After a 9 1/2 hour flight, direct from Charlotte, NC around 9:00am local time (3:00am East Coast time), we were greeted with the beautiful blue waters of the Mediterranean and grand views of Corse (Corsica) and the itty bitty 4 square mile island of Montecristo. Yes! This is the island "immortalised by Alexandre Dumas in The Count of Monte Cristo as the site of an enormous hidden treasure." I did not know this until I searched for images of this island. I loved that book and movie! My daughter and I saw it out the window and it was just too adorable not to take the cliché looking-out-the-plane-window shot.
I handed off my daughter to her student group coordinator - separate blog in the works for that and groggily hopped into an "official" Italian taxi. Did you know Uber and Lyft have been banned in Italy? My ride was a BMW something or other. My taxi, er, Grand Prix, driver bobbed and weaved like an expert accident avoider and almost-scooter-driver-killer and somehow we made it to my hotel in one piece. I thought I'd be daring and not wear my seatbelt but I almost on one, no two, no three occasions wanted to surreptitiously buckle myself into a five-point harness. At one point, he pulled up within 6 inches of another cab driver and the drivers just stared at each other as if to say, "I'm the coolest Italian taxi driver and I'm going to beat you to the next traffic light and all the while I'll be texting with both hands," in Italian, obviously! My driver sighed several times. Most likely he was trying not to curse out loud about the traffic because he'd been told not to since he would scare the tourists and it wouldn't be professional. At one intersection, he actually laid his head down on the steering wheel in such despair, sighing so heavily I wanted to ask him if everything was alright. I thought maybe I had a suicidal taxi driver. I'm not sh***ing you!! I think this has become a run-on paragraph.