Sunday, September 28, 2008

Part Seven: The Return and Classical musicians vs Italian baggage handlers

View from Our Balcony at The Grand Hotel Villa Medici

Neither of us could sleep. here is something about travelling clearly as it was a repeat of the night before we flew out of London. At about 3 a.m. we decided to open the curtains so we could at least watch the stars and the dawn. The main balcony doors were in the bedroom so the view was amazing. At 6, bleary eyed we got up, put our last items into the cases and checked out.

Plastic Flowers on a Saint's Shrine

We walked through the deserted streets up to the station and purchased our tickets in more confident Italian than we had bought the tickets that had brought us to Florence. Once again Trenitalia were great and the train arrived on time and got us to Pisa on time too. A last look at the Tuscan countryside through the train window was a fine end to our time in the country. We checked in our luggage and went off in search of something to eat. Our options were limited and the only place that had anything that looked OK was heaving and, has been mentioned before, has an area for payment a good distance from the place where the food resides. The novelty in this case was that you had to pay up front, when you couldn't see the food and then take your receipt over to collect what you'd ordered. After this we sat and watched the world go by.

The world on this particular Sunday morning consisted of rather more classical musicians than is usual. I have never seen so many varied instrument cases before. Finally our flight was called, already 30 minutes late. The cases and their owners came too. Clearly the orchestra was to fly with us. I remember thinking to myself how they were going to stow the instruments as I couldn't believe that any self-respecting musucian would allow the precious tools of their trade to be checked in as regular luggage. The answer to my question was to keep us on the ground and sat in the aircraft for another hour. It turns out that all airports have special ropes and fastenings for securing large collections of valuable instruments in the flight cabin. The senior engineer at the airport is the person who is responsible for the kit and on this Sunday morning not only could the fastenings not be found anywhere, nor could the engineer. After an hour both had finally been located and we were strapped in, ready to fly. The journey home was uneventful and we pushed open the door to Schossadlerflug at a little after 4.30 p.m. The immediate task was to have my first cup of tea in a week. I don't think I've ever gone so long without tea and by god I needed this one. After that we began the tedious process of unpacking and washing our week's worth of clothes. At about 10 o'clock we curled up, very happy to be back in our own bed even though we'd had a fascinating time and a good holiday.



Blogger Churlita said...

They don't serve tea in Italy? I guess it's probably all espresso there, isn't it?

I'm glad you had a nice trip.

7:15 pm  
Blogger Mr Atrocity said...

There was some tea but it wasn't very nice. I did drink a lot of espresso. When in Rome (well Florence but it still counts)...

8:23 pm  

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