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Monday, April 19, 2010

Ashes to Ashes

Unless you're living under a rock, you've probably heard about the volcano in Iceland. I'd type the name out, but it has about 57 letters in it and I have yet to figure out what order they go in.  What's up with the crazy name, Iceland?  I thought German was bad!
Since most of my readers are in the US and aren't directly affected by the volcano fall out (unless of course you planned a fab European getaway, in which case, I'm sorry and hope you bought the travel insurance), I thought I'd tell you how insane it is here in Europe.  Insanity!  Mr. HH was stranded in Poland, but made it home yesterday by train.  He had to go via Berlin, which is a long way out of the way, but it was all he could get.  He said the trains (he was on 4 of them) were absolutely packed.  Many people didn't have seats and sat in the corridors, vestibules and along the aisles with their suitcases.  For those who don't know, in Europe, you can pay extra for a reserved seat (it's not much and so worth it), or you can just buy your ticket and take your chances.  You may get a seat (you can only sit in unreserved seats) or not.  A lot of times, that is not, which is why I always pay for a seat.  Mr. HH was starved when he got home because there was no time between trains to get something to eat at the stations, the food trolley couldn't make it through the train and he said it was impossible to walk on the train to get to the food car.  Bummer.
Many people in our community are stranded in some far flung places across Europe.  My downstairs neighbors are in Athens and can't get home.  I talked to them last night and they were able to get ferry tickets on Tuesday to Italy, and are hoping to catch a train on Tuesday or Wed back into Germany.  Another friend managed to get from Morocco to Madrid, only to be told there are no available rental cars or train tickets (even without a seat).  At least 10 of the teachers at our local elem. school are stranded in Tunisia and Malta and have no hope of returning home before Wed or Thurs at the earliest.  Not that it matters as half the students are stranded too.  Many soldiers had taken the week off to spend Spring Break with their families, and have been  thwarted in their attempts to get home.  Even routine military flights are grounded.  It's craziness, the likes of which I don't think have ever been seen before.
Air travel has become such an integral park of our daily lives, and even as far as we've come technology wise, it's always interesting to see  that Mother Nature can easily put us back in our place.



6 comments:

mel said...

my boyfriend and i were really lucky. we made it home (to france) just hours before they shut down the airport in berlin. we're awaiting word from his parents who are supposed to visit from canada on friday. hopefully the cloud will clear...

Emily said...

Wow. I'm glad he made it home. What an ordeal. I heard on the radio today that the eruption has caused more travel problems than 9/11.

5 Boys and a Princess said...

I was 10 when Mt. St. Helens blew. It closed I-5 on May 22 when Southwest Washington got dumped on with ash and the Toutle River flooded everything downstream. School's closed because the ash was 2-3" thick and they weren't sure if it would be toxic and it was hard on engines. My brother and I got to spend the summer in Southern California with grandparents and go to Disneyland, Knott's Berry Farm, etc.

It was inconvenient and a mess to clean up but didn't cause anywhere near this much trouble. It almost seems unreal.

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

Wow! Poor Mr. HH...I can't seem to manage more than a few hours without eating, so I can't imagine a whole train trip home. ;)

It's pure craziness! I guess Mother Nature sometimes like to remind us that we are just peons.

Frau said...

I'm happy your hubs made it home. My sister and nephew are stuck here,from the states. It's just a wild situation.

Crazy Shenanigans said...

That's great that he was finally able to get home. I have a friend who's suppose to be over there right now and instead she's in Jersey waiting for the flight to go out.

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