Following a widespread paranoia about aircraft being blown out of the sky after an attempt by some would be terrorists to smuggle explosives aboard in bottles of mineral water there were now some strict new rules to be observed.
At the check-in desk I had a small dispute with the Ryanair check-in clerk about whether we would have to pay for our bags to go into the hold on account of these new security measures and the ban on liquids in hand luggage. We maintained that as it wasn’t our fault that there were complicated new arrangements that the company should honour our original contract to take only no fee-paying hand luggage on board but the clerk firmly advised us that it wasn’t their fault either but the Government’s, so we would have to pay.
As there wasn’t time to ring the Prime Minister to see if he would accept personal responsibility for our situation we had to accept this decision. Actually we didn’t, because the queue to pay was so long we would surely of missed our flight, so I applied what limited charm that I have and persuaded the clerk to check-in at least one item of luggage without the punitive charge and we transferred all of the liquids into the one that was going with us into the cabin.
It was at this point that I resolved myself to always try to stay one step ahead of Ryanair in its devious tricks to extract additional fees from its passengers. I don’t like paying more than the advertised passenger flight price, as any more than this I regard as extortionate. Actually they are really rather clever and I admire the way they constantly devise new revenue generating tricks for extracting cash from customers. I imagine that they must have a whole department working on it continuously. Like making you pay to check in a piece of luggage and by constantly reducing the baggage allowance so that they can surprise you at check-in and hit you for excess baggage charge. Thankfully we have perfected the art of packing our hand luggage within the permitted ten kilograms but I suspect they will reduce that soon. And I wonder what else?
“Excuse me steward may I use the on-board lavatory please?”
“Certainly Sir, would you like to pay £10 for a priority pee or just £1 for the standard, in which case you will have to queue a little bit longer”
The Plane arrived at Alghero at about ten o’clock and it was already warm with a bright sun in a blue sky. We got through the airport quickly and found a taxi with a friendly and informative driver who drove us the short distance to our hotel, the Alma di Alghero. This man was good, he knew all the flight schedules and organised our return journey for us as he drove. And unusually for a taxi driver he didn’t rip us off or scare the pants off us.
The hotel was in a perfect location but wasn’t ready for us so we changed into summer holiday clothes, left our bags and walked into the town. It was a pleasant walk next to a clean sandy beach and past a busy marina and it took us about twenty minutes to get to the old town walls.
Once inside we looked for a bar because we were hungry and we walked lazily through the meandering narrow streets. We found a couple of likely places but they were in too much shade so we rejected them both and we walked on and emerged on the other side of the town once more overlooking the sea which was a brilliant blue with a sparkling surface as though a million fibre optic lights were reflected off of it in streaming shards of gleaming silver as the sunlight danced on the water.