Onward to Palermo - Sicilian Circuit - CycleBlaze

March 16, 2023

Onward to Palermo

We both got a decent night’s sleep at the Holiday Inn, as decent as can be expected for the first night after travelling east across 9 time zones.  The breakfast buffet, included in our room rate, wasn’t all that great but great food in Sicily awaits!

Arrival at the airport meant yet another learning experience!   There was no indication when I made the booking that an overnight layover meant we’d have to collect our checked bags (we suspected we might but hoped not) and then *pay again* when we checked in this morning.  We had opted for this itinerary from the listed choices because we thought 45 minutes wasn’t long enough to clear immigration and get to our next flight, with no allowance for an incoming late flight.  As I remember, all the other options had a short connection somewhere or much higher fares.

Not only that, but the weight limit for bicycles was now 23 kg not 32 kg as it was with Air Canada. Al’s weighed in at 31 kg and mine at 27. That meant some time discussing the matter and paying 60 CHF each for overweight bags.  Our booking said this leg was SwissAir but the flight is operated by Air Baltic so maybe that’s the reason. 

While at the SwissAir ticket office, we discovered that our return tickets did not include any bags at all!  I thought I’d checked all this and had been concerned about Lufthansa bike fees because our return trip was ticketed as Lufthansa (the only available option when booking with Aeroplan points).  Then, I kept seeing FB posts about how wonderful it was to fly Lufthansa with a bike because they were not subject to extra charges.  But being told that our tickets, booked as Palermo to Vancouver, included no bags was concerning. The agent even said she had never seen such a thing on a flight booked with miles or points. She did add the bikes to our tickets but said we needed to call Lufthansa to confirm.  We will deal with that sometime in the next 6 weeks.

In the meantime, we had a pleasant short (under 2 hours) flight to Palermo. The weather was clear and my window seat had an actual window so we got to look at the Alps as we flew over them. Then there were clouds and I had a short nap, but woke in time to see our approach to Sicily. We are here!

That’s not our plane but there are our bike cases heading to our plane, along with the big dog crate.
Heart 0 Comment 2
Betsy EvansAh, the joys of air travel. But at least you're arrived, and with your bikes too! I'll be following along with interest. I may be in Sicily this fall - plans are still being formulated.
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11 months ago
Jacquie GaudetTo Betsy EvansAlways good to start a bike trip with one’s bike! There has been so much news in Canada about lost or delayed baggage (and cancelled flights) since last summer and especially over the Christmas break that we can’t say we weren’t concerned. The Knog Scout devices we attached to our bikes before this trip provided a bit of peace of mind.
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11 months ago
View from the plane
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Our bike cases arrived on the luggage belt as they had in Malaga, instead of at a special oversized luggage area. Also on the belt was the golden retriever in its kennel that we’d been told was on our flight. Poor thing, it got to go around once before being collected on the second round. 

We took the train into Palermo, quite comfortable with our bikes, then walked about 650 metres to our home for 3 nights, B&B Gallidoro. It’s on the second floor, counting in the European manner, of a palazzo built circa 1700.  We checked in, then returned to the building’s courtyard to assemble our bikes. By the time we finished, daylight was gone and it was time to look for a place for dinner.

Our bikes on the train (and us reflected in the window).
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Our first meal in Sicily wasn’t particularly memorable but we did drink a whole bottle of Grillo, a Sicilian white wine.  We don’t usually order a whole bottle but this one went down very easily. So did the limoncello and amore after dinner—there was a choice so we shared one of each.  We should sleep well.

Just before Al dug into his black pasta and developed a black smile!
Heart 3 Comment 2
David MathersDinner looks good to me and I love Grillo wine 🥂 Welcome to Sicily 👍
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11 months ago
Jacquie GaudetTo David MathersThanks, Dave! The Grillo was very nice.
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11 months ago
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Rachel and Patrick HugensWe'll be following you!
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11 months ago