The 16 Hour Trek To Italy: A Movie Moment

My life is filled with several disasters and unbelievable events that couldn’t be better if you wrote them. But they aren’t written – they are actual, real things that happen to me. So from time to time I like to share these moments with you guys! Here’s a little story about my disastrous journey to Italy.

I was due to fly out of London City at 7am on the 31st December – I was buzzing to spend New Years in Florence, especially with my boyfriend as I hadn’t seen him for 6 weeks while I was on my African Adventure. To my horror, I received a text from British Airways the night before saying my morning flight was cancelled due to fog at the airport and they weren’t offering me another flight until the evening of the 1st! Like seriously, fog? Don’t planes all survive on autopilot anyway?

I was gutted, especially as I was due to get the train to Rome on the 2nd so I wouldn’t have got to see Florence at all! Obviously I rang BA straight away to demand they get me to Florence on NYE, by private jet if they must – but apparently so was everyone else as I couldn’t get through for hours. In my panic, the only other flight I could find that was meant to be leaving on NYE was one to Bologna – a 45 minute high speed train ride to Florence, so I booked it as a back up. The problem being if this flight was delayed in any way at all I would’ve missed the last train to Florence and been stuck in Bologna, sleeping at a platform on NYE but at the time, it was a risk I was willing to take.

Fortunately, I eventually managed to get in touch with a human bean at BA who was very helpful and found a flight to Florence that left at 7.25am from Heathrow but, VIA Madrid (which is completely the opposite direction!) with an hour to change. Totally backwards way of getting to Italy but hey, it would have got me there by midday and all would be well.

On 2 hours sleep, I trundled off to Heathrow at 4am in the morning with butterflies in my tummy, worried this flight would be cancelled as well because of the fog. Luckily it wasn’t so off we go. So far so good, what could possibly go wrong? We arrive to Madrid on time and it’s only after 10 minutes I realise we are circling the airport. Apparently the fog had manifested itself all the way to Madrid and even though it was delaying things going IN, all other flights were leaving on time. Typical!

At this point I was having a mild panic attack, knowing that there were no more flights to Florence from Madrid that day if I missed this one. We eventually land, 30 minutes before my connecting flight is due to leave, where I am handed my other boarding pass at the end of my gate. I ran like the wind across Madrid airport – and when I say ran I mean sprinted Usain Bolt style. FYI, Madrid airport is HUGE. I had to get a connecting metro thingy to my other terminal, the longest 3 minute wait of my life! Also, incidentally, it’s very difficult to run fast somewhere when you have no idea of the direction and with a wheel along suitcase. I had bruises on my thigh for the next week where I’d been hauling it up and down escalators at top speed!

Did she make it? I know you are all asking… wait for it… YES! I made it! I made it to the gate with a whole 11 minutes to spare! You can imagine my relief I ran up the gate, waving my ticket, where the two attendants just looked at me blankly. My gaze focused through the window behind them where the plane was. Oh I’m sorry, I mean SHOULD have been. I think my exact words were ‘Where the fuck is the fucking plane?’ Because it had GONE. YUP. THE FLIGHT HAD GONE!! Not even, was leaving or on the run way, completely gone! Early! When does that ever happen?!

I waited anxiously at the help desk, ready for the bad news that I was stranded. For a horrific moment I envisaged myself spending 24 hours alone in Madrid airport seeing in the New Year with the 8 Euro McDonalds voucher they gave me for compensation (because hey, that’ll make up for it!). THANKFULLY, I was told there was a flight in 4 hours to Bologna. I don’t think I’ve ever been so relieved in my life! Luckily I had already researched how to get from Bologna to Florence (for my back up flight) otherwise I can imagine in my state I would have gone a bit nuts like – THATS NOT FLORENCE HOW IS THAT SUPPOSED TO HELP – kind of way BUT, I did know, so accepted the flight. OH, and I realised I lost my brand new hat and gloves somewhere between the two terminals in Madrid airport (not the end of the world I know but, the icing on the cake)

I couldn’t relax until I arrived in Florence, sure that there was something else bound to go wrong, but praise the Lord, it didn’t. 16 hours after leaving my house, I made it!

italy

When I eventually made it!

And of course, I was so exhausted and had barely eaten, that the drink went straight to my head and I barely remember New Years Eve ever happening. Apparently we went to the square in Florence and kissed at midnight under the fireworks – I’m sure it was magical and drunk Daisy had a great time, but I’ll never know!

 

Despite all this, Florence was beautiful and I fell in love with the place so it was definitely worth it! Blog post on all my top bits to follow!

  1. […] (it was supposed to be two, but that’s an entirely different drama which you can read about here) it quickly became my favourite city and I cannot wait to go back (maybe in slightly warmer […]

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  2. […] of the year I had a little Italy trip! (side note, read about my most horrendous journey EVER here, trust me, you’ll find joy in my misery). Anyway, here’s my favourite things I enjoyed […]

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