I am in Munich, waiting to board my connecting flight to Venice. I’m a little tired but I’ve also got a bit of an adrenaline rush.

I’m in Europe!

My flight from Washington/Dulles left on schedule. International Business Class on a 777 is nothing short of excellent. My seat reclined all the way back and the foot rest came up so that I could actually lay back and get some sleep. I tried to sleep as much as I could but I think I only grabbed bits and pieces of sleep here and there. The flight was scheduled for 8 hours 9 minutes, but it ended up taking just under 7 hours! So I got into Munich almost an hour early.

I was served an excellent 4-course meal: Crab salad with mango; fresh seasonal green salad with creamy Italian dressing. For the main course, I had the pan-seared filet mignon with balsamic rosemary sauce, served with wily mushroom stuffing and roasted root vegetables. For dessert, I had ice cream. After dessert, I tried to get some sleep, but it was a bumpy ride over parts of the Atlantic, even for a seasoned traveler like myself. Eventually, I gave up sleeping and listened to air traffic control the rest of the way in. It’s very much like U.S. ATC, with only very subtle differences.

Once in Munich, I had to go to the Lufthansa service desk to get my boarding pass for the next flight. There was a nervous moment when they said that they had a booking but not an e-ticket. However, that was quickly cleared up and I was on my way to the next gate. I had to go through security again, which means I got my first stamp on my passport in Germany on page 8 of my passport. I found out that I could use Lufthansa’s Senator’s Lounge with my Red Carpet membership, but I opted instead to come straight to the gate. Here I am with about 45 minutes before we board.

There was a great view of the alps coming in. I got a window seat on the next flight so maybe I’ll get some good pictures going over the alps. It’s really incredible to think that I just traveled 4,200 miles, a journey that would have taken Ben Franklin several months at great peril. And here I did it in seven hours and in considerable luxury.

More later in Venice…