Former biathlete, current coach….all round nordic enthusiast!

An elite athlete competing in the sport of biathlon: nordic ski racing combined with marksmanship

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Snowstorms do NOT yield smooth travel.

As I write this I’m sitting in the Munich Airport waiting for my teammate Hannah to (hopefully) find her rifle bag and then collect her ski bag in the baggage claim area. We’ve already been here in Munich for over four hours but two of our four bags (between us) didn’t make it on the same flight with us.

My adventure started with what should have been a five hour drive from Fort Kent down to Portland on Saturday. I made it as far as Bangor before the skies let loose with blowing snow. I think it took me twice as long as it should have to finish the drive as I went between 40-45 mph on the highway for the remainder. Yesterday morning in Portland I watched as my flight from Portland Jetport to Dulles Airport went from delayed and then back to being on time. When I checked in the flight was “on schedule” but shortly before we were supposed to board that changed and I ended up missing my connection from Dulles to Munich. Luckily I was able to rebook quickly and managed to land a seat first on a flight from Dulles to Manchester, England and then from England to Munich, putting me into Munich just two hours later than I was originally scheduled to arrive. 

Unfortunately that two hours was enough to make me miss yet another connection. From Munich we are traveling on via Helsinki, Finland to Tallinn, Estonia where we will be picked up by the host organization from our first week of competition in Otepaa. So here I sit, waiting for the last of our missing baggage and then waiting some more before we get on yet another re-routed flight. Luckily FinnAir has another flight to Helsinki tonight so Hannah and I will spend the night in Helsinki before finishing the final flight (Helsinki to Tallinn) of our journey tomorrow. 

Turns out we weren’t the only ones with travel problems: Susan nearly missed participating in Schalke (giant indoor biathlon competition in a soccer stadium here in Germany this past weekend), Bill didn’t get any of his bags, and Sarah (one of our coaches for this trip) never made it onto the plane before her flight got canceled. Hopefully everything gets sorted out easily enough and our competitions can get underway smoothly. 

I hope that wasn’t too difficult to read. I’m really tired and writing clearly is not coming easily right now! 

Highlights of the trip so far: An awesome stay with MWSC executive director Andy and his wife, Betsy, the night before I left Maine, free bags thanks to United Airline’s support of the US Biathlon Team, a brief trip through the Manchester, England Airport (certainly the strangest airport I think I’ve ever been in...more on that another time), and second Christmas when we met Bernd here in Munich and got lots of fun new USBA Adidas gear! 

Don’t know when I’ll be able to post this...I’m guessing I”ll fall asleep as soon as we get to our hotel in Helsinki tonight but if not, maybe then. 

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