Sunday, July 22, 2007

Let the bizarreness continue

Even on our final holiday day it continues to get weirder.

With our mad travel experiences we ensured we were at the airport very early. We managed to skip the queues because we were travelling with "bambinos", and make it more quickly through security, where we then had to wait for longer. All ok so far.
Then the bus came, albeit a little late, to take us onto the tarmac where the plane waited. Loads of people piled on, we were taken to the plane, where we waited in the bus. And we waited. After an age the pilot came down to explain that they had received incorrect data and loaded the plane with 2 tonnes of extra fuel.

This would normally be ok, but being *Rome* Campino airport they have no facility for taking fuel off a plane. So they had to go for a fly to burn off some fuel. Oh, I forgot to tell you why we couldn't just fly. It seems that due to "runway problems", local mountains, high temperatures, a full flight and nearby mountains the plane wouldn't have enough speed to take off by the end of the short runway.

So they went for the flight, and came back for us about 2 hours later.

The take-off was interesting. Normally the plane follows the painted lines onto the runway, but we went right to the grass at the top, and didn't stop - we took a rolling start. As soon as we straightened up it was full power, and we went almost the full length of the runway before taking off. In the end we were up and away.
Oh, and another thing. Now we hadn't enough fuel to get to Belfast. So it was a detour to Nice. I have to say the flight was spectacular. We flew directly over the centre of Rome, and then over Corsica, followed by a great descent into Nice. I would say it was worth the detour just to see the views over the mountains, and the landing in Nice.

While we refueled in Nice I took the kids to talk to the pilot, which I think they really enjoyed.

The rest of the day was pretty uneventful, flight back to Belfast, landed, luggage, and home. Home for about 7 minutes, and then off to Benone where SWMBO had to play piano. Then home. It's always nice to get home.


Gords said...

Ouch - what a day! Thanks for the posts of your trip and the great pictures. Felt like I just went on a mini version of the trip myself after reading and viewing your experiences. Thanks!

Simon said...

My pleasure, glad you enjoyed it!