Fire and Ice

Phase two of my mega-mileage run. This particular leg of my trip was inspired by a “glitch fare” that greatly reduced my round-trip fare to Europe if I added a leg to South Africa on the way home. I needed to do business in France, which typically means a pass through Frankfurt or Munich if I’m going to keep with the Star Alliance. Thus, a perfect opportunity to make a couple spa stopovers made possible by a quick train trip to Cologne which afforded visits to the Neptunbad (old world spa) and Therme Euskirchen (sister to Therme Erding).

Once my work was done in France, it was Frankfurt to Johannesburg, where I would spend a long weekend exploring the region around Pretoria a bit, including reconnecting with an old friend. Originally, United had ticketed me for Johannesburg -> Zurich on Swiss Air, then non-stop from Zurich back home to EWR. All well and good until my seat assignment on the Swiss Air leg mysteriously disappeared, as the the flight was cancelled – without notice, thank you very much! In the end, that resulted in rerouting: JNB-FRA-ZRH-EWR. Amazingly, all connections were spot on time.

Mileage run: EWR-FRA-MRS-FRA-JNB-FRA-ZRH-EWR

Mileage accrual on this trip: 19076 PQM (But not all on United metal)

Lifetime Mileage to date with United Airlines: 1,508,340

What I learned…

  • How much I love the way all transportation systems in Germany are connected. Getting from Frankfurt to Cologne by train was easy, fast, and efficient.
  • That skies in the South of France of radiant blue, even in the dead of winter.
  • Google maps was way better than Apple Maps when navigating around South Africa, even when that required following a dirt road to a little know resort 18 kilometers into the bush! Spot on! (A bit less successful locating “the fastest route” on the way back to the airport. Seems the fastest route might not be the best route when driving in South Africa.)
  • If you rent a car at JNB, allow yourself and extra hour to find the gas station at the airport before returning you car. I think I drove past it five times before I figured out how to get to it.
  • If I were Tom Hanks, and ended up stranded in an airline terminal for six months, I would choose Zurich. 🙂

One more leg of my mega-mileage-run with a bounce to Buenos Aires, then on to Uruguay for a few days of quiet time at a little beach resort there.

You can also follow my travels on Instragram: @mileagerundan


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