The Traveling Idiots

Although Leamington Spa was yet another fun part of the tour, it wasn’t really event filled. Other than Karaoke, which you’ve heard a bit about and I need to get the videos on line, there was just drinking, eating and £12.99 strongbow in the form of 24 cans. Good deals.

So instead of spew on about that, I’m going to blabber on a bit about the actual methods of travel we used during our adventure. I feel they need a little more expansion, so here it is. Ready for a 20 page essay?

My primary flight was on Zoom Airlines, a Canadian company. I went in the class that they refer to as “Premium Economy.” I’m not exactly sure where the naming convention comes in, but it was much better than your average sardines in a crushed tin can that would be plain old “Economy.”

I had leg room. Apart from being able to lay right down, I was pretty damn comfortable. I could stretch out, full length of my legs under the seat ahead of me. I could plop my tray down and eat peacefully without having my neighbour (who was very nice) elbowing the snot out of me, or me elbowing her. It was good. The booze was nice, and the service was quick and attractive.

The worst part of my flight, coming and going, was the fact that it boarded late both times and inherently departed late. That always annoys you a bit, but they made up the time both ways by a cool 30 minutes. I’d definitely do them, er, fly them again.

In the UK my main train rides (the long ones) were on Virgin Voyager (make all the jokes you want.) They too were pretty good. They left on time both times, and arrived on time both times. They were fast and consistent. Although the one thing that annoyed me was the fact that my return ticket ended up costing almost double what my inbound ticket was worth, I soon figured out it was due to the time and had I have left earlier, it would’ve been cheaper.

They also have a strange reserved seating system; where half way through your ride you might get kicked out of your seat. I was fortunate enough to not have that happen, but there were a handful of people who did. Next time I’ll remember to reserve my seat since it’s apparently no extra charge.

Virgin had an on-board store with snacks ‘n beer, which was also nice.

Flying over to Italy we used Easy Jet. It was cheap and that was about it. They also boarded and left late both trips. Their aircraft was a fine example of being shoe-horned in. We were fortunate enough to go over on a lightly populated flight. Coming home, however, was a different story. First, if you’re flying Easy Jet and are pushing or over six foot tall, do not sit in the window position. It’s not a comfortable position. The portion of the aircraft where it starts rounding off starts around mid-window and if you’re fairly tall, you’ll notice. Also, the flight home was packed so leg room was non existent. Overheads were over full, there was no place to put small bags except under the seat, and that’s where it stayed with my legs cramped up against the seat in front of me.

Tight flight, and not very exciting flight attendants either. The flight was fine though, just not anywhere near as comfortable as one would like. A classic case of getting what you paid for.

In Italy our primary means of getting from the hotel to the train station in Milan was Jamie’s Limo service. Whatever you do, never, ever hire this service. It comes in the form of a ’06 Fiat Punto, and a crazy driver who hits things. The car itself has no balls what-so-ever. For example, when you stack in four guys and backpacks full of junk the car can barely move. It doesn’t help that some of the parking spots and streets are more narrow than a teenagers mindset. While exiting the parking spot three of us had to get out of the car just so it could get up a tiny hill. Alright, so the hill wasn’t gradual, but you’d think Jamie could have avoided hitting the wall going down on the second visit to the parking garage. 😉

Trenne Italia was a solid performer. For myself, going on a total of six legs, the experience was a good one. The EuroStar is a train that I can’t stop thinking about. I dream that one day I’ll get on Via Rail and hear an announcement that the train is now going 300 kilometers per hour. And then it plummets off the side of the planet and I wake up. Anyways, aside from some of the very old trains that Trenne Italia has to offer, they were pretty comfortable. Even that day we had to ride bitch in the entranceway drinking our beverages it wasn’t a bad ride.

They were on time every time, and sometimes early arriving. Overall, it was a fantastic performance and the price was good too. I really don’t have many complaints other than a few navigational errors – but I guess that’s all part of the fun in traveling in a foreign town or five. The majority of transport went off without any hitches or issues and I don’t think it’s from superb planning, but more so the superb systems that are in place in Europe. Mass, public transit on scales that are completely and utterly incomparable to those found in North America.

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a mindless soul flushed down the toilet
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