Returning Home

After our lovely Saturday evening in Prague, I started my journey home Sunday morning – but not too early! The three of us had a quick breakfast at the airport, which wasn’t cheap, but surprisingly good. Then we headed on our separate ways. The girls are staying in CZ for an extended period. I miss them already and am already counting the days until my next trip!

The bus dropped us off at a deserted Prague Airport arrivals area.

Hardly anyone in the departures area, either. Just like the special intra-Schengen entry passport control we experienced on arrival, there was also an intra-Schengen exit passport control just before security. The officer in Prague, as well as the regular exit-Schengen passport control officer in Frankfurt later, were both puzzled as to why my passport wasn’t stamped on entry 2 weeks earlier and I was questioned a bit about the circumstances. Unfortunately I hadn’t noticed this until we were already well out of the airport system. Whatever…

My plane has just arrived from Frankfurt. Only a few gates are occupied by aircraft.

They’ve applied these cute decals to the fuselage just beside the door. I like it.

It’s a nice morning over Germany!

Surprisingly, Lufthansa is able to figure out a safe way to provide food – decent food at that – to passengers, even on this short 1 hour flight! Instead of a cart with food and drink, you place your order with the flight attendant and they retrieve everything from the galley. I asked if I could have a beer or wine on this flight – I didn’t actually want one as it was only 1030 AM – and the flight attendant said of course you can. I showed her what we were offered for food and drink on the long haul Air Canada business class flight on the way over and she was appalled and flabbergasted.

Each passenger was handed a SARS-CoV-2 information form on behalf of the German government.

The Schengen concourse in Frankfurt area is a little busier than it was a couple of weeks ago but still generally empty.

The tunnel to Concourse B (International non-USA flights) is practically deserted.

Not many shops open.

The Lufthansa Senator Lounge is open, still with basic food and drink (but the beer taps were in service today)!

I just love eating pretzels in Europe 😀

The lounge has a great view of the apron and taxiways for planespotting.

Here’s my ride to Vancouver this afternoon. An Airbus A330-300 with 255 seats. There are 110 passengers on board today. It’s a bit more than I expected given that Lufthansa just resumed service to Vancouver last week. All passengers had their temperature taken at the gate.

We have an entire row to ourselves.

Under construction Frankfurt Airport Terminal 3 is a parking lot for widebody Lufthansa aircraft 😦

As mentioned earlier, Lufthansa is a huge winner in food / beverage service onboard right now compared to Air Canada.

I didn’t think it would be prudent to wander around the aircraft to take photos, but I did pop in to the business class mini-cabin which was totally empty.

I always love a window seat for westbound flights over the Arctic.

Look! Another proper meal before landing! The cabin crew on this flight was so enthusiastic and grateful to be flying passengers again. Many of them had been on furlough for a month or more and had recently returned to working. They were so thankful and appreciative to be providing service.

Gentleman was thirsty on this flight.

Just about to land in Vancouver. We traversed BC from Grande Prairie in a SSW direction. Unfortunately it was mostly cloudy over the mountain ranges.

Here’s the secure area above the international concourse leading you to CBSA passport control. I was the first person off our plane and thankfully so, as I could also see a flight from China pulling in to a gate nearby. All travellers arriving in Canada have to provide contact information on arrival so that officials can follow up for various reasons, the big three being to ensure that you are in an appropriate isolation spot, to ensure you’re not sick, and to assist in contact tracing. There’s an app that was produced to eliminate the use of paper forms. I diligently filled it out onboard and was awaiting the final step, which was to enter a code which would be visible in the airport on arrival. We were told shortly after this photo that the app wasn’t working and everyone would need to fill out paper forms at some make shift folding tables in the hallway near the escalators. Your Canadian tax dollars at work. I quickly filled out the form and came around the corner to an utterly deserted CBSA hall. There’s usually hundreds of people in here. I was the only non-staff person in here at this time.

CBSA was quick and painless since I wasn’t really bringing much back and I was coming from relatively safe countries. Apart from the usual questions, I was asked to confirm that I had a suitable place to isolate where I could avoid contact with other people, and if I had made arrangements for groceries and medications to be delivered. I was given a leaflet which detailed isolation guidelines and what to do if you develop symptoms, etc.

Unfortunately due to lack of flights, the connection service was closed and I had to haul my checked bag all the way to the opposite end of the terminal and re-check it. It was, of course, basically empty. My temperature was taken at the security screening area after I dropped off my bag.

After killing some time wandering around, it’s time to get on board the last flight of the day. It was packed. I didn’t ask, but I would say the flight was 90% full if not more.

Remember what I’d received earlier in the day from Lufthansa, even on the short flight? As a reminder, here is the Air Canada offering. Hasn’t changed since we left. Bag of sanitary goods and a bottle of water.

Back in Calgary, and hey, look, another thundershower with hail. Wouldn’t be Stampede week without it!

And that’s that. Now in isolation for 2 weeks. I have lots of friends offering to help out getting me the things that I need and I’m already fully stocked with groceries. It will be boring but just fine. I hope that the next time I’m travelling that the situation will be improved and the experience closer to normal!

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