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31 October 2008

A little of what you fancy

07.55 am
Didn't sleep that well last night. Kept waking up with my headache. Not only that but now my right eye aches as well and both feel sore. I'm now having a normal cup of tea in the hope that the caffeine in it will abate my headache and allow me to get on with my day. I'll be back on the decaf for the rest of the day or at least until my headache returns, assuming it goes away in the first place. I can feel my stomach objecting to the caffeine already but if it is going to be a battle between my head and my stomach I'm afraid my head wins, at least temporarily.
Mind you, I have to say, this normal tea that I have enjoyed all my life, suddenly doesn't taste that nice any more.

OK my headache has gone, my eyes are no longer sore and I generally feel fine. Even my indigestion only got to a 'low simmer' for the present. All-in-all the trade off was fine. I'm sure if I can keep off the caffeine for the rest of the day I should be able to keep both my head and stomach happy. Fingers crossed :-)

Well I got through the day without any more caffeine. My indigestion kept niggling me but nothing too serious. I do have very achy joints and my head ache is just beginning to return but all that can wait until the morning when I may have another cup of proper tea. If I can leave it a little longer still I will as it will likely increase my indigestion to a more uncomfortable level if I do.

30 October 2008

Caffeine withdrawal is no fun

I was diagnosed with a hiatus hernia a few months back which had been causing me constant indigestion. Since then I've been taking some medication to help but little had changed, I still had indigestion. On returning to my GP I was told I would need to give up caffeine. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a coffee addict but I do like tea and have about 6 mugs of it a day. No worries, I thought, I'll buy decaf. That was two days ago and today I have had a headache all day despite taking analgesics to get rid of it. Not only that but I feel listless but restless as well. Foggy in the head (I know there are some that would think that was normal) and blurry eyed. I can't concentrate on anything much and I'm either cold or flushed.
I assumed it was due to the medication I was on being increased but then, as I was about to make myself an after dinner coffee I suddenly realised it was the lack of caffeine that was the most likely culprit.
I Googled caffeine withdrawal and to my dismay discovered these symptoms can last a week of more. I don't know why my GP didn't warn me of this. I'm now thinking that going cold turkey on caffeine is not the right way to go about this and think I will allow myself one cup of proper tea tomorrow even if it does result in the return of my indigestion which, btw, has improved.

11 October 2008

Lido Airport, Venice

When I suggested Venice as a destination on our Italian flying holiday, Paul was not overly impressed. "Landing and parking charges at Venice will be prohibitive and they probably won't have parking for GA aircraft anyway." was his response. That set me a challenge and much to my surpirse it didn't take too much digging on Google before I came across a discussion thread for an airfield on the Venice Lido. The more we looked at it the more it seemed too good to be true but true it was. Paul was now totally committed to the idea so our plans were set and after leaving Bergamo we headed off for Venice.

St Nicolo Airport is situated at the far north end of the Lido and was the first airport for Venice being opened by Moussellini in 1930. It has no special instrument approach so landing there is weather dependant. Our approach took us over the lagoon of Venice and up the west side of the Lido. You can't fly over Venice itself due to noise abatement. The airfield is a grass strip of 750m and kept in perfect condition and it was like landing on a very large golf tee, it was so smooth.

The terminal building is typical Art Deco and was fully restored last year. There is fuel available next to the terminal with prices consistent for most of Italy at 2.6 euros per litre. There is also a bar and restaurant.
Despite being in Venice the landing and parking fees were very cheap at just 35.59 euros including 3 days parking and tax. Not bad for Venice.
St Nicolo airport is open 7 days a week through the summer but as of the 15th October and through the winter it is closed on Mondays. Telephone number for the airport is +39 (0)41 770300 Fax +39 (0)2428714 e-mail

Being on the Lido meant it was about as close as we could get to Venice itself. There is a bus stop outside the airport and a short ride on this took us to the main water bus terminal where water buses run regular trips the the rest of the islands and up the Grand canal. Here we were able to buy a 3 day bus pass that covered us for as many bus rides as we wished on both water and land buses. We could have got a Water taxi from directly outside the airport but as we needed to get right to the far end of the Grand canal the cost of one journey with luggage on that would have been about 1/2 of what we paid for our two 3 day bus passes so we gave the taxis a miss.
There are two water bus routes, No.1 which is slow as it stops at every stop on route and takes an hour to go all the way from Lido to the far end of the Grand canal. The other is the No.52 with does it in half the time but only stops at a few stops. The buses run very regularly but they are crowded. Still, very good value for money if you buy a bus pass.

06 October 2008

Bergamo - Italy

Well we have been off on our travels again. 12 days touring Italy by plane and car. We started off by flying to Bergamo, near Milan. Initially, in the planning stage, we had thought of going to Milan and only found Bergamo when we looked for a suitable airfield to land at near-bye. Bergamo airport is where Ryan air flights land for Milan but Bergamo is a wonderful destination in it's own right. It is a Medieval city perched high on the top of a hill and surrounded by it's original city wall. Everything within the wall is either Medieval or Renaissance. There is a larger, more modern city below the hill but once in the old city, or City Alta, as it is referred to locally, you become isolated from that part. Bergamo is full of character and surrounded by wonderful views. Getting there from the airport is simple too as there is a regular and very cheap bus service from the airport right up to the top of the old city.
If you click on this image to see it large you can see the airport in the distance. It is the green area top right.
We stayed two nights here in a B&B just outside the city walls to the North East of the city. Accommodation is limited in the old city so B&Bs make good alternatives if you don't want to stay in the modern part.
From Bergamo we flew on to Venice and I'll talk about that later.