Monday, July 27, 2009

Travel blues

The pleasures of summer travel. Before I get to that, let me say that Venice kicks ass! Florence is also phenomenal - but (unsurprisingly) has a very different feel to it. A review of a Galileo exhibit coming up soon.

However, here I want to chronicle the pleasures of summer travel (of course, the internet was also not functioning at the hotel for the last few days - so life was definitely on hold).

Last 48 hours:

  • Florence - Taxi to train station (10 minutes - left hotel at 10am)
  • Train from Florence to Venice (2 hours 40 minutes)
  • Venice - Water bus from train station to Rialto on the Grand Canal (15 minutes)
  • Venice - Water bus from Rialto to Bus station (20 minutes - left hotel at 7am)
  • Venice - Bus to Venice airport (20 minutes)
  • Plane from Venice to Zurich and then Zurich to London (total of 4-5 hours)
  • London-Heathrow: Passed through immigration (45 minutes) and discovered that the scheduled American Airline flight to Boston has been canceled
  • London-Heathrow: Placed on waiting list for an earlier flight to Boston. Ecstatic! Went through a long boarding line - picked out by the security for special screening - and waited for the boarding to end without me (total of 80 minutes)
  • London-Heathrow: Sent to the transfer desk to find a flight to Boston on another airline. Unsuccessful. No way to get to Boston today. So booked for a flight tomorrow (Tuesday) morning (takes about 40 minutes for walk back from the gate and for negotiations)
  • London-Heathrow: Provided a hotel next to the airport - but they keep my luggage. Since I'm back inside the terminal, I'm asked to go through immigration again. Yes, again (this time it takes 90 minutes to go through the immigration).
  • London-Hethrow: Bus to the hotel (wait plus travel: 30 minutes)
This journey is not over yet.

Here is a preview for tomorrow (if all goes according to plan):

Bus to London-Heathrow (15 min), plane from London to Boston (7 hours - if not canceled), shuttle from terminal to long-term parking (30 min for wait plus travel), drive back from Boston to Northampton (100 minutes).


Don said...

Sorry to hear that you were delayed at Heathrow-- that place is a real mess. Too bad you couldn't just fly from Zurich!

Matthew said...

I can't believe your connection to the Freemasons didn't speed you though customs. Did you give them the secret hand sign?

(No, not the single-finger one... that tends to slow customs down...)

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