We bid a fond farewell to Italy this morning. We had absolutely NO problems at all which, considering we got lost a LOT in Venice, was atypical. We reached the water bus right on time, it delivered us at the water terminal right as the water bus to the airport arrived, and we made it to the airport without a hitch!
The airport was unique because it listed water arrivals as well as land. It was spotless, well-designed and never seemed hurried. If I rated the Venice Airport it would be near or at the top of the list. Not only was the Airport well designed, it was also filled with very helpful people. We changed modes of transportation from water to air as smoothly as anything close to it we've experienced.
Our plane (British Airways) was right on time, and the passport check couldn't have been easier. After a smooth flight landed at Gatwick Airport. Jim foolishly thought we'd arrived, but our personal travel hostess Karen informed him that we had to board a train that crosses London and takes us to another city, Southampton! It's a 2 hour train ride, and we landed somehow in the First Class coach (we weren't even asked to leave!). It's in this comfortable setting that this brief report was made. The British trains are every bit as nice as those in Italy. Of course that's to be expected in a first class coach, eh! One interesting thing...We were told to get into one of the first four cars to go to Southampton but didn't know why. All along they kept making an announcement to that effect. At one of the stops our train split in two. The first 4 cars continued on to Southampton & the last 8 went somewhere else! How crazy.
We are now in our "home" in Southampton. The only time we had to show our train tickets was to get out of the terminal in Southampton! We had a shock when we got off the train-it was quite cool and VERY windy. I guess I will be wearing the clothes I packed "just in case". We took a taxi from the train station to our new place. Our hostess greeted us at the gate, showed us our "home", small though it is! When I asked about a good place to eat, she actually walked us there. Pretty amazing. We had quite a nice conversation along the way. She is actually from near St. Andrews, Scotland. We had a dinner of wings, onion rings & ribs. The wings were plentiful and Delicious. That's all Karen could eat but Jim enjoyed the ribs as well. We stopped at the grocery on the way home to get some milk and cola. We actually found our way back without getting lost once! They have pedestrian tunnels at busy intersections instead of trying to cross the street. Their crosswalk signals activate as soon as pushed and the traffic has an immediate red light. Kind of nice to not have to wait a long time for the light to change.
While our place is quite small (1 room), which we knew ahead of time, it is very nicely set up and well equipped. It has been a long but good day. Tomorrow we will discover Southampton.