Wednesday 14 October 2009

Greece-Germany-France: Flashback 6

I am in London and shortly to leave for Cape Town ... where hopefully I'll soon be back to regular posting. In the meantime, here's the final Greek flashback - the story of an epic journey.


The day after Phaedra and Simon’s wedding I went back to Thessaloniki to collect the very important consignment I was to bring to France. What can I say about flying with an 18 month old baby by yourself for the first time? It’s very, very, very, very, very hard. Hard!

In summary: at Thessaloniki they didn’t stiff us for our excess baggage, but neither would they give us boarding cards for our connecting flight from Munich to Marseille. Our flight was 20 minutes late taking off (we had 45 minutes connection time in Munich). Gregory was every bit as pleased to have to sit still and be strapped in on my lap as you can imagine he would be. The man beside us was every bit as pleased to have Gregory throwing plastic packets of sugar as you can imagine he would be. It took them 25 minutes to get Gregory’s pram off the plane in Munich (we had 45 minutes connection time, remember?) However, thanks to the kindness of strangers (even a surly-looking teenage German exchange student), a very helpful Lufthansa gate attendant (thank you lady whose name I forgot!) my shameless queue-barging and a crew delayed in Zurich, we did, in fact, make the connecting flight.

(Gregory in Munich, playing with my ipod.)

We were both very tired and quite tearful by the time we arrived, but there’s no question that the experience was a bonding one. The list of things I didn’t realize I would do in public has expanded to include singing lullabies – quite loudly to be heard over the noise of the engines – to an audience of 64 business people on board a Lufthansa commuter flight, plus one small boy and his panda. Gregory and Pandagiotis appreciated it though.

(Look how tired poor Pandagiotis was.)

PS my best hint to lady travellers travelling with small people is the advice given to me by Gregory’s mother – wear a skirt.


  1. Why a skirt? I do myself often find it more comfortable, but what is the particular advantage with small travel companions?

  2. Why a skirt? Well, I was told to avoid going to the loo if at all possible but that if I really had to it would be much easier if I were wearing a skirt. I think the basic principle of travelling with small people is one hand for yourself and two hands for them so people with three hands will be fine and people with the usual two are stuffed.