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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Stansted to Split (How NOT to travel.....)

I had planned well. I had managed to get a week's worth of clothing and shoes (YES, SHOES) into carry-on luggage. Under 12kg. That, I'm sure ladies will agree, is probably an unsurpassed feat. But my shining moment was about to be clouded By me, of course.

The alarm went off at 4am. I had gotten back to the hotel at 1.15am. We all do it, don't we? We tell ourselves - "It'll be fine, I'm going on holidays, I'll sleep on the plane,. Then, feeling god-awful, we drag ourselves into the shower and get ready. It was bloody freezing that morning, I was so glad to be leaving the U.K, although the forecast for Split wasn't great. Rain. Typical. I leave Ireland, experiencing a heatwave for the first time since 1995, to go on a cruise in Croatia - and RAIN is predicted. Of course I haven't a single thing packed for inclement weather. Why would I? That 11.5kgs didn't allow for it!

I got to Stansted and Katherine was already at the gate. I hadn't even met Katherine yet and she must've already thought I was a bit scatty, arriving about an hour before my flight. Whilst passing through security I was stopped, I had "too many items" in my plastic liquid bag. So it had to be repacked. A very kindly American girl offered to take the extras through for me but the snotty security said no. So I relinquished shower cream, hand sanitiser and toothpaste, hoping Sarah (my room mate to be) would have these. I then scurried to Boots, to pick up other items I needed, where the queues were literally winding down the aisles out onto the public area. Only at the cashier did I realise that I was sans boarding pass and I heard my name "Would Caitriona McBride please return to the security area?". Now what would Katherine think of me? She was texting saying that the flight was boarding and I was wondering if there was food near the gate? I managed to reach there for final call, clutching a brie and bacon wrap and feeling rather pleased with myself. Katherine looked rather worried and we barely had time for introductions before we had to take our separate seats (we didn't find out in time about each other in order to snag seats together - and changes on Easyjet aren't cheap!). Somewhere between Security and Boarding I had managed to take a Xanax so it was lights out for me before we even ascended.

At Split airport I felt much more refreshed and found Katherine, apologising for my earlier tardiness and general scattiness. I was proud to show off my carry-on but rather jealous of her suitcase, probably packed with goodies I couldn't bring on with me. We wandered around in the sunshine (for now!) looking for a bus and eventually were directed towards one which we were assured would get us to the port. We were straight on the texts, alerting Louise and Sarah that we'd arrived and would be seeing them soon. We settled in on the bus and pondered on the week to come, psyching ourselves up for the late nights and crazy drinking and praying our boat would be nice. We needn't have worried. Below is what awaited us at Split port....

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