The long lines at the airport check-in counter as well as at immigration on May 14, 2017 for my Manila-Taipei flight reminded me of the stressful and nerve-wracking journey from Paris to Rome on Sept. 16, 2016.
It all started when I waited for like an hour for a taxi to arrive at the taxi stand near Sacre Coeur in Paris. Because of that, I missed the very first Beauvais-bound train.
I got to Gare du Nord just in time for the second train, which was scheduled to depart at 6:35 AM. I was so thankful to the taxi driver that I paid him 20 euros – double the approximately 10 euros shown in the meter. Besides I was also in a hurry.
As it was still early, there were no staff yet manning the ticketing counters. There were ticketing kiosks though, so I used those. One rejected my cash. So I had no other choice but to use a credit card. The “un peu Francais” that I knew came in handy as the instructions were in French.
I reached Beauvais after more than an hour. But it was just the train station, not the airport yet. So I had to take a cab. There was one waiting outside the station, but when I got in, there were two other passengers already. I paid six euros for that taxi ride.
Fortunately there was no long line at the check-in counter at Beauvais Airport when I arrived, and I had no baggage to check in. But it was a different story at immigration.
The line there was too long that I just resigned myself to the thought of actually missing the flight. A strike of French air traffic controllers had just ended, and I thought that the situation wasn’t fully normal yet.
I thought of taking a train to Luxembourg, since I would be alone in Paris. My mom and my sister were scheduled to fly to Stockholm, Sweden that same day.
Thankfully a guy approached the crowd and asked “Rome? Rome?” I raised my hand, and I was allowed to go to the front of the line immediately.
It was already boarding time when I got to the boarding area.
After roughly two hours, the plane landed in Rome’s Ciampino Airport. But the journey ain’t over yet. I had to take a bus to the Ciampino train station and ride a train that would take me to the Termini station in Rome.
I was so relieved and happy to see the welcome sign at Termini:
To summarize what I’d been through:
- Taxi from taxi stand near Sacre Coeur to Gare du Nord, Paris
- Train from Gare du Nord to Beauvais train station
- Taxi from Beauvais train station to Beauvais Airport
- Ryanair flight from Beauvais Airport to Rome’s Ciampino Aiport
- Bus from Ciampino Airport to Ciampino train station
- Train from Ciampino train station to Rome’s Termini station