A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about airports

Swiss Cheese Day

Day 49 Zagreb to Florence

sunny 35 °C

After fuelling up the car the night before, packing and arranging an early breakfast at our Airport Hotel so we could drop the car off at the airport when the place opened at 7am for our 9am flight from Zagreb to Florence, we thought we had it all planned out.

Well, we came to a screeching halt. The day didn't start or end well - all the holes in the Swiss Cheese lined up today.

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By 6:45am, we're on track. Then, when doing that final check before driving off, couldn't find my phone. Race back inside, check lobby, breakfast place and room. Rush back and discover it was in my back pack all along. Plug "Zagreb International Airport" into the SatNav and we're away. 9 minutes and about 6kms. As we dutifully followed the instructions, the streets of the sleepy town didn't feel right but we pressed on, focused on getting to the airport. As we rounded a narrow corner and hit gravel and a 8' wire fence, we realised we were on the airside of the airport - nice view of the runway, but not ideal for our present needs. SatNav was right, we were technically at the airport, the Terminal however, was way over the other side. We lost 15 minutes, rally cross driving back to where we needed to drop the car off. We do a couple of loops trying to find the allocated place, then there's no parks. A guy in a blue shirt seemingly affiliated with the Hire Company obliged and took the keys from us and we headed for the Terminal. Fortunately he wasn't some random guy who we'd just handed the keys to a new Festiva, never to be seen again. Check in at Zagreb Airport was painful as its an old crappy airport, overdue for expansion. The airlines have added extra flights (we guess to gauge demand and raise revenue for the upgrade) but the facilities are stretched to the limit. Phew, we make it to the gate with time to spare, including enough time to offload our unused Croatian Kuna for Biotherme Spray Sunscreen which we have discovered is EXCELLENT. Highly recommend.

We arrive in Paris - a teaser for our visit in August. We think, right, we're back on track only to sit on the tarmac waiting for passengers from a connecting flight. Finally, we're here!

As we enter the doors to the Baggage Hall, we are immediately assaulted by Italians - its chaos, loud debating and much hand gesturing! Amid the chaos, the carousel springs to life and Jen's bag is first off the conveyor! Sadly, as we watch the belt go 'round and 'round with the number of bags dwindling and the Baggage Hall emptying, the realisation that my bag got left behind is sinking in. There are about a dozen others also waylaid. Whilst it was inevitable that this might happen, it's still a terrible feeling.

I join the queue at Lost Baggage to go through the process with smirking Italian airport staff. Word had gotten around that the next flight from Paris was due in about an hour and the mislaid bags might be on it, so we park ourselves to wait. The next flight arrived, and the travellers from late Los Angeles connection gleefully collected their bags. But alas, mind did not arrive. It must be back in Zagreb.

We had to laugh though, as each flight landed in the hour we waited, the queue in front of Lost Baggage continued to grow. Must be a normal day in Florence airport and the Italian airport staff laughed their way through the whole situation.

With no knowing where my bag could be and limited information from the Airline, we made our way into Florence and checked into our first Airbnb, an absolutely gorgeous apartment adjoining Ponte Vecchio Bridge and minutes walk to all the attractions.

Whilst distracted as to whereabouts of my bag and only the clothes I was wearing, the night it did end on a high note as Italy got knocked out of the European Cup by Germany. We watched the game, on a stinking hot night, from the big screen on the banks of the Arno with thousands of Italians occupying every vantage point. One of my long time dislikes is Italian soccer, how they play and how they overact at the merest of touches.

There was plenty of Karma today!

Posted by tszeitli 08:29 Archived in Italy Tagged florence airports chaos rush ponte_vecchio italians lost_baggage swiss_cheese Comments (4)

On Our Way

Day 1 - Brisbane to Shanghai.

rain 16 °C
View Tom & Jen's "Continental Drift" on jkerkin's travel map.

We finally got packed, Rick graciously dropped us at the airport and started on our 110 day travels. Great relief to get on the plane and just shut off home life, well for a little while, and just enjoy each day as it comes. We now need to get into travel mode, check your passport 10 times, check you have all your bags, where is my next stop and hotel, food, get money, pack and unpack your bag etc, etc. Sounds simple! Its been 20 years since I "back packed" and a lot has changed. Looking forward to seeing how China has changed since I lived in Beijing for 6 months in 1995.

We arrived in Shanghai, after a short stop in Singapore Airport, our driver was there and we finally arrived at our hotel at 12.30 am, 14 hours of travel, and looking forward to a shower and sleep. Fortunately Jen has Platinum Virgin so we got lounge access and priority access onto the planes. Overall no missed flights, got through customs, got our international roaming phone working and got to our first hotel.
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Posted by jkerkin 14:51 Archived in Australia Tagged china holiday plane shanghai airports inn Comments (9)

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