Wednesday, August 20, 2008

From Paris to Italy

I have always wanted to go to Italy. And I have never known what to expect. And I loved it! Venice is crazy, but great.

We flew into Treviso from Beauvais Airport in France. Beauvais is about 90 minutes from Paris and we had to take a bus there. The airport is so far away because we flew RyanAir, which is a European budget airline, which I’d only heard about but never flown. The tickets from Paris to Venice (well, Treviso) were 40 Euros for the both of us. I decided it was okay to fly at this low rate only after I’d heard from several reliable (and alive) sources that they had flown RyanAir, and their experiences were fine.

We decided to take a bus from Paris to the airport, and that was 13.50 euros each, so that jacked up the overall travel price just slightly. Although we had had no problem bringing both our bags as carry-on when we flew into Paris (all that was checked was the physical size), RyanAir weighed our bags and because one was over 10kg it had to be checked. And we had to pay 20 euros to check it. This was especially upsetting because I had shampoo, awesome almond-milk French body wash, AND a wine opener in the bag I carried on, and they were all confiscated. We should have put them in the other, checked bag, dammit! Oh, well, it was our own stupidity. (I will say anyone should check out these French bath products if given the chance – Le Petite Marseill – the packaging is so French and cute I really just wanted to save that! They’re available at grocery stores and Bon Marche department store.)

Anway, Beauvais is a really small airport and there seemed to be only three flights leaving from it. There’s only one wing area with three gates. There was no line; it was kind of a free for all. It was a little bit of madness. As I get older, chaos causes me slight alarm, and tension as well. I took an anti-anxiety pill (prescribed to me for flying since I get a little anxious) but it didn’t help, especially because as we waited to board the flight a huge amount of rain and hail – that’s right, hail – started coming down. And we had to walk outside to get onto the plane. So as everyone pushed their way through the line to get out the door we had to run – run – to the plane, getting soaked and pounded by hail. It was terrifying. It was a movie that can only end badly.

RyanAir doesn’t assign seats. Luckily Andy and I got two together. It was a little bit of madness - again, that tension and alarm causing madness – while people found their way to seats. An awkward Italian pre-teen girl loudly proclaimed her unhappiness about not sitting with her family (and as soon as the seatbelt light went off she was sitting on daddy’s lap, in the seat in front of me).

We took off as the hail and rain died down around us, and the flight was fine. There were a couple of bumpy moments, but it was fine. RyanAir was fine… though with the additional fees of the bus ticket and checking a bag, and the pain of getting to the airports, I don’t know that I would fly them again. I think I am getting a little fancy in my old age, and want a seat assigned, and proper lines to wait on. Regardless, we landed at Treviso in an hour and 20 minutes. We stepped off the plane and it was warm and balmy, a bit unlike Paris’ rainy, windy, occasionally sunny weather we had had for the past week. We survived the flight (not without a few tears of utter fear from me) and we were in Italy!

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