Hell…

Disclaimer: the next few posts will be in English, as today I left on a study trip to Napels, the land of Vergilius, and I want to share all my experiences with my fellow travellers, who are not only from Belgium and the Netherlands, but also from the UK, and even from Brazil.

But today was hell. Seriously. There indeed was a warning about the security checks at the airport, with the request to be there at least 3 hours beforehand. I must admit, it wasn’t the entire three hours, as on other occasions we never really do the two hour thing either.

But… as soon as I came down the elevator from the kiss-and-ride, there was a queue. A BIG queue. As in: two hours with the suitcases, all through an empty parking lot, down a ramp in that parking lot, through a lot more doors and corridors, into the open air, onto a big white tent. Two hours. I saw the hours ticking away, and I’m not proud of it, but I jumped the queue a bit. Until I heard there were more people queueing there for a flight as close as mine.

I still had some hope, as I went through the passport check and the security check. But then came another big white tent, and another queue. Down plummeted my hopes for catching my flight. And then this girl came calling all passengers for Naples. Out of the queue I went, in search for the next spot. Which I couldn’t pinpoint right away, in the chaotic mass of discontented passengers. And then I came to the door to the check in tent. “Miss, I need to go through, I’m on the flight to Naples.” “Brussels Airlines? Then please wait in this queue to your right, ma’am.” “Euhm, are you sure? You were calling for Naples?” “Yes I’m sure, please wait here.” “But why did you come calling then?” “No idea, ma’am, please wait here.”

So I did. Until after half an hour I went to a different person and asked for the flight to Naples. “Naples? But we came calling for Naples like half an hour ago!” Well du-uh? She rushed me through to the check-in counter, and there the lady said: “Naples? Oh dear, sorry, they’re boarding already, we can’t get your luggage on anymore. If only you were like ten minutes earlier…”

Hell.

So I went to yet another queue for 45 minutes to get a different flight. Which was an intermediate flight to Milan at 16.45h, and then yet another flight to Naples, to arrive at 21.20h. Great. But I got warned not to leave the airport and go into transit right away, lest I should have to do all the queueing again… After all, it was way past noon by then.

So in the check-in queue I went again, got through, got through customs and yet another security check, and finally into the main lounge. Which was cool and airy and not crowded at all.

I found myself a sandwich and something to drink, and went in search of an laptop charger. Alas, to no avail.

Anyway, I read a lot, got a marvellous cake handed to me

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took the first flight in excellent conditions on a half empty plane, had my salad in the Milan lounge, marvelled at the sign of the times,

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and got incredibly sick on the second flight. After handing my lunch in a bag to the stewardess, I stumbled outside, only to find a taxi waiting for me. Luckily Leon, our ‘leader’, had arranged for me to be picked up. I suffered the twenty minute ride since I was still feeling awfully sick, but at last, round 10.15h I guess, I arrived at a very nice Italian villa palazzo style.

After a short lie down, I went to meet part of the other attendants, and got welcomed very warmly, to such extent that I felt instantly at home.

I think I’ll like my stay, even though it hasn’t started out all that well…

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