The reason I haven’t been on here much lately is that my husband and I have just spent a month overseas! This was my first time ever travelling overseas, and the first time I had ever set foot in a big plane. In the weeks leading up to the trip, I had myself so anxious about flying that I was ready to cancel the trip. However, I surprised myself and found flying to be a lot less scary than I thought. Actually, it was quite an enjoyable experience!
The first flight was the worst because it was on a tiny little Dash 8 plane, which was delayed for an hour due to some overhead lights not working. This made us start our holiday with a bit of a panic because they said the flight would be cancelled if they couldn’t fix it, and our international flight out of Sydney was not a connecting flight, so we would have had some problems if we couldn’t get there! Thankfully, they did get the lights working and we got to Sydney. On the little planes, you really feel the turbulence, so I arrived in Sydney ready to turn around and catch a train home. But with the rush of getting to the international terminal and checking our bags in on time, I didn’t have too much time to stress about it.
We flew with Thai Airways. Our first flight was from Sydney to Bangkok, which left at 4pm and took 9.5 hours. We didn’t get much sleep on this flight, partly because we were so excited, and partly because we just couldn’t make ourselves tired enough to sleep in the afternoon. They give you so much food on the flights, neither of us could eat it all. We learnt not to eat too much before flying, because you never go hungry on the plane!
We did have some interesting moments, such as passing a lightening storm, which looked amazing from above. Also looking down on big cities at night was a thrill.
We had a 2.5 hour wait in Bangkok, where we didn’t get much done. They had free WiFi in the airport, but we couldn’t get it to work because some brilliant mind has set it up so that once you register for the WiFi you get a username and password e-mailed to you, which you have to be able to access in order to use their WiFi….So, you need internet to gain access to the internet, which you wouldn’t need if you had your own internet in the first place…Genius.
We left Bangkok at midnight and flew for 12 hours, arriving at Rome’s Fiumicino airport at 6am in the morning. At least we got a bit of sleep on that flight, but we were too excited to be tired once we arrived.
The customs officer was the most unenthusiastic person we’d met. We had to wait for ages at the desk while he sat there chewing gum, and then checking his phone and plugging it in, finally grabbing our passports and stamping them without a second glance.
While trying to find the Leonardo Express train to Rome, we came across a random airport shuttle van service. We had heard stories of people being ripped off by unofficial services, but we decided to give it a go anyway and it cost us €40 to drop us at the door of our apartment. We aren’t really sure if the service was official or not, but we thought the price was pretty good. The traffic in Italy was crazy though. I don’t know how anyone makes it anywhere without crashing! They drive so close that they’re basically pushing each other along the road. There seems to be no regard for lanes, with everyone making a lane wherever they think there should be one. When there were no parks around, our driver just pulled up in the middle of the narrow road and blocked all the cars behind while letting us out. Apparently that’s not so unusual over there. But more on the traffic will definitely come later!