Wednesday 3 December.
It was just a day of travel from when we left the hotel at 10 am until we arrived home in Port Glasgow at 10 pm. We weren't on the move all the time and had to sit around at Rome airport and then at Gatwick for our connection to Glasgow.
We had another grand breakfast at 8 am then lay on the bed in our room until nearly 10 am when we made our way down to check out. It had been raining all night again and still lashing down when we got up but like yesterday the sky was now clearing and it turned into another sunny day. The Metro took us to Termini where we bought tickets for the train then there was a job finding the platform before we were on the train to the airport. We had to wait until 12:30 pm before we could check in and spent the time sitting at one of the seating areas attached to a cafe. We didn't buy anything like most of the others sitting there, it was the only place available to wait comfortably. Once we checked in and through security there were plenty of seats in the departure area.
The flight to London Gatwick was supposed to leave at 3:30 pm local time but was half an hour late getting off, it didn't matter to us as there was 2 hours to wait at Gatwick anyway for our connection. We were flying BA so they were a bit more generous with freebies than RyanAir, we got sandwiches and coffee then he came round again asking if anyone wanted more sandwiches, he didn't have to ask us twice! My flight wasn't very comfortable, I had a big fat guy in the seat next to me and he was taking up part of my space as well, I found it difficult to move.
At Gatwick after going through passport check at immigration we had a choice, North Terminal where we had come in or South Terminal, to get our connection. The ticket didn't tell us which one and there weren't any flight departure boards. We asked some other passengers who said they thought it was 'South' for Glasgow. We had to take a shuttle there and when we arrived there was still no departure boards or any indication about flights. At last we found an information desk and they said we should be at the North Terminal. I pointed out that there weren't any signs indicating this and she replied 'everybody knows the BA leave from the North Terminal'. 'Well we didn't' Moira responded sharply and the woman wasn't happy with us! Not very good service from a company wanting to expand with the new runway proposal.
It was back on the shuttle again to return to the North Terminal then security checks again. The alarm went off as I went through the electronic gates and the guard had to frisk me. He then asked me to take off my shoes and put them through the x-ray machine. We had about an hour to wait for our connection and Moira spent the time reading while I had a wander round the shops, especially Dixon's to look at the cameras. Everybody was on board the plane with plenty of time to spare according to the pilot and he negotiated an early take-off with the control tower, we arrived in Glasgow about 30 minutes ahead of schedule. It was only an hour's flight to Glasgow time for only a drink and a packet of potato crisps.
Our rucksacks had been sent right through and we now had to collect them. By the time we had completed the long walk from where we disembarked to the baggage collection carousel our bags were already going round, so there wasn't any waiting. We had intended to catch a bus to Paisley and then the train from there to Port Glasgow but with the flight arriving early we now had over an hour to wait for the next bus. The other alternative was to take the shuttle into Glasgow and pick up the train there but in the end we accepted the cost and took a taxi to Paisley Gilmour St. It only cost £6 and we were on a train to Port Glasgow at 9:20 pm then another taxi ( to hell with the expense! ) up the road home.
Suzy had been down today with the car and it was sitting outside the house for us, she also left muesli and yoghurt for our breakfast. The heating was on and the house was lovely and warm in contrast to when we arrived at the airport and had to get our rain jackets out to put on, it was so cold. There was some mince and rice that that Suzy brought for us that just had to be heated up in the microwave. We had that with a glass of wine for a late dinner. I tried to watch some TV but nodded off in the chair, so it was off to bed. It was a late anyway about mid-night Italian time.
So ends our Via Francigena and this blog. If you want to continue following our various adventures go to my other blog, Suzmar Travels, www.suzmaruk.blogspot.com.