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Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!): You mean I'm in the WRONG Frankfurt??????

Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!)

My goal here is to make your life easier, especially those who are in the unique situation of being a military spouse. Yes...I've been around...but in a good way...and hopefully can share those tips, tricks and shortcuts with you too. I've been on this military bus for over 40 years now. My goals in life are to have a well-run home, few money worries, well adjusted children, money socked away and whatever happiness I can scoop out of life.

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After life as an Army brat, being in the Army myself and marrying a soldier, I can honestly say I have a bucket full of life lessons I can share to help you make your everyday life easier and enlightening. Don't waste your time making unnecessary mistakes and benefit from others who have come before you on your journey through life.

Friday, April 15, 2011

You mean I'm in the WRONG Frankfurt??????

The townhall of the "other" Frankfurt
I am only telling this story because it has happened to at least two of my friends and it is worth mentioning, because not only were they terribly embarrassed...they lost a lot of money when they missed their flight and were in the wrong city. How could this happen you wonder?  It helps to explain how the Germans name their towns and cities.

You know how in the US, you might have a Springfield in Ohio and another one in Virginia and so on?  The Simpsons TV family is always making jokes as to where the actual Springfield from the show is located.  We usually don't get confused when someone mentions Portland or Richmond or Arlington, because we typically say the name of the city and then the state...so there is absolutely no doubt.

Well, Germany is split up into "Laender" or lands...kind of their version of states, but they don't say Stuttgart, Baden-Wuerttemberg...in fact, since Germany is barely over 100 years old, they didn't even have that as an option back then when you had all these dukes and princes with their own little territories.  So, how did a person know exactly which city they were referring to?

Simple....the Germans attach the name of the river that goes through the town to distinguish it from another town with the same name and a different river going through it.  Back to our story.....I had a friend taking a plane out of Frankfurt.  Hey everyone knows Frankfurt, right?  Well....most Americans are familiar with Frankfurt am Main...that's the Frankfurt on the Main River.  That's where we had the big American airbase and where MOST flights arrive internationally.  Now Ryanair flies out of Frankfurt, but they fly out of Frankfurt-Hahn.  Now it's not named after a river, but I want to point out my friend drove to Frankfurt am Main to try to catch her plane, when she should've driven to Frankfurt-Hahn...Ryanair has a way of naming the two-bit airports they fly out of after major airports "nearby"...in this case, I think over 100 kilometers away!  Obviously, she missed her flight and her vacation.  So why did I mention this?  Because she also could've driven to Frankfurt an der Oder....which is in the former East Germany on the Oder River.  So you see, look carefully at the town name....we see it here in Belgium too, although they don't use rivers a lot of the time but regions, such as La Roche-en-Ardenne, showing this particular town lies in the Ardennes Region of Belgium.

Are you confused?  I hope not.  I just want you to be sure and look carefully at any itineraries, hotel reservations and tickets before you head out that way or really, before you even book it.  It could save you some money and disappointment.  Do you have any stories to share?

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3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah I know some other dumb Americans that made that mistake tooa bout Ryanair!

April 15, 2011 at 8:11 AM  
Anonymous JennyO said...

LOL sometimes the obvious just doesn't click. I had know the differences but never + river name. Makes total sense since I've started noticing towns / rivers named by the towns. The Frankfurt flughafen issue between Main and Hahn confuses me sometimes I'm always checking and rechecking to make sure I didn't miss WHICH Frankfurt flughafen to travel to, I'm so sorry your friend missed her vacation, and thank you so much for sharing more tips!

April 15, 2011 at 12:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh, you just saved me so much money! I was one click away from buying a ticket to the wrong airport.

August 14, 2011 at 7:46 PM  

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