The course was in Hahn, Germany. Hahn is around 300km from ‘s-Hertogenbosch and by car is around 3h30. Is also close to Luxembourg, around 130km and 1h30. It is a very small city, having the Hahn Airport as the most known place. It used to be an old american military air base and everything on the surroundings was built having the military base in mind.
It is a very peaceful, green, full of nature. All the time you can hear birds, feel the silence and it is beautiful to see each season change. Those changes are obvious and it is very comforting to see it. Not many places you see the seasons change so well as there.
Hahn is also a very isolated place. There is indeed the airport and not so long ago the airport got a Mcdonald’s. You can find a few hotels and it is important to have a car there. From where I was, it was around 40 min walking to Lidl. Buses were scarce and could not rely much on their schedule. If I wanted to go to Frankfurt, buses were common and they departed from the airport. You could buy tickets online or on the day, but it could also be that there isn’t a place available. If you decide to go early, should not be a problem. Takes around 2 hours to go to Frankfurt and even I am not into buses, the drive is easy and comfortable.
You also have small cities on the surroundings, so having a car will definitely help you go around.
The training course was in a building exactly inserted in the old american military base. Not the airport, but where the magic happened. Apartments and more apartments. All of them were abandoned and it is a big space around. Besides Ryanair instalations you have also the police training building and other small industrial business. The Hahn training center for Ryanair is a simple building, with heating, 7 classrooms, 4 toilets. You can drink the water from the tap and it is also provided a water station with sparkling water. Classrooms are spacious, with carpet so sometimes it happens you smell a bit of the carpet, but I guess is normal. Internet by the time I was there for the first time was very limited. As we did not have any internet in the building we were staying, the only source for Wi-fi was the training center. We normally organized between ourselves who would speak with their parents, otherwise internet would be so low that no one could actually use it. Not always that worked, but it was the method we had. What I did normally was to choose a not so busy time when there weren’t any classes and go behind the building to talk with my family.
It has also a instructor room, where the instructors and people working there meet. They have their breaks, a mini kitchen with oven and stove and some sofas to relax. Internet was also more acessible there.
Going now to the building we stayed. It was called “Pink Hotel”. It is not anymore active and Ryanair does not use it. This “hotel” was indeed pink, had one kitchen and several rooms. Each room had 2 single beds, bathroom, wardrobe and a desk. Rooms were pleasant and comfortable. We also had washing machines and to use them we had to pay. Kitchen wasn’t small, but for around 100 people became a bit crowdy. One microwave and if I recall, 2 ovens. Not every time was easy to have one kitchen per 100 people, but we did survive the 6 weeks.
This “Pink Hotel” was a 2 min walk from the training center. So it was very easy to go to the center. There was other colleagues who stayed at other accommodation close to the airport and had to come with the bus. Walking distance was not that far, but in the cold and with manual, business atire was not that easy. Those accommodations were like a mini studio with 2 single beds, kitchen and bathroom. Also no internet and by the time, it was not possible to buy any SIM card at the airport because there was no store selling it.
To not forget that we were also responsible for our food. As I stayed in the “Pink Hotel” and kitchen was always crowded, so every day we get to buy from this van that would come around 12/13. That was also the lunch break that we normally had.
The experience itself was hard for me; first time studying full time in english, being away from the country I grew and in a country that I have been before but still did not know very well. I had to repeat my first big exam and all the other exams were hard on me.
Every day with failing the small tests, I had to stay longer in the class learning all again and trying to memorize. The small exams would not count on the final evaluation but were important for practicing. It was quite frustrating to not reach what I aimed.
Every day I studied and kept myself in the room doing all I could, but not everyone gets it easy, so I had to fight a bit more than others.
With colleagues partying, making noise, some days were tough and despite all my efforts, it was still not enough. Gladly, I managed to finish and some days I wonder how did I manage so far, but the truth is, I did and I am where I am now, because I really never stopped.
For the next post, I will be sharing how is a flying day. From the moment we leave the house, till we land back.