Friday, 19 December 2014

Trip to Germany! [Part 1]

Germany is increasingly popular with tourists visiting the Christmas markets, and having visited the Birmingham market last year, we thought it would be a nice idea to visit the real thing - so we went to Cologne for a couple of days!

Birmingham (BHX/EGBB) to Cologne/Bonn (CGN/EDDK)  BE1836
Flybe Bombardier Dash 8-Q400 G-JECE

We got to the airport about 90 minutes beforehand (not as early as I usually like!) and sailed through security having printed off the boarding passes at home. No problems here, it must have been less than 10 minutes from outside to airside! Then of course Birmingham airport is laid out such that you have to walk through the duty free, even if you're leaving from the old terminal 2, but this was fine as it meant I had an excuse to have a look over the northern apron:
A busy apron! Note the Hi Fly A310 in the background.
On time, we began boarding from gate 10/11 (can't remember which):
G-JECE, our #purpleplane, awaits.
It's been a while since I've flown on a Dash and I was pleasantly surprised, the cabin felt lighter and roomier than I remembered. Maybe it's the new colour scheme?! Our ride was G-JECE, a 10 year old Dash 8-Q400 which has served all its life with Flybe. Push-back was a few minutes late but as it turns out we arrived on time anyway:
"Faster than road or rail". I should hope so to Germany!
Take off was from rwy33. The flight was on time despite a slight detour around Belgium which had closed its airspace that day due to an ATC strike!

The City of Birmingham after departure.

Crossing the Norfolk coast.

Descending towards the Rhine.

Overall the flight was pleasant, no complaints from me! Cheap, on time and safe, what more do you want?! Disappointingly Flybe are dropping Cologne as a Birmingham route despite being routinely 2/3 full, I suppose the market is crowded, with many daily flights to nearby Düsseldorf as well. 

So that was my 62nd flight, 8th with Flybe, and 4th on a Dash 8. In Part 2 - we switch planes for trains and, nearly but not quite, get lost.

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