Off To Italy

Our transportation, accommodation, food and entertainment cost so far

Sep 29 ~ Day #142
Budget to date
Spent today
Total to date
Daily average
Total
$14200
$151.36
$11943.89
$84.11
Miles by Road
Miles by Sea
Miles by Air
Miles by Train
Total Miles
14364+73=14437
4515.8
5180+786=5966
119
25037.8

Location: Hotel Tre Santi, Treviso, Italy

Today’s Total Expenses: $151.36

Transportation: $95.64 ($78.90 airfare + $16.74 taxi)
Accommodation: $55.72

Miles Traveled Today:
Road Miles: 73 (Burry Port to Bristol)
Air Miles: 786 (Bristol to Treviso)

Last Minute Packing and Weighing

As predicted, we all had some last minute packing, unpacking and repacking combined with weighing the bags after each addition, substitution or subtraction.

We were close – very close – but within the specified limits.

The next step was to get to the airport.

Bristol Airport

Bristol Airport is about a two-hour drive from Burry Port, so we headed out in plenty of time.

We weren’t sure what to expect as this was the first experience, for all of us, with RyanAir. And, we’ve heard some horror stories about them. So, even though we were happy to get a really cheap flight, we were a bit anxious about the flight itself.

We also needed to park the car in long term parking but T had already pre-arranged that and we had the directions in hand. E was driving the three of us from Burry Port to Bristol and T was heading there from work in Coventry.

We were using a TomTom GPS to guide us to the Bristol airport but it conked out on us partway through the trip (it may not have been plugged in properly, we’re not sure). So, we then followed the signs to the airport. Actually, the signage could have been a lot better, but we still managed to get to our destination within 15 minutes of the planned time and quickly met up with T, checked the car in and boarded the shuttle to the airport.

RyanAir Check In and Boarding

With much trepidation we made our way to the RyanAir check in counter.

Although we didn’t have any bags to check, because we were not EU citizens, we needed to have our passports verified.

That went really smoothly – no problem at all.

We then went to the appropriate gate waiting area and waited for our flight to be called.

When it was time to board, we lined up with everyone else. Lots of people got into the line very, very early as RyanAir does not assign seats. It’s a first-come, first-served method of seat selection. That means, when you get on the plane you grab whatever seat you want from what is still empty. That’s why people line up early, so they get their pick of seats. All we were hoping for was to be able to sit together.

As people starting boarding, we noticed that a few people were required to prove that their luggage would fit in the little carry-on luggage gauge at the gate. You know what we mean – the metal tubes configured for carry-on luggage. The one that says “Your carry-on bag must be able to fit in here”, or something to that effect.

There were some people that were applying quite a lot of force to their bags to MAKE it fit. Some succeeded, some didn’t.

So, we began to second-guess our carry-on bags but we needn’t have worried. They didn’t even look twice at our carry-on and certainly didn’t require us to fit it into the measuring frame.

Once past that hurdle, we hurried onto the plane in search of seats. And, we were able to get seats next to each other – YAY!

After settling into our seats we noticed that we had more legroom than we have been used to on recent flights. It seems that was because RyanAir planes don’t have the pouch you usually see on the back of the seat in front of you. You know, the one that holds the magazines and barf bags. Who knew that simply eliminating that could give you a noticeable improvement in space.

By the way, we had boarded exactly on time and we also took off – exactly on time.

RyanAir Flight to Treviso, Italy

Treviso is actually a small airport not far from Venice.

The flight to Treviso was smooth and uneventful.

One thing about RyanAir is that they charge, pretty much, for everything. There’s no free coffee, tea or soft drinks. So, if you want anything to eat or drink, be prepared to pay for it.

They also sell other things on board, too. Believe it or not they have someone come through the cabin selling stuff like electronic cigarettes (so smokers can get their nicotine fix while not actually lighting up a cigarette) and lottery tickets, among other things. And, it’s done almost like the hot dog vendors at a baseball game – really. It’s hard to explain in words but I think you get my drift.

