Chronicle of a stranded traveller: Dublin to London

The Stena Line Ferry - Dublin to Holyhead, Anglesey
The Toyota Picnic that took us from Dublin to London

I still cannot spell or pronounced the volcano that erupted in Iceland on the 13th of April and created so much chaos over Europe and the rest of the world. Somebody from Aljazeera said the volcano rhymed with Yogurt + angela merkel? I wonder how he could come to such bizarre conclusion. Whatever, I was in Dublin when it happened, I did not even blink my mata satu when it was read over the news on that day. We were supposed to leave Dublin via Aer Lingus on the 15 April on to Heathrow and KL. fairly straightforward. On the 14th night it was announced that some airports were shut down due to possible danger to the planes’ engines caused by the volcanic ashes. Mind you the smoke was a few thousands metres above, we definitely did not see it in Dublin or even London for that matter. It was perfectly sunny day on the 15th with temperature rising to balmy 15C. A rare occurence in mid april. We were told to wait for further instructions from the airport and airlines authorities. Fortunately, we our providers understood the situation and promised to cover whatever extra expenses needed for us to stay as long as it was necessary. Again we were told to wait for the info from the authorities for another 12 hours. But they kept moving the goalpost every 12 hours and by Sunday the 18th we were already desperate. The uncertainties certainly bore a heavy burden on us. We had a long and sometimes convulated discussions with the good people of the embassy and MSD. at one point we even consider the possibility of taking the ferry to Barcelona or Madrid, as the two airports were not affected. Alternatively we talked about driving from london all the way to the two cities. Whatever it is, we decided to move to London by Sunday and wait there as it is a bigger city and have more options than Dublin. Then we heard the news that the embassy in Paris and MAS is mounting a rescue plan for those stranded around Europe. The plan was to gather all of them in Paris and ferry them to Rome in a specially hired coach. The problem is how on earth we are going to get to paris? We can only take the ferry out of Dublin and the ferry cannot take foot passengers anymore. furhermore we had a fair bit of luggage that definitely would hinder our motion. The embassy and MSD people helped us to hire an MPV with a Malaysian driver to boot – talk about good luck. Never mind the hefty charge, we had to move on. So by 8.00pm Monday, 19th we were packed into the semiMPV (a toyota Picnic), with one seat at the back had to be folded down to accommodate our luggage. You should have seen me squeezed between them at the back. I’ll tell you about it later. by 8.30pm we were already lining up to board the StenaLine Dublin to Holyhead ferry – more like a cruise ship to me. (To be continued…)

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