Au revoir Nice, bongiorno Venice

It’s getaway day, never the highlight of anyone’s voyage, trip or excursion.

We got up a bit early (by our standards), cleaned up the apartment, packed the last of the clothes, carried the luggage to the street and walked down to the imposing Assemblee building to hail Uber. Unlike last time, Uber arrived in one minute.

Our driver Kevin was no romantic or tourist guide. He wordlessly but compentently made for the expressway to get to the airport, even though the drive along the promenade is far more beautiful and probably no slower on an early Saturday morning. By 10:30, we were in the airport, a smallish but very stylish terminal that you would expect in a place like Nice.

I was concerned about the hassle of checking luggage on Easy Jet, and they lived down to expectations.

Easy Jet is one of those European super cheap airlines that charge virtually nothing for a ticket but exorbitant fees for everything else, like seat selection, food and checked baggage. The baggage fees are lower if you book them in advance online. The only problem was that when I checked in online for our fight the day before, Easy Jet’s web site gave me boarding passes but would not allow me to pay the lower baggage fees. The only alternative would be to pay at the airport, which is considerably more expensive.

A total of 94 euros for two bags, in fact, or about $113. Our tickets were only $118. When I pointed that out to both the ticket agent and the charging clerk (You have to go to two places to complete the transaction), both said, yes, that does happen., too bad. I will just have to deal with this issue when we get back to the U.S.

The fight was packed, but we were lucky to have drawn two exit row seats. The passenger on the window was from Red China and proved to be one of the rudest, most objectionable people we have ever encountered on a flight. Before we took off, he pulled out and ate an apple, the remains of which he deposited in the barf bag in the seat pocket. Then he proceeded to open and eat an entire large bag of potato chips, crumbs and shards everywhere and placed the empty bag in the same seat pocket.

When we landed, he tried to crawl over me in the middle seat and Lynn on the end, even though he had nowhere to go, because the aisle was full of people waiting patiently to get off the plane. Lynn was having none of that; she stopped our Communist companion in his tracks with a stern admonishment that he had nowhere to go, so stay where he was. He was cowed but unrepentant.

The Venice airport is about the same size as Nice’s thought not as stylish. But our passage was unimpeded, since we were moving from one Schengen country to another. After collecting expensive baggage, we walked through as if we had flown from New Orleans to Tampa.

A fairly friendly and rotund taxi driver took us to our ship along the causeway that connects Venice to the mainland for a set fare of 45 euros for the 15-minute drive. He pulled us right up in front of the Queen Victoria, where we paid him, gave our luggage to an attendant and then passed through our registration for the ship virtually alone and without so much as a minute’s wait in the huge terminal. The entire process took less than ten minutes.

We walked aboard the Queen Victoria for exploration, dining and unpacking. Happily, we opened our bags to find our stash of wine and Scotch unharmed. Let the voyage begin.

(Note to faithful readers: we are now on the ship with limited, expensive and slow Internet access. Therefore, photos may have to wait until we get onshore to a WiFi cafe where we can drink wine and update this blog.)



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