Departing Rome

Unfortunately, I did not get much rest at all our final night in Rome. After staying up late to pack and get things ready for the next morning I was awakened at 3:38am by the people in the next room returning in late. The rooms all use keys that need to turn the tumbler several times. The heavy keychain the hotel puts the keys on make a lot of noise when doing this. Also, the room next to us does not have a private bathroom in the room but instead use their private bath off the hallway. Each time, they go back and forth the footsteps and fumbling with the locks made a lot of noise. Once they settled I thought I could get some sleep. But another couple returned around 4:30am and then made a lot of noise. Then they started arguing. They continued arguing until about 6am. At which time it was almost time to get up. At 6:30am I woke Deniz and we started getting ready. At 7:20am we grabbed a taxi to Termini Station to get our shuttle bus back to Fiumicino Airport for our flight back home. We had already purchased our tickets before our arrival so this part was very easy.

At the airport they don’t have any automated machines so we had to line up to drop off our baggage. Once our bags were dropped off security was fast and efficient.

Next, the Italians have really made the customs process very easy. The system is very efficient and they do a good job of keeping things moving. The process works very, very well. First you follow the directions and place photo page of passport face down in scanner. Then follow the instructions as the door opens and you step inside, stand on the designated spot, look at the camera and wait for the door to open. Then proceed to the counter where you are instructed to open your passport to a blank page. Pass the open page to the customs officer. He stamps it and that’s it. While there was a short line up, it moved quickly. It only took around 15mins to go through security and customs. Amazing!

We then headed to our gate and that’s when things stopped being smooth. At our gate there was already a very long line even though it was an hour before our flight. It was so chaotic nobody could tell which line was going to which zone. The other problem was Air Canada had one line for zones 1&2, and another for 3-6. But they were calling one zone at a time causing chaos as it was already crowded and now people had to jump out of line when their zone was called. The other problem is after calling zone 2, they then called the remaining zones causing a huge mob of people to funnel down to 2 lines. Total chaos!! I really don’t understand why people can’t just sit and wait patiently until their zone is called. It’s not first come first serve. Everyone has purchased a seat. So what’s the rush? And why is there a need to push and butt in line? I just don’t get people and this crazy situation when traveling.

After arriving back home in Toronto we were met with more disorganization and chaos at Canadian customs. An embarrassment really. First we have to be like hamsters and walk up and down, back and forth through the path towards the machines. There’s a guy telling everyone to keep moving in as there’s lots of machines. However, most machines were not working. About one third of the machines were showing ‘out of order’. So, people started lining up at the various working machines. This made things very crowded and added to the chaos. Once done with the machine, there was another very long line to get in. We showed the customs officer our printout and passports. After answering some questions about our trip we then got in the next line to head down to retrieve our bags. We show our customs form and head down the escalator. After collecting our bags we then get in the line up to exit. After showing our customs form yet again we are finally done. I hope they can make this process more efficient.

We are finally home with great memories!!

Next….my trip summary.

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