samedi, juin 07, 2008

What a start for our vacation

Normally, Seb and I should be on the plane heading towards Crete, Greece for a week of sun and beach. But here we were in our impersonal living room with the shutters shut. We had placed all our plants in one room without closing the shutter to ensure that sunlight got in while we were away. Without our plants, the living room seemed cold.

Seb and I left home in the early evening for our 8 pm flight. While checking in, we were informed that the plane would be delayed by about 6 hours. That meant that the plane was to take off at 2.30 am. I was pretty disappointed as that meant 7 days, 7 nights instead of 8 days, 7 nights. We would be tired when arriving (just in time for sunrise??) and would probably waste a good morning sleeping.

But it was a blessing in disguise. At the check in counter, the officer asked for my french ID card. He told me that my passport was not enough to get me into Greece as I did not have any visa. That really surprised me as I had checked in the website of the Singapore Foreign Affairs Ministry and no visa was needed for visiting Greece within a period of 60 days. The officer told me that he had previous experiences with two other singaporeans who left without a visa and upon arriving at the Greece airport, was told to turn back to France. They had to pay for their air tickets back to Paris. With my french ID card, I could go to Greece without a visa thanks to the Schengen agreement. I did not have my french ID card as I always travel with my passport. So far, I never had any problem travelling to other european countries with my red passport.

With the flight delayed, Seb and I had enough time to come home to get my french ID card. The officer was kind enough to give us his phone number so that we could call to confirm about the flight timing. So here we were, playing Mario Kart on WII. I just called Ronan who was catsitting Bao Bei for the week to make sure that everything was alright.

This was just the beginning of our holidays and I really hope that the rest of it would be smooth. I hope to be back in a week's time with a nice tan and a memory card full of beautiful photos.

Note: I would really like to check if my french ID card is necessary at the airport.

3 commentaires:

Beau Lotus a dit…
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Beau Lotus a dit…

I've been to Greece 4 times (once directly from Paris to Crete) and have done so on my Singapore passport. They may eventually try to ask you for a visa, but the one time they asked, I showed them my itinerary and return tix and they let me in sans problèmes.

BTW, when you said French ID, did you mean carte de résident or carte d'identité française? Because if it was the former, it normally has to be used with your Singapore passport. Only the latter can be used on its own.

But then many of the airport check-in staff knew nothing, I've been stopped once because my son was flying with his French passport and they insisted he would need his father's written permission to leave the country - not true at all. True if only with French ID, but not true with passport. With passport, even alone he would be able to leave the country.

sohcool a dit…

Hi Beau lotus,
You are right. I was not asked for my Carte de séjour at ALL!!
Upon arriving at the Crete airport, there was no passport check. And on my return trip, I only showed my passport.
I did enjoy Crete a lot. Will post entries about it when I have time. :)