TRAVEL DAY TO VIENNA
Bob M. thank you so much for the nice comments including the good wishes.
Greg...thank you for your kind thoughts and we wish you and your wife a wonderful time on-board Serenity. Enjoy every minute. Hopefully our blog will help to learn more about the River Cruises as you make your travel plans.
Doris...thank you for your nice comments. We also are wondering how we will do in a smaller vessel. We will know in a few days.
We were glad to get the first flight behind us yesterday with a few more to come before the trip ends. If you look at a map it does seem strange to fly from Athens over to London Heathrow (LHR) as we did yesterday to turn around today to fly from LHR to Vienna as we did today. The optimal route was Athens to Vienna. Unfortunately there were very few direct flights and the times they left were very early in the morning. After all these days on Serenity we didn't want to rush off the ship too early and preferred leaving at a leisurely pace. In spite of the longer flight we are happy with our decision.
We had dinner in our room at the Sofitel Hotel. They do have a couple of restaurants in the hotel, one we have dined at a few times but just wanted to relax in the room. It was not a "Crystal" dinner but we still enjoyed it. We had salad, salmon and some sides. It was all we needed. We are staying on their equivalent of a club floor where we had some wine.
We both woke up early. No exercise for Keith.
We got ready to go over to terminal 3 for our flights from London Heathrow to Vienna. The hotel is connected to terminal 5. Options were a taxi or a train. We opted for the taxi (a nice van) which we reserved yesterday and charged the fare to our room.
As it turned out while waiting for the driver we saw an area where you can check in luggage with British Airways for those passengers flying out of Terminal 3 and Terminal 5. If we would have realized this upon check-in at the hotel we would have checked our luggage with BA at the hotel and taken the train. Evidently, they started doing check-in at the hotel only a few months ago. Now we know.
There was no line for flight check-in. We then entered the area for security and there was no line. At security we placed items in the bins. There was someone very helpful putting the bins out. No line. When we went through the check we were each pulled over for a random check and Keith had the added security of checking for explosives on clothing. After we got through there was a security person with Keith's 22" luggage. Keith didn't realize he had to remove his iPad. He had removed his computer. It probably was noted on the sign but without a line we moved very quickly. She apologized because she had to remove everything from the interior of the luggage. It is mostly electronics. Now we know.
We proceeded to the British Airways Lounge where we had breakfast and read before it was time to go to the gate.
Flight to Vienna was uneventful. It left on-time and arrived on-time.
We went through passport control in a blink of an eye. No card required. Only our passports. Luggage arrived quickly and a driver and vehicle provided by the hotel as part of our hotel package was waiting for us. It was raining and we hit some traffic along the way. The drive took thirty minutes.
We are staying at the Ritz Carlton. We were check-in on the Club Floor. Only problem was the room was not ready by 3:00 PM. By 4:00 PM the room was ready and they upgraded us to the only suite with two levels. The room also has a nice balcony which we won't be using today but hopefully during our stay
They were very apologetic while we waited. We were shown to our room and as we write this are getting settled in.
Some photos from the Club Floor followed by some photos of the room we are staying in.
Although it is rainy in Vienna we are excited to visit this city for the very first time and to take our first River Cruise. We look forward to the next few days in Vienna.
Anne Marie & Keith