May 14, 2010

I LOVE ICELAND but the volcano, not so much...

Our trip to Italy was three weeks after the big air space shut down from the Icelandic volcano and we spent the time going back and forth deciding whether or not to fly. But everything settled down and nothing was heard about the ash cloud. Unbeknownst to us, another eruption happened three days before we were to fly. Our flight was delayed for 2 hours and we arrived at the airport in time for the new departure, then we had to wait in the lounge for another hour for (as the announcement went) major cleanup because so many people had been sick on the flight over! A little apprehensive with that, but once we got on, our flight was smooth and unexciting – although they did have to file a new flight plan going around the ash, further north over Iceland and directly down the North Sea into Germany.

Our original flight was through Frankfurt, onto Zurich, then into Rome. Because the original flight was 3 hours late we missed our first connection – that was good in that it resulted in a direct flight to Rome, although once again a new flight plan what to be filed going through French air space. Our getting to Rome was great but unfortunately that led to all of our troubles with the luggage.

We ended up spending 6 days straight in our original clothes while phoning airports and call centres trying to trace our bags. We were originally planning to spend 3 nights in Rome and get over jet lag before heading north into Tuscany.

We got out to lots of sights – all the big names, but my oh my, there are a lot of them in Rome!! But were continually checking in with the hotel as things were promised to be delivered but never were. We also spent an extra night – requiring picking up our rental car at the airport and driving it into the middle of the city and finding a parking lot (actually a lot easier than it sounded like it was going to be!) Our hotel staff were all amazingly helpful making the phone calls and keeping the pressure on. One suitcase was found right away and flown into Rome but the other remained missing in Frankfurt for days. They were going to deliver one, then they waited for the other to arrive. Supposedly once it was delivered to a courier it was supposed to arrive within 24 hours – that promise got broken a few times.

The Vatican and St. Peter's

1 comment:

Nancy said...

Wow, that's an experience to remember!! It's not everyday that your flight gets delayed because of a volcano. The lost luggage, well, that's just plain nasty. Good pics !! I want to be there!

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