Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Frankfurt, Germany--Day 234

This morning I got up, ready to meet Elizabeth at the airport at at half past ten. I got ready and went to get breakfast at the hotel when I saw a note just outside of my door. The note told me that Elizabeth's plane ahd been delayed and that she wouldn't be in Frankfurt until 5:45 this evening!

So I ate breakfast and decided to go to the zoo for a second time to see what Mikael, Petra and Kiboko were up to. I got to the zoo just after it opened at 9am and headed to the hippos, finding the three in the same places they were yesterday, with Mikael outside and Kiboko and Petra inside. So I was able to get pictures of mother and baby just before they went into the water, which was key since once they are in the water they are blocked by bars making it difficult to get pictures of them, and of Mikael outside eating grass.

It started raining on and off--first a sprinkle and then turning into a downpour at some points, and so I kept having to take refuge inside the indoor enclosure which clearly hadnät been cleaned of the previous nights, well, dung. The whole place stank and of course Kiboko and Petra didnät seem to mind, but it was definitely overpowering. People kept coming in and commenting on the smell but there was no where else to stay dry.

When the rain let up, I went back and forth between the two hippo enclosures taking pictures and about two hours later decided to head out ot the yoo. I then went down to the main historical plaza area of Frankfurt and walked around--going in the Cathedral which was the only thing that didnät get bombed during WWII. Pretty amazing. I then went to a museum and cehcked out thier new art exhibit and wandered around by the river until I found something for lunch. Went back to the hotel, make copies of the hippo photos from Frankfurt, and then headed to the airport to find Elizabeth.

I took the S-Bahn (the light rail train system) and got to the airport probably about 30 minutes before she was supposed to land. I walked over to the Terminal that she was arriving in and waited amongst the other family members and chauffeurs. I even made a sign with Elizabethäs name on it just for kicks. Finally the display board showed that her flight had landed and I had to just keep waiting.

What seemed like forever turned into forever plus some and I got really anxious. Was she really going to make it?!?! I kept seeing other people on different flights that landed after Elizabethäs coming through--even the flight attendants and pilots!--but no Elizabeth.

But finally, lo and behold, she appeared. Her luggage was lost but at least she made it. What a relief! We sorted out her luggage being delivered to the hotel and headed back to it to drop off her things before going back on the town to get a late dinner.

Elizabeth will be joining me throughout Germany and I am so so excited. Elizabeth is busy teaching me all sorts of things in German, while I will be busy teaching her one or two things about hippos...