One Week In Italy: Delayed Departures and Arrivals

I cannot believe that one week ago

We were in Italy

We had just enjoyed a hot and sunny afternoon

At Lido Locarno

On the Swiss shore of Lake Maggiore

It was my birthday


And we were all recovering from a horrible journey

From our house in Kent

To our holiday home near Luino

Overlooking Lake Maggiore

We arrived at Gatwick in good time

Handing our car over to the Valet Short Stay Parking

Was simple and smooth

Checking in our hold bag, car seat and buggy was easy

We made it through security without any drama

And were all relieved and excited to be on our way

Then we saw the dreaded Departures boards

And the words you never want to see when flying

Especially with four young children



At first it did not seem too bad

Just over an hour to wait for information

But the information did not come


Just the time of promised information kept slipping

We had planned our trip and packed our bags so carefully

The booked flight was at just the right time for Edie to nap on the plane

And the rest of us to eat breakfast

All the food was eaten during our wait at Gatwick

Esther, William were so good

Eating their food and reading their books

Edie and Bea were good too but needed a lot of entertaining

We thought we might waste some time by going to a cafe for breakfast

But there were queues for seats at every one

It was very stressful

The lack of information made me incredibly anxious

And the day just seemed to go from bad to worse

The total delay was three hours

Edie fell asleep just as we were called to board the plane

She had five minutes in our arms

Before we had to wake her for the flight

By the time we arrived in Milan Malpensa

My nerves were in tatters

We then had to find our hire car

Which was fairly straight forward

But involved hanging about with all our bags and tired children

We drove off in the car at the time we had expected to be picking up the keys

For our Bookings For You villa

We still had over an hour’s car drive ahead

And an Italian supermarket to grapple with

David did amazingly well driving the enormous seven seater hire car

But he too was stressed

More than I had ever seen him before

The supermarket almost broke me

We chose to visit a small one in the town

And I could not find any of the things we needed

No cereal

No fresh milk

No apples

I bought loads of bread and cheese and ham


And breakfast cakes

I also bought pasta and pesto in various guises

The food that would punctuate our week

Picking up the keys from Hotel Camin in Luino was easy

The staff were lovely and friendly

The directions we had been given by Jo from Bookings For You

To get us from the house to the villa

Were comprehensive and clear

We found the villa before dark

And were able to appreciate the beautiful view over the lake

From the terrace

2018-09-27 18.44.14

The road to the villa is steep and windy

But no narrower than the lanes where we live in Kent

Having said that

I was in awe of David as he handled the large van we had hired

On new roads

Driving on the wrong side

He was just awesome

The shared drive

Belonging to the villa and three or four other properties

Was incredibly steep

Perhaps a 45 degree incline with a sharp bend in the middle

I insisted that we all got out before David drove the van down

David did it

But not without a lot of thought

And when he parked the van he was incredibly worried about it

Leaving it in gear and with a large rock in front of it

To prevent the van rolling

After that first night

We always parked the van on the road at the top of the drive

And walked up and down

Even with all our bags and shopping each day

I think we all preferred that

Than risking driving the car down

Jo had told us about the drive

But we had not appreciated at all

How very steep it would be

The villa itself was lovely

And it was such a relief to finally arrive

We were too tired

And felt too battered, bruised and broken by our travels

To do any more than

Feed the children

Bathe the children

And get a good night’s rest

Before my birthday on the Friday morning

villa caruso view

While we made tea and assigned rooms

Unloaded and unpacked

The children found the loungers on the terrace

And sat and enjoyed the view

Happy too to have arrived

And to not have to travel anymore

We were all hoping that good would come with the morning

And it did!

villa view

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