That prayer worked

Trip Start Dec 30, 2005
Trip End Jan 11, 2006

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Flag of Italy  ,
Saturday, January 7, 2006

Well holy shit...

How we made it, I am still unsure of. In flying cheaply out of Paris we used a company that only flies out of Beauvais (a town a little over an hour away) and into Treviso (about an hour from Venice) but offers a shuttle with every scheduled flight. We ran through the Metro thinking we were ten minutes late to our shuttle. We were an hour and ten minutes late. With a shark of a taxi driver hustling us in French... "100 Euro" (which I am sure would have doubled by the time we got there), "120 kilometer per hour, drive very fast" (I know 9th Grade science class was a looong time ago and my metric conversions are rusty, but that's really only about 25 miles per hour or so). Left with few options the Universe somehow opened up and blessed us. A bus driver showed up, don't know if he was late, early or really bored but he took us (empty coach and all) all the way out to Beauvais. Didn't even think to charge us.

The trip up was beautiful, just what I thought French countryside would look like. Sun just coming up on fields layered softly with a week's worth of untouched snow. Farm houses clumped together forming small semblances of towns. The highway signs gave suggestion that some of these towns had some renown for trade or otherwise (pottery, lace, cathedrals, etc).

The "airport" was little more than an aluminum shed with sliding garage doors to offer passengers walking access to the "tarmac"... I refrained from checking for potholes on the "runway". We had a full sized Boeing 737 lacking certain graces I've come to expect, free beverage service, magazine pouches, barf bags. All was available, and the flight attendants were more so saleswomen, drinks, lotto cards, gifts and souvenirs. Low cost flight tickets left them to sell everything short of lap dances. The flight was without incident (oh... besides coming within 15 seconds of another plane's jetstream).

Definitely Europe's version of Southwest Airlines, though SWA never offered me an aerial view of the Alps. Put the Rockies, Tetons, Smokys, Cascades to shame. Every peak was well above the tree line, ledges so sheer snow couldn't accumulate and crazy bastards actually living up there.

Treviso had even less to offer than Beauvais. What it lacked in ceremonial customs (like an obligatory passport stamp, Italy still has no record of me entering or leaving the country) it made up for in Gestapo looking officers trolling around with their dark sunglasses. They say getting lost in Venice is half the fun... I was less than half amused carting heavy baggage in circles. An escort of a blind pig would have been more useful than our map.

We stumbled in hungry and weary, found a cafe run by two Asian women playing American music. Best damn pizza and gelato I've ever had. Three scoops (vanilla, coffee, chocolate) topped with espresso, whipped cream and a couple of espresso beans. Mmmmm, I'm moving here. Returned to the hotel to get a game plan for the night (concert, stroll or just dinner) but ended up accidentally sleeping for two hours fully clothed, room fully lit which we took as a sign to call it a night.
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