When planes go BAD!

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Flag of Croatia  , Dalmatia,
Saturday, May 19, 2012

It was time to leave Croatia. We had a gentle stroll along the waterfront, past Tito's house and a selection of swimming locations and bars. A good meal of spaghetti Bolognese and chicken was a requirement because we would not be at our hostel in Lisbon until about 9:30pm. We had a flight at 3:30 to Barcelona and then a connecting flight to Lisbon 1.5 hrs later. Silva, ever the gracious host drove us the 20km to the airport (sure, we paid her). At 1pm we said goodbye to silva and our time in Croatia.

Four hours later I was at the exact location in the car park, coming BACK to Croatia.

We had checked in (no queue) and gone through security (no queue), and been stamped out by immigration (no queue) and had a nice, but expensive coffee. It was a bit windy outside. The airport was not busy. There were no planes. About 1 hr after our plane was due out we were told that it was too windy for landing and so our plane had landed at Split.

Another hour of waiting followed.

At 5pm-4 hours after we had arrived- we had to go back downstairs to immigration. Stamp! Welcome back to Croatia. We then had to collect our packs and proceed to the carpark. I was getting a distinct 'Hotel California' feeling. We were herded onto buses and driven to Split to meet our plane.

When traveling it pays to be positive about things. And it is common practice for airports to take you by bus to the plane. So this was just a long taxi-ing to the plane - a 120km taxi to the plane!

So 4hrs later we get to our plane in Split. It is an 'interesting' airport. You approach through a series of winding dirt roads and it seems to be set in a demolished rural area. We checked in (long queue) and went through security (long queue), and were stamped out by the one immigration official (slow queue). It was a bit windy outside. The airport was not busy. There was only one plane - ours.

We landed at about 2am. Because we had booked with the same carrier they had to look after us so we, and about a dozen others, were met with a meal voucher, hotel room accomodation and airport transfers. So at 3am I find myself eating a tuna salad in the airport kiosk. WHO EATS AT 3am???. They kept us there for an hour before finally herding us into a minibus for transfer to the hotel. After cheque in, with passport details, we finally got to our room at 4am. Problem was that our connecting flight was at 8am so we needed to be up at 6am. That's right......in two hours. We had time for a shower and a quick nap. Ever tried to sleep under pressure......when you know that this is your last chance but the alarm is due to go off soon???

We dragged ourselves downstairs, grabbed a cup of coffee and donut and once again piled into the minibus. Back at the airport it was checking then security then...............we found out there was a strike in Lisbon so our plane was delayed 2.5hours! You have got to be kidding!!

We took off at 11am......14hrs after we should have arrived in Lisbon. This time the plane landed at the correct airport and we successfully found the airport shuttle bus. However, turns out they are doing work on the road so our bus could not take us the last few stops. So with heavy packs attached we set off into the hilly streets of Lisbon. We took some wrong turns -it was difficult to find this hostel as there are many confusing streets with no reliable signs or maps. After clambering up and down some really steep hills we had arrived at our hostel. I was stuffed and we had both had less than two hours sleep. We were not very good tourists that afternoon.
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ruth on

It doesn't seem to matter-trains or planes-you guys have terrible luck with transportation! I hope you are able to stay here for a while and rest.

Steve on

At least you are able to keep us all at home entertained with all these events. life was not meant to be easy? You seen to be having a very interesting time and making it a real adventure. All is well here. Will show mum your latest later today. Keep Safe.

stephen on

After those awesome islands that look like little pieces of paradise, you must be tempted to think you should have just stayed there.

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