As an interpreter, I am obviously out and about a lot. and naturally I spend a great deal of my time at airports. Frankfurt Airport is like a second home to me; I could even give guided tours there. Over the past months I discovered or rediscovered, however, a couple of other airports.
Here is what I remember from the top of my head:
Stuttgart (another good acquaintance)
Milan (the transit area is ok, I checked it out for several hours)
Palermo (a vague memory, medium-sized)
Moscow Sheremetjevo (overwhelming, huge, state-of-the-art equipment, slick)
St. Petersburg (a reminder of the Soviet Union, in urgent need of repair)
Copenhagen (wood is the building material of choice, hectic atmosphere))
Riga (European standard)
Yes of course, and then there was Jonkoping flygplats…
My flight from this beautiful spot in Southern Sweden to Copenhagen was scheduled for 6 am, so I ordered a taxi for half past three. I am a dyed-in-the-wool interpreter and always allow for a lot of buffer time, therefore I asked to be picked up by a taxi at half past three. I just hate to be late.
The taxi driver turned out to be a would-be philosopher who kept making mysterious remarks about the “very very small airport”.
Finally, we arrived (the clock showed ten to 4), we finished our conversation about the film “Night on Earth” and about the summer camp the SS, or as he put it, “Herr Himmler”, allegedly run 70 years ago in the immediate surroundings of the airport, and I energetically turned around to open the airport’s gates – to be faced with the harsh reality of facts: these gates were closed and would open as late as at 5 am!
No problem, I thought, I will install myself on a bench and prepare for the next assignment. Alas, it was far to cold for that! So I wandered around from 4 to 5 am in front of the closed flygplats, thought beautiful thoughts, watched the sun rise over the tower and generally tried to see the philosophical side of it all.
Eventually, at 7 to 5 am, somebody unlocked the doors, and I found out that in this particular case even one hour was more than enough, for walking distances were extremely short. For instance, in the Arrival Zone there was but 1 (one!) luggage belt.
Our propeller aircraft was size XS and thus matched the airport…
In Copenhagen I was back in the normal airport world and finally got myself a cup of hot coffee.
Mind you, I didn’t take any pictures there. Strange.