Copenhagen – Rome (sort of): 28th September

Oh god, this was the day from hell. And thus, it gets its very own devoid-of-photographs post.

It started out like a normal day, aside from the fact that I was awake before 6am. The normal airport-train-taking day quickly devolved into a nightmare of Tom-Hanks-in-an-airport proportions. (I may be exaggerating, but I’m celtic so I’m allowed).

I made it onto the budget airline plane and up into cruising alititude safely, and it was there at 20 or 30 thousand feet that the wheels came off the wagon.

Yep, that’s right, I had my first emergency landing.

A crack appeared in a cockpit window mid-flight, which is really concerning when the lives of everyone on board depend on all the air staying inside the plane.

So we made an emergency landing at Munich airport (well, hello Bavaria, I didn’t think we’d be meeting again so soon) and queued for an hour (or at least I did) to get re-booked on a flight (an hour? Where are we, Great Britain?) before discovering that said flight wasn’t ‘til 3pm. At this point it was quarter to twelve and the plane was supposed to arrive in Rome at 10.30. And, I’d been awake since half-past five.

So, I settled in for my long wait in possibly the least comfortable airport, apart from Copenhagen, or New Plymouth. I had a very expensive lunch of schnitzel and caught up on Doctor Who episodes to keep myself from going insane.

Then, at about 2.30 we find out that the plane is delayed. At this point I burst into tears, because there’s only so much airport a person can take. We were told that they were hoping to have some news for us at about 3.30, ‘cause our plane was still in Hanover or something. Eventually the plane took off at about 4.30, arriving in Rome at 5.30ish, a whole 12 hours after I woke up. After we landed I spotted a couple of people from the Copenhagen flight and joked (exasperatedly) that we’d just taken the longest 2-hour flight in history.

Too exhausted to deal with trains, I paid for a taxi to my hotel, which ended up costing an amount which I’d really like not to think about ever.

My taxi-driver was an actor hired to play an Italian taxi-driver in a film about a privileged middle-class white woman who goes to Italy to find herself. Or at least that’s what it felt like. He yelled happily over the traffic noise about how awesome Rome was (not Italy: Italy sucks, Rome is what’s good apparently) and when I said I was from New Zealand he switched cheerfully over to rugby, or as he adorably pronounced it ‘rigby.’

If I thought finding out that the airplane was broken while on it and in the air was scary, I realised how wrong I was while cruising down a congested Roman motorway at 135 km/h (84 miles/h for my millions of American/English/strangely-not-metric-stuck-in-the-19th-century-readers. OH SNAP DID I GO THERE?) while my enthusiastic taxi driver had a loud conversation on his cellphone, complete with flamboyant hand-gestures.

It was now that I thought I was going to die.

(Ignore the serious tense-issues in that sentence)

But I didn’t, in fact, die and made it to Hotel Straight-Out-Of-A-Poirot-Novel-Set-In-Rome in one piece. Down to the polite but uninterested concierge, the overdone dark crimson drapes and the tiny elevator

I settled into my room, which honestly almost made Harry’s cupboard look like a suite at the Grand and had a pike-out meal at the restaurant, which actually turned out to be the best pasta I’d ever had. Oh, boy was I going to top that before the week was out.

And so the day that seemed never to end ended, and I got a good night’s sleep ready for the gigantic chaotic wonder that is Rome.


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