Two things I never want to do again: go through Venice Marco Polo Airport on a Saturday, and fly Air France. With thick crowds and long lines in the terminal, plus crashy Air France check-in machines (without ground staff at a desk for backup), by noon I wish we’d stayed an extra day or two in Venice just to avoid departing with every other cruise line passenger who had arrived with us that day.

VCE Security Queue
Air France "Quick" Check-In

The airport actually has apology notes posted along the queue, pretty much blaming the Italian government.

VCE airport apology letter blaming Italian government

To cap it off, our flight is delayed and we leave Venice over an hour late.

Air France A320 at VCE

On arrival at Paris CDG Airport, we are bundled with another family into a minivan to get us to our connection faster. Apparently CDG is a huge airport with multiple sprawling terminals, which would make the delayed timeframe for our transfer impossible if unaided. On the up side, crossing the CDG tarmac in a speeding minivan is something of an adventure.

Things settle down once we board the Air France 777 to IAD. I’ve sprung for two exit row seats to keep us together on this crowded flight, so we have leg room to stretch out. Inflight meal is decent, too: fish fritters with bulgur wheat and a minced cucumber-tomato “tartare.”

CDG-IAD: Lunch

I especially like that Air France has a baguette cart.

CDG-IAD: Baguettes

Soon we’re back in US air space, somewhere over Massachusetts and heading southwest to DC.

CDG-IAD: somewhere over Northeast US

Shortly before landing we get one last inflight snack: cheese sandwich with cookies and a yogurt drink.

CDG-IAD snack

As the plane descends towards Dulles I’m already thinking forward to landing and immigration and baggage and the taxi home, after which I will have completed the transition from tourist to guy who won’t shut up about his Mediterranean vacation.

I already miss Venice.

Views of Venice from a Departing Cruise Ship

It was a nice trip. Full photo collection here.