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Ash Clouds and High Winds Threaten the Ground Me in Europe

May 26, 2011

Earlier this week I sign out of my e-mail server and click on the red X in the corner of the screen just as I notice a picture of an erupting volcano and something about an ash cloud. Holy shit! is my first reaction. And then I laugh about my reaction with Jen about this being another Icelandic volcano eruption. But it can’t be, can it? Thinking about it we check and make sure. Ah fuck. Hum, getting stuck in Europe for who-knows-how-long didn’t go into the budget.I also found myself in a predicament. I have two separate bookings. From Amsterdam to London, and from London to Toronto. If Amsterdam doesn’t fly but London does I’ll be in big trouble. I watch closely all week.

Flights got cancelled in northern UK, Norway and then Germany. But never in the Netherlands. Close call. As I get to the airport today I find the British Airways check in oddly quiet. Too quiet. I ask the attendant about it. She says it’s because of all the flight cancellations to London. Pardon me? Except my flight that is. For now. High winds are the culprit now. I pray to the weather Gods and distract myself with duty-free makeup and my flight leaves the Amsterdam airport an hour behind schedule and busting at the seams with cranky re-booked travellers.

Gatwick leaves me disoriented when I learn that the complimentary hotel shuttle isn’t complimentary or a shuttle. It’s a bus which runs every 30-minutes and costs 3 GBP. It seems while I was looking for a Crown Plaza van I missed the bus and wait cold and tired by the arrivals lane. I’ll be back here less than 12-hours later. I arrive at Crowne Plaza to find out I got an excellent deal online $84 with tax versus the 200 GBP that they are advertising in the lobby. I think I was asleep before my head hit the pillow.

Happy Birthday to Me.

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