A couple months before we were set to go, I got an email from Air Canada regarding our flight details to London. I took a look, and was instantly perturbed by what I read. We now had a three hour layover in Calgary on the way there, and an eight hour layover in Calgary on the way back. Any fellow Edmontonian would know this is THE most annoying thing that could happen. It would take less time to drive home. What really irked me was that we paid more for these flights with Air Canada so we could fly direct, than if we had flown with another airline. What is a lady to do? I had done so much planning for our trip and I did not want our itinerary to be thrown off with the added time, ergo I would not let this slide.
The first call I made nothing was done, except a 15% discount was given. We could only use said discount that on any flight through them in the next 12 months. Sarcastically, I explained to them this was really kind considering I would probably not be travelling too far before or after our grand adventure. A second phone call was made, and we settled for an hour in Calgary on the way there and two hours in Toronto on the way home. Definitely not as bad, but still frustrating. Make sure to read the fine print and also realize airlines are allowed to change your flight on a whim, something I was unaware of.
As I planned our transportation routes through London, when looking at the city’s ring road, I foolishly compared it to Edmonton’s own. With a lapse of my knowledge, I failed to realize just how big, geographically, London really is. I also did this with Rome. A humble Albertan girl, such as myself, cannot easily comprehend the size of cities such as London and Rome. With our hotels booked just outside of these major metropolises, we were actually quite far from everything. A rookie mistake…sigh.
Our first hotel was so conveniently close to our four a.m. departure to Venice that it helped us out a great deal, but we would just have to make do with the other London hotel as well as the one in Rome. For a time, I debated renting a car in London to save money on travelling the shear distances between the airport, our hotel, and our first excursion (the London Eye), but the idea was quickly dismissed. I didn’t think I could handle driving on the opposite side of a manual car on the opposite side of the road in London traffic. I still don’t think I could handle it.
Transport for London website saved our trip. Really. It was so easy to use and got us where we needed to go in a timely fashion. Rome’s transportation is another story, and we had to settle for expensive cab rides in and out of the city every day. When in Rome, stay there.