Two things were bothering me about the trip:
- We were facing issues travelling to Italy during Covid; and
- Spending hours on end in a mask, whilst cooped up in an airport and in an aircraft with anxiety had me dreading the day – and going through security and temperature checks at both ends.
Well, the gods smiled on us, thankfully, as Italy at the time had just been announed to be on Ireland’s green list for travel (a far cry from the way things are over here and there currently, sadly). Secondly, I woke up feeling few symptoms! I worked a half-day, and then we drove to the airport.
I’ve never seen anything like the airport. It was downright spooky.
There was nobody around. Or almost nobody. The departures schedule on display took up one-and-a-half screens for the entire day. It was mad.
Anyway, our temperature wasn’t checked at Dublin, and we breezed through security. We grabbed something to eat, and hunkered down and waited for the flight. I wasn’t too bothered by my symptoms at all, thank goodness.
We got on the plane and waited. And waited… and waited some more. The aircraft wasn’t budging. Eventually, maybe the guts of an hour later, a member of Dublin’s Fire Brigade enters, wearing full PPE gear. Amazingly, a passenger down the back of the craft burst stitches he had, and had to be re-sewn up. Jesus!
The flight was smooth, and two-and-a-half hours later we floated a landing down into Pisa. Fabulous. In addition, we had no problems with the temperature check, and we were able to grab our baggage really quickly too.
We went to Sixt to rent our car (can’t recommend them highly enough – few hidden costs, good service and selection of cars), and drove to Volterra.
We had work the next day (work laptops enable us to work remotely), and so were mindful of the fact that we were in Volterra a bit after 23:00. Our bags rattled along the paved street, and turning towards Via Gramsci, I spotted Georgina (I apologise if that’s not your name!), and she spotted us while sweeping outside L’Isola del Gusto (best gelato in town – one of the best in Tuscany) and we waved at each other happily!
Trudging up the 76 steps proved not too difficult, as for weeks I had been climbing up and down our own stairs in the mornings before work as exercise. We set our laptops up to use wireless and then went to bed!