For the love of Europe

Awake to the alarm at 530am, feels like we have just shut our eyes. It’s a quick shower and comfort clothes for the plane ride home. I must say the buffet breakfast at this hotel has out done the treatment we experienced last night. Food and variety is ample and Yum!

Last night and this morning has been quite funny despite how chaotic it has been and how exhausted we both are. After all the effort that went into the “fountain car wash” – we notice about fifty open car washes this morning.

Our saving grace and the lady with four wheels who got us around half of the world is being returned. It’s a tad sad to part ways with the Peugeot, the speedometer reads 7209 kms. It feels weird to be selling this car back to the company.

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The car company drove us to the airport and we check in at terminal three.

So long Italy – you have been bloody beaut and you are quite possibly my favourite country (that I have visited) in the world. Everything about you has been spot on.

Oh dear!! From here on in all our nightmares happen at once. The shopping we have done is not claimable because the bananas at the check in, forced us (corruption at it’s best) to check all our bags in earlier – even the goods we wanted to claim the VAT for.

Once we get to the other side, because we didn’t have the purchased items for our receipts, we couldn’t claim on the tax. It was at this point that I totally lost my lid – lack of sleep and Rome airport officals jerking us around are the contributors. #FML.

We shopped based on getting a return and should be able to claim a couple of thousand dollars right now. That’s how much we helped their economy. Sooo annoying!!

My advice here is, do not listen to customs or airport staff, take your purchased items and receipts as you normally would to the VAT counter and Claim. Your. Return.

Just had to take deep breaths before boarding our flight. Although we are flying Etihad, this leg of our trip is with Alitalia. Bit of a rough old airline, the toilet has burst so the stench is bad and people are getting pretty frustrated about it but it doesn’t appear a whole lot can be done.

We get to Abu Dhabi for a three hour stop over, I have been here four times and never once ventured outside the airport, definitely spending time here next time I stop over.

We get comfortable on Etihad airways for the second and final leg of our trip home. The first game for the World Cup is screening so we watch Brasil v Croatia. I must say Etihad does great food for an airline, the vegetarian and gluten free range is impressive.

We land home, in Melbourne. After flying 38,403km, driving 7,209km, walking 590km, visiting 13 countries, 38 major cities, making so many unforgettable memories and being separated for 1,436 hours; there is absolutely nothing better in this world than my own bed.

What a trip. Middle East you’re next #BucketList XXX

Anna Owens is the founder of ownsit! A mama working in Community Development and Partnerships Education. Anna is a colour crazy, creativity enthusiast who loves to design, collect shoes, eat & travel.. x

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