We also landed on time which is celebrated by a special announcement and with the type of music that you hear at the start of a horse race. It’s kind of kitschy, but you remember it.

Hotel in Treviso

Our flight was an evening flight, so we landed at the Treviso airport around 10:30pm.

We had picked a hotel through Expedia and hoped that trying to find something reasonable didn’t mean that we were finding something “cheap”.

We grabbed a taxi at the airport and gave the driver the address of the Hotel Tre Santi. We watched as we passed many other hotels that we saw on Expedia that were out of our budget and again kept our fingers crossed about the one we had picked.

As the cab pulled up to the Hotel Tre Santi it was apparent that it was a smaller, older hotel.

The night staff was friendly and helpful but didn’t speak much English. We were able to ascertain that the cost of the room included breakfast in the little café just off the lobby.

We were give the key to our room and instructions about where it was located.

The room was clean, but old and very basic. Oh well, it was just for one night. And, being tired from our day of traveling, all we really wanted to do was fall off to sleep anyway.

Packing, Weighing and Moving Furniture

Our transportation, accommodation, food and entertainment cost so far

Sep 27 ~ Day #140
Budget to date
Spent today
Total to date
Daily average
Total
$14000
$0.00
$11770.38
$84.07
Miles by Road
Miles by Sea
Miles by Air
Miles by Train
Total Miles
14364
4515.8
5180
119
24178.8
Our transportation, accommodation, food and entertainment cost so far

Sep 28 ~ Day #141
Budget to date
Spent today
Total to date
Daily average
Total
$14100
$22.15
$11792.53
$83.63
Miles by Road
Miles by Sea
Miles by Air
Miles by Train
Total Miles
14364
4515.8
5180
119
24178.8

Location: Burry Port, Wales

Today’s Total Expenses: $22.15 (Sept. 28)

Food: $22.15 (£14.00 – fish & chips – Sept. 28)

Miles Traveled Today:
Zero

Combining Days – Again

We have, again, combined a couple of days. Putting them in separate posts would make for very short posts.

Packing and Weighing

As we mentioned earlier, we found perfect carry-on bags that met RyanAir’s restrictions. We are now in the process of deciding what to take with us for the two weeks we’ll be in Europe.

It’s tough to pack two weeks worth of clothing, toiletries, etc into a carry-on bag, but that’s exactly what we need to do. And, we need to stay within the weight restriction as well.

Fortunately, T & E have a scale for weighing bags and we are certainly putting that to good use as we try different combinations of items to take with us.

We think we’ve got it cracked, but I’m sure there will be last minute substitutions and/or additions before we actually leave for the airport on Wednesday.

Moving Furniture

This may seem like a strange entry for our blog, but while we’re away, T & E are having their hardwood floors refinished. In order for that to happen, all the furniture needs to be removed from the floors that are being refinished.

So, we spent time both on Monday and Tuesday moving furniture to other parts of the house to make sure all the floors are clear.

Fish & Chips

On Tuesday evening we opted for fish & chips from the local “chippy”.

Okay, okay – hey, we’re in England and we just can’t get enough fish & chips.

A Real English Breakfast

Our transportation, accommodation, food and entertainment cost so far

Sep 26 ~ Day #139
Budget to date
Spent today
Total to date
Daily average
Total
$13900
$0.00
$11770.38
$84.68
Miles by Road
Miles by Sea
Miles by Air
Miles by Train
Total Miles
14364
4515.8
5180
119
24178.8

Location: Burry Port, Wales

Today’s Total Expenses: $0.00

Miles Traveled Today:
Zero

Big English Breakfast

This morning we had a huge English breakfast expertly prepared by E, who, by the way, is NOT English but is married to a Brit.

We had such things as bacon, eggs, sausages, black sausage, fried tomatoes, toast and more. We were completely and thoroughly stuffed by the time we were finished.

