Bye bye to my home – I’m On the Road Again!!
Finally allowed to travel – within 5 hours of restrictions being lifted to Italy I had my flights booked. Before the first flight I had a covid test at the airport – waited in the car in the parking lot for the results. I passed! Or was it failed? In any case I got both emailed and printed pages to show I was safe to travel.
The first check-in was actually the longest – the lady at the counter looked so long at my passport I started to worry – but no problem. I had my covid test proof, my Personal Flight Locator forms, my declaration for getting into Italy – I had it all.
After a goodbye to my patient, kind and loving partner I boarded the first of three flights. The plane to Vancouver was packed, followed by a 3 hour wait for the next flight to Frankfurt. Once again I showed all of my papers, and again no problem.
The flight was quite long, and right after serving us dinner they made us close the windows and shut off the lights. I don’t think it ever actually got dark outside the whole way, but it was a long ‘night’ and I didn’t get any sleep.
Arriving at Frankfurt airport I again showed all of my papers, and again no problem. I found my scheduled flight to Rome on the boards and limped a long way to the listed gate. I had a few hours to wait so read for a bit, then decided to take a little nap – there was plenty of space on the lounge chairs to stretch out, and I was at the right gate so knew I’d hear the folks arriving for the flight and all of the boarding calls.
Wrong….I woke with a start at 3:01 – the flight was supposed to start boarding at 2:50 so I knew immediately something wasn’t right. Still fuzzy-headed from my nap I grabbed my backpack and camera and shuffled to the closest check-in gate. A lady in front of me had just missed her flight to Mallorca and I felt bad for her, while just hoping I hadn’t missed my flight to Rome.
I quickly showed the check-in lady my boarding pass and she said to ‘go that way and turn left’ – well, I was at gate A16 and my flight was now leaving from A56 – a very, very long way – in fact very close to the gate I’d arrived at three hours earlier. I ran as fast as I could, given my injured foot, and arrived huffing and puffing and almost crying to find that I wasn’t quite the last one – about 15 folks were still lined up to board.
The last flight wasn’t too long and I arrived safely at Fiumicino a little bit ahead of schedule. I collected my bag and headed to passport control/security – but there wasn’t any. There were several armed guards standing around, but no one that wanted to see my passport or anything. I simply walked out!
Colin and the little ones arrived only a few minutes later to pick me up and we were on our way ‘home’. It’s not that far to Papiano so we arrived at a decent time, although to me I’d been up and on the move for about 30 hours.
I had a very nice welcome from several of the locals, especially Antonio at the bar. I took it easy for a couple of days getting used to the time change and everything.
On Sunday we went for a nice bike ride of 22 km., and another one this morning of just under 20 km.
There are two major renovation projects going on near us. First of all the bell tower is finally being fixed – they’ve had the funds for it for some time but apparently there was prolonged discussion about exactly what to do. It’s now covered in scaffolding and work is progressing.
The other major project is right below us – a mutli-unit building that was damaged in the earthquake five years ago. They started this morning by blocking off the lane way and have started removing debris from the inside.