Alessio Michelini Photography

Day 1: flying to Heraklion

08 October 2013

Rule number one when you have to do at least one stop when you fly somewhere. Always give you plenty of time in between two flights, I would say at least three hours. Probably a couple of friends of mine would say I'm exaggerating, but if today I didn't give me enough time, this post it would be probably different, like raging against Aerlingus or the airport or some sort of unknown divinity who has something to with fog, as my flight was delayed by a hour. Thankfully I had almost four hours in between the flights, so even with the delay we still had plenty of time. 

London Gatwick
I was honestly surprised by this airport, it was the first time for me here, as all the times I passed through London it was always Stansted. Gatwick is way, using a web term, "user friendly", as it was extremely easy to check-in my luggage, easy to find, no big queues and at the security checks there were a display showing where the quickest lane were. Maybe I was lucky, maybe because I flew on a monday in October, but as my first time here I was well impressed by this airport, for sure way better than Stansted. Maybe the only things I can say about that place, are the too many shops (but apparently is a common problem of most of the airports nowadays), and the lack of free wifi, well, to be fair you can get 45 free wifi minutes from Boingo, but it's just an excuse to let you create an account with Boingo, and after that it will be extremely expensive to check your email. Other than that, thumbs up for this airport.


I didn't have any big expectation from this airline, it was my first time with them as well, but I'm well used to low cost companies, like Ryanair, which it's probably one of the worst way to fly, as you feel like you are going to a nazi camp rather than anything else, and as Easyjet is in the same price category, I didn't expect anything different. But I was wrong. As I said, the automated check-in just work, it took me a few seconds to check in my bag, and they assign the seat, unlike Ryanair, so no rush to get on top of the queue to get the best place in the plane. As all airlines they have restrictions, but they don't check every single bag to see if your it's a centimetre bigger or is a gram heavier so they can charge you a shit amount of money for it. They are just easy as they supposed to do. And their hostess and stewarts don't look like depressed russian policemen, they just look as you would expect. To be fair, apart from the low prices, I wouldn't call Easyjet a low cost company. Yeah of course you pay your food, and you don't get any insanely well dressed asian hostess giving you an hot towel to refresh your face, but it's way better than any Ryanair flights I've taken over the years, and I know what I'm talking about, as I flew with the irish company too many times.
Also, their seats are slightly larger, which for a chubby photographer like me, it's quite important.
Again, it's a monday in October, maybe I've been lucky, but maybe not, and if you travel often as, or even more I do, you know that these little things are the deal breaker, and the fact that I don't have the anxiety I usually get with Ryanair, it's really, really important.

Heraklion Airport
Well, I wasn't expecting to land to another Gatwick airport style, but I have to admit that this airport was a bit (read a lot) under my expectations. I could call the passport checkings a bit "naive", and I would hardly call this airport "clean", without mention than the taxi drivers outside look like a band of rapist, and they charged us an insane amount of money, 15 euro, for a 4 km ride with no traffic at all. Also with them I got the first clue of how they drive over here, and for whoever of you ever went to Naples, they will get the same experience here.

The Hotel
This was actually fine, the view not so much, as I opened the window the only view I got was a dark street and a almost naked and way overweight old man scratching his belly in front of me. The room was clean, and pretty quite nice, apart the half broken toilet, a very stylish toilet, but not in perfect shape as the shower wasn't working properly, but we managed to take a shower anyway.
They had free internet, but they didn't give us the password for it, I didn't bother to ask once we got to our room because it was pretty late (after midnight), but it would be nice if they write it somewhere, maybe at entrance, or maybe somewhere in the way outdated info about the hotel we found in our room.

So, I know I'm already one day late in my diary, but no internet yesterday, and today I've a connection that come and go, but at least this time they give us the password once we arrived. Hopefully tomorrow I'll write the second day.