pick me up. I do admit that I wasn’t very pleased because I relied on the fact that Pawel or one of his friends would pick me up. Also, I was a little scared that I might accidentally board the wrong bus and/or get lost by getting off at the wrong stop.

However, it came all so sudden so there wasn’t much time to think, unless I – alternatively – wanted to wait for Pawel to show up at the station and wait even longer. To my astonishment, the assistance who picked me up on the platform was waiting with me the entire time and made sure that I would board the right bus. Surprisingly, Pawel and one of his colleagues greeted me on the bus! It turned out that they saw a bus to the central station so they just hopped on to it, figuring that I would board this bus, as it would go back to where it came from and where the three of us were supposed to meet.

Well, I don’t think that Pawel did any of the above things on purpose; I’m sure he would have picked me up on time if the time allowed it. On the other hand, he trusted in my abilities and knew that I would improvise and cope with unexpected situations if I had to.

As for the departure, I took a FlixBus from Luxembourg Bouillon to Frankfurt. Pawel and his flat-mate  dropped me off at Bouillon and helped me finding the right bus. Unfortunately, FlixBus does not provide assistance at the bus stops so when we arrived in Frankfurt, I asked for directions to the train station and an Australian passenger who also came from Luxembourg gave me a hand. He could even pass me on to a Bahnhofmission officer who was supposed to pick up someone else from the platform where my train departed from as well.

There was a stressful moment in Gießen when the train split up and I found out that I was on the wrong part of the train but I found the right train part via Marburg in time.

The 2nd time I went to Luxembourg, I departed from Stade and went by plane from Hamburg Airport…

„Please call us again once you have arrived at the airport; then we’ll send somebody to pick you up“.

Does that sound familiar to you? If not, Check out this blog posts for more detailed information on how it went down last time.

Although they prommised that I won’t wait long this time, I didn’t count on it and decided to first look out for other passengers who could help me finding a check-in or service desk to claim my assistance. This worked fine! If it didn’t, I could have still called them once again and see how it worked out.

In Munich (I know, it was a bit of a detour) sitting at the gate waiting for my flight to Luxembourg, I all of a sudden heard the following announcement:

„Passenger Mr. Patrick Dembinski, please proceed to the gate immediately!“ I couldn’t help myself… I just laughed! On the other hand, however, I was hoping that they just didn’t look at their file closely and that it wasn’t an error in their system. I decided to unfold my cane and see if I could make it to a service desk to make them aware of my presence. Before I could carry out my plan, the guy who made the announcement approached me and confirmed my theory that they didn’t check the information on file properly. The flight back, on the other hand, went smoothly and there was nothing suspicious going on.

As far as pre-flight information are concerned, Lufthansa kept me posted via SMS and Email about the check-in process and any other important and less important imformation.

Other airlines I have flown with in the past only notified me when online check-in was open and when there was an important change on the schedule. Lufthansa informed me when my luggage was checked in and where exactly to pick it up after arrival, sent me  luggage receipts via Email and they even notified me that they had issues with the catering service on one of my flights, which didn’t really bother me though. It would have bothered me if they told me that my flight was cancelled, for example; but information on whether catering is available or not on a short-haul flight is just a nice-to-have to me.

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