From the Editor;
1185 Narragansett Blvd
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This newsletter features a list of European Summer and Fall festivals, a wonderful Military Space Available article by Debbie D'Agostino and an update on my 18 year old granddaughter Casey Desmond career.
Festivals Throughout the World
Europe Summer and Fall Festivals and Events
View this link for the 2005 Calendar of European Festivals
Florence Music Festival
View this Florence Italy Travel Guide link for hotel and tour information.
This festival lasts to June 27th. It is Italy's oldest music event. It focuses on opera, ballet and concerts. Military Space A Travelers can easily get to Florence from NAS NAPLES and by train from AVIANO. View the following link for detailed East Coast/European AMC information.
Click here for the Naples to Florence map and here from Aviano to Florence map.
Barcelona Summer Festival
View this Barcelona Travel Guide link for Hotel And Tour Information
From June 23rd to August 25th the City of Barcelona celebrates their summer festival with music, dancing (flamenco), opera, and ballet. The Barcelona Summer Festival, popularly known as the Grec Festival, is the cultural highlight on the summer calendar, and one of the most important arts festivals in the world. Every summer the city is filled with some of the finest national and international theatre, dance and music performances aimed at promoting different types of contemporary music and performance arts, as well as classical and ancient music and traditional acts. It is famed for its creativity and attracts a wide variety of visitors and locals alike.
Space A travelers should refer to the following link
for Space A travel information to Spain.
Wimbledon Tennis in London
From June 20th to July 3rd, this is the most prestigious tennis event in the world. View this link for information about this major sporting event.
View this London Travel Guide link for travel information
See the following link for Space A travel information to London.
Copenhagen Jazz Festival
This Jazz Festival runs fron July 1st to the 11th featuring some of the world's greatest musicians.
Look at this link for festival information.
View this site for Copenhagen travel information.
Bastille Day in Paris
Bastille Day is celebrated on the 14th of July. View this site
for detailed information on this holiday.
Edinburgh International Festival
Vuew this Edinburgh Travel Guide Link for Hotel and Tour Information
This festival starts on August 15th and ends September 4th.
View this link for information about this international festival.
See the following link for Space A travel information to Edinburgh
Octoberfest in Munich
View this Munich Travel Guide link for Hotel And Tour Information
Octoberfest dates are from September 18th to October 3rd. It is mainly about downing vast quantities of beer and bratwurst, then behaving badly with your neighbours. Key requirements: 1] Love beer 2] Love sausages 3] Love drunk Germans. Space A Travelers should view this link map for driving and train information to Munich from Ramstein and here from Rhein Main,
Debbie D'Agostino's Space A Advice
Since this is the season for all the questions to start on ‘how to fly Space A’; I thought this would be a good time to post my experiences from last summer, as a new retiree in my first season of Space A travel. I took two trips both from Norfolk to Europe; one in June the other in September. I put the details in the “Space A Trip Reports.”
When you first start looking for information you just want to find a listing of every flight with every seat, but you soon find out that is impossible. Here are the things I learned when starting out, I hope it helps….
And my thanks to everyone on this board; as I found an unbelievable amount of information to prepare me for my trip.
1. UNDERSTAND THE SYSTEM.
Spend a couple hours (or more) reading the postings on this site. Don’t be too quick to post a question asking for help, you will find 90% of you answers by using the search feature. As an added benefit you will end up finding answers to questions you’ll have while you are on the trip itself. And you’ll say, Ahh, I remember reading about this….
