Posted by: mdmusingsie | July 17, 2011

Benvenuti In Italia

Off to Italy for one of my best friend’s son’s wedding. Just as the bus arrived at Dublin airport the sky opened. As with most of the weather in Ireland, it changed in 5 minutes. Of course, a few days hence I will likely be wishing for a cool rain.

Dublin airport sure has changed a lot in 10 years since I flew through there – I normally fly through Shannon. Security is pretty similar to the U.S., so it was somewhat surprising how many American teens went through with liquids in their carryons. Another interesting moment was boarding the aircraft. They boarded 15 rows at a time, and it was actually very orderly with no jockeying for overhead bins. There even ended up being extra room. The only people I saw checked for the size of their carryons were an elderly couple (American) who were forced to check their bags as they did not meet the size criteria. I wish they would scrutinize those things more closely in the U.S.

It was a three hour flight to Rome and although I was flying Aer Lingus (at a fairly steep price) it felt more like Ryanair, as there was no complimentary refreshments or entertainment. At least there didn’t appear to be a charge to use the bathrooms. The Airbus 320 did not have the conventional seat pockets – they were up behind the headrest and made of hard plastic. It was unlikely you would be able to place even a modest paperback inside, let alone the other accoutrements that people normally drag along (water bottle was the first thing to come to mind).

The Rome airport was undergoing significant construction so we had to deplane via a stairway. At least it wasn’t overly warm (yet). I was uncharacteristically unprepared to navigate my way to the hotel (I knew I had to take the train to Stazione Termini and then a cab), but fortunately one of my friends was still at the airport waiting for someone else from the group to arrive (one person’s plane was delayed over 5 hrs and others weren’t destined to arrive until later in the day); so we went together and ended up with a better option through the information booth – a shuttle directly to the hotel. Well, almost directly, after stopping at two other hotels and leaving us off just past the Spanish Steps because he couldn’t drive down the street where our hotel was located. Blessings on the bell hop who hauled our luggage up and promptly turned on the air conditioning.

The betrothed couple met us for dinner and would be dashing off in the morning to Barletta (where the actual wedding would take place) to take care of last minute details.

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