Sunday, September 3, 2006. En route.
This morning we enjoyed our usual breakfast before strolling with our bags to catch the vaporetto to Piazalle Roma where Orange bus #5 carried us to Marco Polo Aeroporto, a classy little Italian airport. Polished wood floors, espresso stands, gelato, herb-sprinkled pasta dishes, etc. Upscale shops tempting departing tourists to spend those last remaining euros. George snagged a table while I purchased an espresso for him and cappucino for me. We sat and sipped and I wrote in my journal until time to board flight 1454 from Venice to Milan where we had a brief layover before catching a different flight to Krakow.
After landing in Milan, we scooted through the airport to restrooms with doors no one could figure out how to open. The line of women just kept waiting for the one stall we could get into and out of. Next we rushed to a food court where I bought a salad of greens, carrots, tomatoes, and a chunk of creamy mozarella cheese. I also picked up what I thought was a packet of salad dressing. We couldn’t find an empty table, so we stood at a tall counter. Our next flight was scheduled to board any minutes, so we were trying to hurry. I opened my “salad dressing” and it was mustard! George (who hadn’t bought any food) went in search of some but could find only full sized bottles of balsamic vinagrette for sale next to the salads. I ended up eating the cheese, tomatoes, and carrots, and a little dry lettuce, wolfing it down b/c we thought we were late. We dashed to our gate, only to discover our flight had been switched to a different gate, one floor up and down a hallway. We jogged to get there, my rushed lunch complaining all the way.
The flight was running behind schedule! George stepped up to a nearby sandwich counter and bought a ham sandwich, eating it at his leisure while I tried not to throw up. Major fun.
We boarded our second flight on an Alitalia Express Jet–a spunky little number that seats less than 50. It had leather seats and a cute Italian steward who served us chocolate ice-cream as we zoomed over the Alps, more than atoning for my lunch fiasco. We met a couple from Boston who were also on our plane. She grew up in Krakow and said it would remind us of Italy–beautiful and friendly. She said to be sure and visit the museum. George also chatted with a Polish fireman who was returning to his wife and kids after a three-month visit with his mother in NYC. George asked him how to say a number of phrases in Polish and then promptly forgot most of them. 🙂 The fireman also told George that Krakow suffered no bombing damage in WWII as we had assumed. All the old buildings are wonderfully intact. He said the nicest restaurant is 600 years old. Sounds like I’ll have plenty to do and see while George geeks out with the worm meisters. Yee-haw!
(The plot thickens. Will Jeanne find adventure in Krakow? Will she be able to communicate with people who not only speak a different language, but also have a different alphabet? To be continued . . .)