So did you hear the one about the volcano that disrupted European Travel? If not then I’m not sure where you have been for the last two weeks!
Last Wednesday I was quite happy to arrive in Budapest after 29hrs of smooth travel. I was attending the GRAPHISOFT International Partners Conference – the first in Budapest for fives years, having visited Prague, Garmisch and Malta in the years inbetween.
By Thursday once the conference started talk of the volcano had increased and about 3 people were stuck in the UK and would miss the conference. Still no stress from our end, how long can this thing blow anyway?
Roll on Saturday afternoon as the conference draws to a close and European Airspace is closed and GRAPHISOFT have arranged five buses to transport partners back to Venice, Calais, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Helsinki – a great effort by the Team at GRAPHISOFT, but not so good for the Kiwis, Aussies, United States and Asian Partners.
Our Sunday flight home is, not surprisingly, cancelled and once re-booked we find we have an unexpected 10 days extra time in Budapest!
After much to’ing and fro’ing a plan emerged to get us home as follows:
- Wednesday depart Budapest on a bus for a 26 hr trip to Athens
- Fly Athens – Doha – Singapore
- Stay Overnight in Singapore (where I am writing this from)
- Fly Singapore – Auckland
So we’ll end up home 4.5 days later than expected (though 6 days earlier than it could have been) and instead of a ‘leisurely’ 29 hr flight total travel time will be 73 hours – yes a touch over 3 days!
26 Hours on a bus was less than fun, but we got to see Serbia and Macedonia by night! Also I took small comfort in hearing that some of our Swedish friends had to endure a 35 hr bus ride to get home.
I expect memories of this Volcano will be discussed at GRAPHISOFT IPC’s for many years to come…