I am finally back in the Duchy. The finally in the last sentence is in no way related to any desire to leave the island. No way. It is related to the time it took from the moment I left my home in St. Julian's to the time I arrived in 22, rue de Bragance to be greeted by an overjoyed Xitan.
Departure time 1400 hours. Arrival 1245 hours. That is almost eleven hours of travel and I did not go to Cuba. Normally, travelling between Malta and Luxembourg on any other day than Sunday will always take you over six hours (real travelling time). The main reason is that unless you fly Luxair's Sunday offer, there is no direct link between the two mini-states. So you have to either pay through the eye for a Lufthansa flight connecting via Frankfurt Main or fly to Brussels and then catch a train to Luxembourg. Flight time is three hours (during which the Captain kindly announces that you have just flown over Luxembourg!) and then the train time includes a twenty minute ride into Brussels (to BXL Nord) then switch for a three hour train till you get to your destination. Top it all up with a ten euro taxi ride and you get the ticket!
Now Luxembourg is not some outback in the Sub-Sahara. It is one of the three cities that host the EU institutions. But that monopoly called Air Malta on one side, and the other called Luxair on the other, have not deemed it fit to provide a regular service to the other. You would think that Air Malta's public service aspect (the one that will be highlighted the day Air Malta is sold off at a discount to some Saudi Sheik) includes providing a link to one of the bases of the European Institutions. You would also think that Luxair would provide a regular link to the 25 states for the citizens who have to commute to the Duchy in order to conduct EU related business.
But you are not allowed to think. In the case of AirMalta you are left in the hands of Brussels flights, overpriced and delayed. In the case of Luxair there is a once a week flight on Sunday that sucks and is frequently choc-a-bloc (read fully booked). So why doesn't the EU transform Ryanair into its trans-national carrier and force all states to accept it in their airports? Because it cannot do so... though it would be a bloody good move.
This post must be a bit messed up since I keep getting interrupted on skype and hotmail. But I guess you get the ticket. I'm here. I'm late. And I'm pissed off. And the lack of sun and abundance of rain is not helping my humour. The better half is still somewhere in Alghero Sardinia so the only company I have is of an overcuddly cat... which is ... in a way... some consolation.
See ya... later of course.