Thanks E!

RyanAir Boarding Passes

Along with the many, many rules that go along with getting cheap flights through RyanAir, another rule about providing them with passenger information, such as passport numbers, well in advance and with us flying with them on September 29th, we were getting really near their deadline.

So, today was the day. T took care of going online and making sure that RyanAir had all the info they wanted and then he printed our boarding passes.

We still need to get our carry-on luggage packed, and weigh it as well, but then we’re good to go!

Walk Into Pembrey

As today was such a beautiful day, we decided to take a long walk and actually found ourselves in the town of Pembrey which is the next town over from Burry Port.

Actually, it’s kind of tough to determine when you leave one and are in the other, they just kind of continue from one into the other.

Nevertheless, with the guidance of a helpful resident in Pembrey, we found a wonderful walking path. Even though we were still, technically, in town it felt like we were out in the country.

It was a well-established dirt path with overhanging trees that took us by houses, pastures and parks.

We emerged in a fairly new housing development and continued our walk back to T & E’s house in Burry Port.

Amazing Lamb Dinner

T & E had prepared an amazing lamb dinner for this evening’s meal. It was done to perfection and, once again, we came away from the table stuffed.

Carmarthen Outing

Our transportation, accommodation, food and entertainment cost so far

Sep 24 ~ Day #137
Budget to date
Spent today
Total to date
Daily average
Total
$13700
$0.00
$11770.38
$85.92
Miles by Road
Miles by Sea
Miles by Air
Miles by Train
Total Miles
14290+30=14320
4515.8
5180
119
24134.8

Location: Burry Port, Wales

Today’s Total Expenses: $0.00

Miles Traveled Today:
Road Miles: 30 (Burry Port to Carmarthen and back)

Carmarthen

Today E took us on an outing to Carmarthen.

We did some shopping and some wandering and we were also able to visit the Carmarthen Castle ruins. Or, at least what is left of the ruins.

The Carmarthen Castle ruins are actually quite impressive but there’s just not that much left. However, I do find it amazing that you can find such ruins pretty much smack-dab in the middle of town.

It also impressed me that you are free to visit the ruins and wander around at absolutely no charge. People in places like this get to actually live with their history – amazing!

Kidwelly Castle

We also got a glimpse of the Kidwelly Castle ruins as we were on our way back to Burry Port.

Unfortunately we just didn’t have the time to stop. Perhaps we’ll get another chance.

Burry Port Harbour

Our transportation, accommodation, food and entertainment cost so far

Sep 23 ~ Day #136
Budget to date
Spent today
Total to date
Daily average
Total
$13600
$0.00
$11770.38
$86.55
Miles by Road
Miles by Sea
Miles by Air
Miles by Train
Total Miles
14290
4515.8
5180
119
24104.8

Location: Burry Port, Wales

Today’s Total Expenses: $0.00

Miles Traveled Today:
Zero

Burry Port Harbour

It was a beautiful sunny day so E suggested that we take a long walk and see Burry Port Harbour.

There was a bit of a chill in the air – it’s September, after all – so we dressed appropriately for our outing. We all had good walking shoes, long pants and jackets.

The tide was way out but E warned us that, when it comes in, it can come in very quickly, so we always had an eye to the water as we explored the shoreline.

The sand, which was wet but solid, seemed to go on forever. It looked like you could almost walk over to the Gower (a peninsula directly across from the harbour).

Millennium Walking Path

The town of Burry Port had built an extensive walking path along the harbour and shoreline as their millennium project.

We certainly took advantage of it, as many other people were, too, to explore even further.

As we walked we noticed that even here there were still lots of wild blackberries on the bushes, but we didn’t pick any this time.

Stone Monolith

We came across a stone monolith, in a stone circle, while walking the Millennium path. It was quite impressive and obviously erected recently (meaning not an ancient artifact). But there was nothing to say what it was for, or why it was erected and by whom.

Nonetheless we enjoyed discovering it.