Learn which bases are more likely to be connected. Dover to Germany is a major Air Force route while Norfolk / Rota / Sigonella is a major Navy route. Dover to Italy is more difficult as is Norfolk to Germany. Look at all the bases on Roy’s sign up list, if it is even remotely close to where you want to go – sign up. Check out those bases and what goes in and out of there. I flew out of Norfolk on a C5 heading to Rota (surprise! it had mechanical problems) and was diverted to Dover. Since I got seat 71 and 72 on the C5 out of Norfolk my chances weren’t too good with all 70+ stranded passengers looking at the few flights to Europe showing only 10-15 seats. I got a one-way rental car to BWI. Because I had signed up there also, I had 57 days for that afternoon’s roll call for the Rhein Main PatEx. With 120 seats available I ended up with the last two Cat VI seats, so those 57 days came in handy. Understand timing your signups. I signed up all along the east coast 50 days before I wanted to fly to Europe and then 3 weeks later in all the European locations to return.
As far as, when is the best time to fly? My experience showed that it is all a matter of luck for the most part. Obviously there are more people trying to get a flight when kids are out of school. But it isn’t impossible – you just need to be prepared. Since I was flying with my daughter I had no choice but to wait for school to get out in June. I flew again in September with my husband – fewer people but there were still Cat III’s getting turned down. Which leads to the next point….
2. BE FLEXIBLE AND ENJOY THE EXPERIENCE. Half the fun of flying Space A is meeting some great people and ending up in places you would never go. I had taken a couple of Space A trips over the past 20+ years but they didn’t always turn out well because of the time constraints being on active duty. I would have to say – all the ‘miserable’ people I met on the trip were in a rush and mad at the system. If you absolutely have to be there tomorrow – go commercial. And for flexibility, I didn’t plan on going to the Azores last summer but one of our flights when through Lajes Field and we spent the night there. Now I want to go back for a few days or a week.
3. BE KIND TO YOUR FELLOW PASSENGERS AND THE PASSENGER REPS.
there is nothing worse when everyone is patiently waiting, actually having a good time, for a complaining, whining, sniveler to show up. It ruins everyone mood and quite often hurts that person’s chance for a flight. While waiting in Rota for a ‘maybe’ flight, one woman, after complaining about everything under the sun, left to find a room at the Navy Lodge. The passenger rep came out and said the C-40 in question was going to refuel and would only be on the ground for 15 minutes and she started the roll call. What do you think the chances were that anyone waiting made an effort to find our whiny comrade? You’re right, we moved out smartly and as far as I know she is still in Rota. Likewise, when in Sigonella I asked about flights heading out for Rota; the passenger rep, although gruff and irritable, said wait right there for about 15 minutes, so I smiled and waited. Next person in line asked the same question about flights to Rota; and then proceeded to tell the Passenger Rep what a screwed up operation they were running. She just looked at the traveler and said sorry we don’t have anything on the schedule today. In about 15 minutes when things settled down she came over to me (and several others waiting) and said she was double-checking some info and although unconfirmed in about two hours they were expecting several C9’s to fly over. Their flight plans didn’t have them landing but she expected them to stop in. Sure enough we hung around for a couple hours and we all got seats. Your fellow travelers will really help you out if needed, don’t piss them off.
4. DON’T LEAVE THE TERMINAL UNTIL THE PLANE TAKES OFF.
There are plenty of experiences detailed on this web site demonstrating this key guideline.
5. WHAT TO DO ONCE YOU’RE THERE.
Again the info on this site will be invaluable during your trip. On my first trip I just made a few notes then took off figuring I could always look up the info on line if we needed it later. It is funny how all the bases and tips run together… I found myself hunting for that number to billeting in Sigonella or the name of the hotel in Naples. 2nd trip I made a small notebook. I copied pages from the Military Travel book on temp-lodging in Europe (highly recommend that book). Then wrote down all my notes on the back side of those pages (81/2 x 11 folded in half). It was small and fit into my backpack. That came in handy many times. We landed in Souda Bay and then I had all the numbers, details I needed.
6. HAVE A GREAT TRIP - ENJOY.
I’m heading out next week for Europe again. Think I’ll tie a red bandana on my luggage this time! Hope to see some of you out there.
Casey Desmond Update
My 18 year old granddaughter, Casey will be performing at some of the European Festivals this summer. I'll provide more information later,
To see her bio, read her lyrics and listen to her latest songs click here
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