Saturday, January 9, 2010

We made it!

Well after about 24 hours of transit we finally made it! The villa is beautiful and everyone here is incredibly friendly!

So our flight was supposed to leave from Detroit at 7:00 (Eastern Time) and arrive in Frankfurt at 9:00 the next morning. We got to the airport around 3:00, and gradually people from our program kept showing up. We ended up with 12 out of the 15 people from Michigan on the same flight! Everything seemed to be going smoothly...we boarded the plane on time, had no trouble with our seats, and were just waiting to take off.

However, at about 7:15, the pilot announced that there was a technical problem with the plane, so we would have to take a different plane. The turnaround time ended up being about 3 hours, but the airline gave us all $15 food vouchers for the airport. We finally boarded the new plane at around 10:00. We then had to wait for them to de-ice the plane, so we didn't end up leaving until about 11:30.

The flight itself went fairly smoothly, but with the 4.5 hour delay, we all missed our connecting flights in Frankfurt. The man at the service desk in Frankfurt told us to go to gate B12 and they would give us new boarding passes for the 4:30 flight there. We had to go through security and take a tram, but we didn't mind...we figured there was no rush as it was only about 1:30. THEN the woman at the desk at gate B12 said that the man had no business telling us to go to the gate; that he should have told us to go to the transport desk, which was outside of security. Of course after everything we weren't looking forward to going all the way back but, luckily, she had some extra time and offered to call some people and try to get our new tickets. She managed to get a ticket for everyone, and we all made it on the flight to Florence. Needless to say, by this time we all knew each other pretty well. Despite the hassle of all the delays, our adventure turned into a pretty good bonding experience.

From the Florence airport we all manged to get taxis to the villa (mostly using Anthony's Italian...the majority of the rest of us didn't know how to speak it at all). The taxi was a pleasant surprise at only 12 euros each!

After we got to the villa we had dinner (fantastic chef here by the way...homemade pasta!), got our room assignments, and just spent the rest of the time getting to know people and walking around Sesto; it's really a beautiful place.

Orientation is tomorrow so we'll find out more about life at the Villa then.



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