As I sit here in an uncomfortable (yet ergonomic!) chair, at my desk, in an office, under flourescent lighting, Lindsay files this report from a cafe in Monaco. I am having a hard time finding pity for her travel woes …
Some days, it can be so easy to hop all over the world. But on the days when the travel gods throw you a curve ball, that thing really falls off the table.
I took an over-nighter from Newark to Amsterdam, then had an hour and a half between my arrival and my departure for Nice. When I got to Amsterdam, I went to the KLM transfer desk to get my new boarding pass and the two women behind the counter told me to run, run, RUN to gate B29 and they would have them hold the flight. Right in the middle of this rather long run, there was a random security check which slowed me down considerably. When I got to the gate, I was told that despite the fact that my flight did not leave for another 15 minutes, I had missed the last bus – yes, the bus – to my plane and would have to go back to the transfer desk to re-book. When I complained that they had made me run to the gate, the women there told me I never should have even tried to make the flight, as it is TWO KILOMETERS from the transfer desk to gate B29. That is 1.2 Miles! And my surgically repaired hip and I are not supposed to be running at all.
So I waited four hours in Amsterdam, then flew to Lyon on a flight full of boisterous Manchester United fans; Man-U is playing in Lyon tonight. I spent two lovely hours there, then finally flew on to Nice. Alas, when I arrived, my bags did not (for the second time in as many trips to Europe in the last two months). So, being that I was now nine hours behind schedule and without clothes and the cab ride from Nice to Monte Carlo, my final destination, is 70 Euros and takes 40 minutes, I decided to travel like the rich and famous. Or, in this case, the fairly thrifty.
My ride …
A helicopter ride to Monte Carlo is only 100 euros and takes just six minutes, which beats the heck out of a cab. Plus, I figured the day had been long enough already. So I took the chopper and arrived in Monte Carlo, where I will be meeting Australian Open Champ Novak Djokovic for an interview (he, like many European tennis players and Formula One drivers, claims Monaco as his primary residence for tax purposes).
My day may have been like an episode of The Amazing Race, but when it comes down to it, I’m in the south of France. My balcony overlooks the Mediterranean and I get to scope out the casino where Pierce Brosnan’s James Bond gambled in GoldenEye. Pretty cool, eh?
So, what have we learned?
1. An hour and a half is not enough connection time when flying through Schipol Airport in Amsterdam.
2. No matter how long it takes to get there, the French Riviera is way more interesting than sitting on my couch in Jersey.
3. And for God’s sake, pack a change of clothes in your carry-on!