After spending nearly 4 1/2 months in the UK we're now back aboard Flirtie. Whilst it was really lovely to see so much of the family during the period it was pretty much full on for most of the time with emotions running high.
We left only after Dad had stabilised and been moved to a lovely nursing home and mum had started to get into a routine with regular visits organised to the home. Things are as settled as they are going to be and with the nursing home now under lockdown because of covid infections our only means of contact is the phone and through Skype so this was as good a time as any to return. We've planned a return visit to the UK for early April and have everything crossed that covid restrictions will have eased by then and that we can see the whole family once again.
Planning our return was almost as challenging as flying back to the UK because of covid restrictions but we're pleased to say it all went to plan and we arrived at the boat 48hrs after leaving Gloucestershire. This included an overnight stay at the Gatwick Premier Inn
(it was an early flight) and allowed us to take our 24hr fit-to-fly test late that evening.
a fine view of the Alps
At immigration in Sicily we were prepared with all our residency papers. It was good to see that the system worked and our passports weren't stamped indicating the start of the 90 day Schengen countdown.
We also had come prepared with receipts for all our UK purchases so we could demonstrate that their total value was less than €430 per person (https://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/travel/carry/alcohol-tobacco-cash/indexamp_en.htm)
and that we weren't liable for any import duty. On this occasion we were one of the lucky ones and we weren't pulled aside for our cases to be inspected and neither did we end up in a queue for compulsory covid tests upon our arrival - that really was a bit of luck!
It's good to be back.