Corfu Chaos and Old Friends

Tuesday 8 September 2015

After a great breakfast downstairs in the sunny front room of the hotel, we pack up and check out.  Leaving our bags at reception we walk into town for some last minute shopping before our Ryan Air flight at 2:50 pm to Milano Italy.

I’ve visited a fair number of airports in my time, but Corfu Airport takes the cake for maximum chaos.  When we arrive there are masses of people milling around, very little signage and very little organisation.  After asking a few people where is check-in we are pointed to the general area where Ryan Air usually has its counters.  Eventually a sign lights up with our flight number and we jump in the queue, there are a few different queues, more queues than there are counters actually.  Then mysteriously our flight number disappears and another flight number appears.  Our flight number reappears at the next set of counters.  The 150 or so people lined up on the other counter have to shuffle into our queue and we with another 150 or so people have to shuffle across into their queue.  People who were at the front of the line are now at the back (unhappy) and vice versa (happy).  There are a couple of airport officials half heartedly trying to push the disgruntled mob back past some invisible line and restore some order, but no-one is too interested nor is there any room to move.

Corfu Airport confusion
Corfu Airport confusion

We wait, and wait, and wait – eventually a couple of very disinterested airline employees show up and take their sweet time setting up – diligently ignoring the hopeful looks / glares from the already testy travellers.  Eventually they slowly start checking people in.  There is some complication for those who have excess baggage. They have to go to the other side of the airport to pay for excess baggage charges (which from the grumbles we take to be pretty hefty) then come back before they can check in. There is also some weird process where you check in and then have to take your bag to another line to get it x-rayed and then processed.  It’s all so badly organised.

We finally reach the front of the line – yah! Then the lady doing the checking in – just gets up, walks way and doesn’t re-appear for 15 mins.  We speculate that she was having a cigeratte break.

I’ve checked in on-line, but have not been able to print our boarding passes, so they give us hand written boarding passes.  YES – hand written!  Is that even legal?

Ever seen this before? Hand written boarding pass
Ever seen this before? Hand written boarding pass

But we are through, checked-in and on time. By all miracles the plane departs and we arrive in Milan in one piece and on schedule.

At the gates in Bergamo Airpot (Milans second airport – Malpensa being the main airport) we are greeted by our two good friends Stephen and Jan Willem, who have flown down from their home in Den Hague, Holland. They suggest we grab a celebratory drink in an airport bar to settle our nerves and catch up with the most important gossip.  What a splendid idea!

There is another long wait at the Avis counter for our car, but the good company (and settled nerves) makes it much easier to endure.  Off to Treviglio we go. Treviglio is a small country town chosen by us for its close proximity to the airport and a hotel with a renowned restaurant.  I booked here in anticipation that after 8 days living off Greek food H & I will be hankering for some fine dining.

S & JW have booked them selves an Airbnb and as we try to find their designated meeting point we find ourselves driving through the centre of the old town.  Picture narrow, cobblestone alleys designed for pedestrian use only.  All we can do is follow the series of one way streets through the labyrinth to the other side of the old town.  Much laughter and helpful suggestion are coming my way from my fellow travellers.  Thanks guys!

Later after they find their lodgings and we find our hotel we meet up for a few pre-dinner drinks at a little bar on the main shopping street.  Then its back to our hotel San Martino for dinner.  And what a fabulous dinner it is.  The restaurant specialises in seafood so we choose the set degustation menu.  I’ll let the photo’s tell the story.

Fish in bisque
Fish in bisque
Stephen looks like a genie coming out of a bottle
Stephen looks like a genie coming out of a bottle
More yummy stuff
More yummy stuff
JW enjoying his linguini
JW enjoying his linguini
Crab Claw
Crab Claw

Our room merits comment as well.  Its a very large room, with a massive bathroom that has some ultra modern touches.  Notable items include ….

Mood lighting
Mood lighting
Just an ordinary cupboard?
Just an ordinary cupboard?
Anyone want a coffee?
Anyone want a coffee or cold beverage?
Shower with LED lighting that changes colour
Shower with LED lighting that changes colour
No explaination needed I hope
No explaination needed I hope
Central Courtyard - San Martino
Central Courtyard – San Martino

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