Sunday, February 2, 2014

Thanksgiving 2013 in Maldives: Frankfurt Layover & Frankfurt to Rome


      We had about a five hour layover in Frankfurt which was just the right amount of time to make use of the "Porsche experience" that's offered to Lufthansa First Class or Honor Circle members. For ~99 Euro,  we had a Porsche for 3 hours/150 km. 99 Euros might seem pretty steep for a 3 hour car rental but it included the insurance and fuel as well and it was like a once in the lifetime experience for us.

      There were no lines at both immigration and Avis counter so we were in the car a quick 20 minutes after we landed. We were slightly disappointed to be getting the less sexy Porsche Panamera instead of the 911 but we didn't want to waste time arguing for one (more reason to fly through Frankfurt again in the future to try the 911!). We sat in the car for a good fifteen minutes getting used to the car but for the most part trying to switch the navigation controls/GPS from German to English. Thankfully my iPhone had data roaming but so we gave up in the end and relied on maps from coming the iPhone.

      We did some research prior to the trip and read about the Avis' recommended routes available here. We had decided to try the Weinheim to Rüsselsheim route since it looked like there were a couple of straight portions on the Autobahn and views of Auerbach Castle. I was somewhat nervous initially driving the car since it would not have been fun if we were to have gotten into an accident but we were eventually driving up to speeds of 220+ km/hour once we were on the Autobahn. It was so much fun! The Porsche handled and accelerated so smoothly and it felt safe even going at such high speeds.

      The problem with all the fun of driving at such high speeds was that we used up the 150km quota rather quickly. It only took us slightly less than 45 minutes to reach the half way mark at the city of Bensheim where we caught glimpses of the Auerbach Castle from a far. We got out of the car for a couple of minutes to stretch our legs and get from fresh air before making our way back to the First Class Terminal.

      We returned the Porsche at the First Class Terminal only about one and a half hour after taking it out and wished we had more kilometers to drive the car although we were slightly tired by this point anyway. Ah, the pleasures of departing Frankfurt as a first class passenger - someone to pick up the car and we were past security, enjoying a relaxing bath with a glass of champagne five minutes later. 

      This was our fourth time visiting the First Class Terminal and I'll say again that it has not gotten old (previous reviews here, here and here). After refreshing ourselves with a much needed shower, we helped ourselves to a late lunch. In addition to the usual wide selection of buffet and ala carte items, they were running a "Born to be Wild" theme meals which featured wild game like pheasant. I tried the pheasant and risotto which was really good and worth of any fine dining restaurant.


      While waiting for our flight to Rome, I enjoyed a couple more after lunch whiskeys from the wide selection at the bar while Lydia helped herself to the large selection of different kinds of water at the water bar since she had to stay away from alcohol.

      Water Bar
      We lucked out today to be getting another Porsche as the ride over to our flight to Rome. Too bad we didn't get a much longer ride today as our A320 to Rome today was departing from one of the nearer gates to the terminal. A remote gate would be nice :P

      Boarding was almost completed by the time we got to the plane and the load was light in business class today with both Lydia and I having an entire row to ourselves. Since we were full from the wonderful lunch and tired and probably jetlagged, we just took a couple of bites from the cold plate served on the flight to Rome and stuck to water. I did manage to take a couple of short naps in between trying to finish my book.

      Intra Europe Business Class

      I enjoyed the sunset on the plane and a couple of minutes later, we started the descent into Rome. It took a good twenty minutes after we got to the baggage carousel for the bags to come out and we were further delayed when we had to go file a claim when one of the wheels of our bags were damaged. We eventually made it into Rome itself via the Leonardo express for our one night stay in Rome.

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