Friday, December 04, 2015

Hey, ho. Hey Ho. It's of to Livigno we go ...

Another year rolls over and dies.  I turned fifty this year and it feels a bit like a wednesday has passed; I'm over the hump year and it's all downhill from here.  Since both Caron and I are either turning fifty soon or have recently turned fifty it seemed like a good excuse to splash out and go skiing again.

This trip we have Kirsten and Carl along with their two children Megan and Alistair and for the first time we have Carl's sister Laurie and her husband Gary as well as their two children Anna and Erin along for the festivities.

We had originally planned to go to Lech in Austria based on a beautiful advertisement which I saw in a super yacht magazine.  I should have known that anyone advertising in a super yacht magazine is advertising to a specific clientele; one that I am not a part of.  Once we started getting some prices back we realised that Lech was utterly unaffordable to third world denizens and that we had better change our location; hence Livigno which we haven't been to but it has reasonable write ups and we shall see.

The typical last day at work before a holiday is characterised by frantic activity and last minute issues cropping up and is normally highly stressful.  Not this time ... what a pleasant change but I didn't escape scott free.  Getting to the airport was much more of a mission than it should be.

We left home with plenty of time to spare which was just as well and going along william nicol there was a huge accident in the oncoming traffic lanes and they were just backed up for kilometres.  Fortunately our lane was clear so we sped past hundred of cars just stationary feeling very pleased that we weren't in the other lane that was until we came around the corner into Rivonia road and the traffic just stopped; gridlock and it took us about 40 minutes to progress the final 300m to get to the gautrain station.  It turned out that there was some kind of conference on and that the cops had blocked off some of the roads which resulted in pandemonium.

I dropped Caron off as well as our bags and drove to my offices which are quite close and dropped the car there which worked quite well.  Walking back in the 35deg heat dressed for European winter conditions wasn't great but that is one of those things about travelling ... some discomfort is to be expected.

Getting back to Caron we went through the turnstiles only to find that the escalators were being serviced so we could either carry our bags down the stairs, not an enticing prospect or try and cram into the lifts which loads of people were now trying to use.  We chose the lift and did a reasonable impression of a sardine in a can down to the platform where a train was waiting for us ... at last something went in our favour.

Getting to ORT of course my Gautrain card didn't have enough money in it so I had to queue to pay some money into it and then we had to go through the normal formalities.  First we had to find the right terminal to be in because there is maintenance work going on so they have move some check-in's from terminal A to terminal B so we walked to terminal B only to find that the one's that we needed were in terminal A.  More walking.

Going through security and immigration was really busy with lots of people but it went quite quickly and at last I started to feel like holiday had started.  Kirsten and Carl were still in the crush of the check-in so we went to get something to eat and drink at Jacksons which was jam-packed; not a single table available but they have an upstairs are which I didn't know about which was all but empty which was where Kirsten and Carl joined us.

From there it all went really smoothly and the flight took off on time and we are now on holiday and, hopefully, have left the cares and worries of day to day life in South Africa behind at least for a couple of weeks.

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