The days previous to our departure for Ethiopia, we spent in Paris celebrating the 100th birthday of Gilles’ grandmother. As well covered by the media, this very weekend some European airports resembled disaster zones rather than first world transit hubs because of a few centimeters of snow. Going to Paris took us 10 hours, coming back to Vienna turned into a 35 hour journey with a night in Zurich!
Only one day after this nerve-racking experience, our flight to Addis Abeba via Cairo took on similar epic dimensions. We felt safe being far from London Heathrow or Paris Charles de Gaulle. What a mistake! The pilot of Egypt Air coming from Cairo refused to land in fogged-in Vienna and flew to Linz instead, a provincial town a two hour drive from Vienna.
So all passengers were loaded onto a bus and off we went, but only after everybody’s luggage was traced and personally picked up by the very passenger. Of course, our connecting flight to Addis Abeba was long gone when we finally arrived in Cairo in the middle of the night.
However, Egypt Air ground staff was quick and helpful: they told us to get a visa, handed us a hotel voucher and booked us on a flight to … no, not Addis Abeba, to Nairobi we travelled! It was Kenyan Airways which finally got us to where we had wanted to go in the first place, with only a 30 hour delay!