After the most magnificent trip to Corfu, bad things were bound to happen. Scarce are the trips where nothing goes wrong. We should have seen the bad omen when we woke up on Sunday morning to find it raining. Our flight was not scheduled until 11:30pm that night, so we had a lot of time to kill that day. We had to check out of our room by 12pm, so we had about 9 hours of free time before we could head over to the airport. We had been on the west side of the island the whole time, so we decided to check out the main town in our remaining time. Unfortunately, it was downpouring when we arrived in town, so we rushed over to the first restaurant we could find. We decided to order some food so we could waste some time, but we felt guilty staying at each restaurant because we had so many bags. We ended up going to three different restaurants because we did not have anything else to do in the pouring rain. Eventually the rain stopped and we were able to stroll around town and buy some souvenirs. We found a marvelous baklava shop, and I got a beautiful piece of dessert filled with nutella-y goodness (yes, I did gain weight while I was there if you were wondering).
My roommates got tired, and they decided to sit for a while, but I still wanted to explore. I roamed around the streets and found cute little stores, beautiful parks, and a fish spa! We still had about four hours left, so of course we had to go to the fish spa. If you’ve never heard of this type of spa, there is a certain type of fish that can eat the dead skin off of your feet. Although it is a strange idea, it left my feet feeling soft and refreshed. At first it was hard to stay still because the nibbling tickled, but after a few minutes, I was able to relax and let the little buggers eat their hearts out. The store was completely empty, and the saleswoman was so sweet. She let us stay for as long as we wanted. After that relaxing spa experience, we headed over to the airport where we thought we would be on our way back to Valencia.
No matter how many times I hear complaints about RyanAir, I still decide to fly them because they are cheap. I had not experienced any inconveniences with RyanAir yet, so to me, they were just another budget airline. For short flights, I could care less about the amenities. Just get me to my destination safe, fast, and for as little money as possible. That was the case with the many RyanAir flights I had taken before. But that soon changed.
It began with a simple flight delay, then it turned into two, then it turned into four flight delays, and then finally a cancellation. We should have known this would happen when we woke up to rain. The plane that was scheduled to come had been redirected because the storm was getting bad. At first it was no big deal because we thought we would be able to hop onto the next flight tomorrow. I rushed over to the desk where a huge mob of people were yelling at the poor old RyanAir attendant. I truly felt sorry for her. She couldn’t control the weather, and there was nothing she could do about the absent plane. Originally, we had planned to sleep in the Rome airport between our connecting flights to Valencia, so we were overjoyed to hear that they would be housing us in a hotel that night ( we still thought we could make our flight the next day from Rome to Valencia).
We quickly grabbed our bags and followed the mob of people out to the check-in desk to reserve our spot for the night. After waiting in line for quite some time, we heard some yelling from the front. I rushed over to see what was happening. Everyone just kept hearing people shouting “Thursday! Thursday!” They had just notified us that the next flight would not be able to come until Thursday (may I remind you that it was a Sunday). At first, I found it funny because it seemed unreal. However, the majority of the people there did not find any humor in the situation. A couple of fights broke out between some angry Italians and security guards, and the police had to come and break it up. We had started to go over our options of getting home because we could not miss a whole week of classes when we saw some of our friends from the Pink Palace. It turns out that they had booked this last minute flight because all of the ferries had been cancelled due to the storm. So that ruled out the only two options for getting off the island.
We were literally stuck on an island
After reserving our spot for the hotel, we were redirected to yet another desk to try to get ourselves onto the next flight. We waited another hour in line until we were able to talk to a godsend of an employee. She told us that they were trying to get another plane to come the following day, but it was not guaranteed. She gave us two options. We could either get refunded for this flight and then find our own way home, or we could just stay the night in the hotel and hopefully get onto the flight the following day. The problem was that this flight was only 18 euros, and our connecting flight from Rome to Valencia the following day cost us 150 euros. We would only be refunded the 18 euros, so we just decided to take the latter option.
They bussed us to a fancy hotel where we spent the night sleeping in uncertainty. We woke up the following day bright and early to talk to the front desk. No news. We curbed the pain with free breakfast. The food was great and the hotel was beautiful, but we just wanted to know when we would be able to go home. After many agonizing hours of waiting, we finally heard back. The flight was hopefully coming that evening, and they would send a shuttle for us at 5pm. We slept as much as we could before the flight because we knew that we still had a long voyage before us.
When we arrived at the airport we immediately went to the counter to see if we could be rescheduled onto another flight from Rome to Valencia because we had missed that connecting flight. In most cases, RyanAir would not be responsible for rebooking our flight, but we got extremely lucky. The lady at the desk was an angel and booked us onto the flight free of charge. Unfortunately she was only able to get three out of four of us on to the new flight because it was full. She told us that one of us was on stand-by and we could talk to the employees once we arrived in Rome to try to get on the flight.
After that was sorted out, we boarded the plane. We were finally getting off the island. When we arrived in Rome we immediately went to the customer service desk to try to get all four of us on the next flight to Valencia. Unfortunately we had to deal with an extremely rude employee who would not give us any straight answers. The way he acted, it was like his own mother didn’t even love him. We had no luck trying to get all of us on the plane, so my friend Haley was forced to buy a ticket for a different flight. Stressed out and exhausted we decided to splurge on a hotel for the night because our flight wasn’t until the next day. As usual, everything was expensive in Rome; but we were way too tired to care. We ended the day with a glass of wine and pizza, and we slept our little hearts away.
The next day, we were FINALLY GOING HOME. I could not wait to be in Valencia again. It had really become a second home to me, and I did not want anything more than to snuggle up in my big IKEA comforter and eat a magically delicious Valencia orange. After the most wonderful, stressful, and memorable trip to Rome and Greece, we were finally home.