Friday 24 December 2010
We made it!
Finally, after days of endlessly searching airline timetables, and repeated - but fruitless - trips to the airport, we escaped! It was slightly unnerving, sitting in Gatwick North terminal on Wednesday evening, to see a delay posted against our flight to Amsterdam...but it wasn't extended, and the flight actually departed only about an hour and a half later than scheduled. After the experience of the past week, I didn't trust it not to turn round in mid-air, and it was only as we touched down in Schipol that we could be certain we'd made it - we'd actually got away!
We spent the night in a rather strange hotel attached to the airport (a triumph of design over functionality, in practice...and when somebody at dinner last night told us the place had a reputation as a 'rendezvous' hotel, it made sense, since about the only horizontal surface in the small room was an extremely over-sized bed!) and then we caught a pre-dawn flight down to Pisa. A very wet Pisa, but an extremely welcome sight for all that. All the snow from last week has disappeared, leaving very little trace, apart from broken branches around the place - and three of the supports for the fruit cage have snapped, which is quite impressive, given that they're a good three inches in diameter. We had worried that the romitorio roof might not stand up to the weight of the snow, but it shows no sign of having succumbed.
No point in hanging around in Pisa, since we were due down in Belforte for Christmas weekend, anyway. With slight misgivings, we arranged that the four-footeds would stay in Calci until Monday (their boarding fees since we left have already racked up to equal the national debt of a small country, so a few more days won't make much difference) and we high-tailed it to Belforte in time for tea and then pre-dinner drinks before a blazing fire. The weather's terrible, but who cares...
Fettucine with rosemary sauce.
Loin of Veal; celeriac, roast in cinta fat.