On the way to the Island

What usually the last couple of days before I travel somewhere look like is to accomplish as many things as possible such as do shopping, making some bank statements, handling visa issues next to my flex-time schedule including grueling night shifts at work. This time was the same, on top of that, the day before my trip, I had to organize final event of social project I got involved. Coming back home, time for packing! Sounds like too much, doesn’t it ?!

Everything gets done, the moment comes to start the trip of nearly one month. This time, I was travelling with other 6 guys from my hometown of Baku for Erasmus project on Island Juist, in Germany for whom I was responsible as a group leader throughout our journey until our destination point.

Western corner of Europe

Even though, I have been exploring Germany regularly, only until much more recently, I realized, there is a small Island named Juist which is one of seven inhabited East Frisian Islands at the edge of Lower Saxony in the Southern North Sea. Thousands of miles away. We have to take 3 different types of transport which includes an aircraft, bus, and ferry in order to reach there.

Before take-off, to my delight, as discussed before, flight attendant came up to me saying there are 3 empty seats of the same row, where I could possibly lie down and sleep. Typical me, no ride without sleep! After a 5 hour of comfortable flight to Frankfurt of which I slept almost the whole time, we had the next one to Hamburg in 2 hours.

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Due to a foggy weather condition in Frankfurt, boarding for the flight of us got delayed up to extra 2 hours, we ended up having a seat with a gorgeous view. So dreamy.

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Terminal Tango, Germany’s harbor.

At last, we made it to Hamburg, Germany’s 2nd largest city, first time ever, so excited, could hear people around speaking slightly different accent of German in comparison with the rest of the country. Had to wait for other international participants to arrive in Terminal Tango, as we were supposed to get on the bus all together for 4 hour of ride and reach village of Norddeich lying on the North Sea coast. Flights again got delayed. Thus, we couldn’t leave on time. Shit happens! You gotta wait for everyone to gather. Probably the worst side of travelling in a group.

Never thought, it could happen.

Two planes, lots of layovers, 4 hour of bus ride went by. Everyone feels super tired and sleepy. All I personally wanted to do was to reach the Island soon, take a shower and of course have a good sleep. Made it to Norddeich. As soon as we arrived in there, we noticed, we were late for everything. You could take either a small plane or a ferry to the Island. Both were gone. Imagine, even Airport and Ferry terminal got closed. We missed it! What an unpleasant feeling it is!

Imagine, middle of autumn but already feels like winter, so dark, roughly 7 pm, and we were all just waiting outside in the middle of nowhere. That is Western edge of Europe, no accommodation are easily found to stay, decided that we would have stayed at the German Red Cross Shelter for a night and fly to the Island the following day. Eventually, we were taken by German Red Cross officers to the shelter and stayed there for one night. Yes, you read it correctly, believe it or not, Red Cross rescued us. Serious or funny, but REAL! 🙂

Capture

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No shops, restaurants seemed to be opened. Even though, I always prefer to eat organic healthy food, I tried some junk food as it was the only choice we received from Red Cross Society. What a challenge!

Lastly, the next day, we flew to the Island with the small plane that only 8 passengers max could fit in and it took around 10 minutes to get there. The shortest flight ever!

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Welcome gratitude!

Definitely a challenging but interesting experience to go through. This made me feel in a certain way, that I empathize, how it feels to be rescued in a shelter for so long for other human beings. Sometimes, we are not grateful for whatever it is we own, like basics, a house, a proper bed, food and etc., while others miss them out there in the world.

Let us always express our gratitude for living, appreciate small things making us happy and hope for a better future, together. ALL in ONE! ❤

Stay happy!

Arshad


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