Travelblog: Volcano Leaves Me Stranded in London

We always see news items on TV about people getting stranded in airports for a variety of reasons: strikes, civil disturbance, and natural disasters. I never thought I’d be in this situation myself.

I came to London on a very short trip. I had two days of meetings. I organized my travel to arrive the night before and leave the evening later. While in London on our first day of meetings, we heard of the volcano that erupted in Iceland and that it might disturb flight schedules. I hardly thought twice about it. That type of thing doesn’t happen to me. It happens to other people. And how could a volcano in Iceland affect my flight back to Cairo from London? Ludicrous!

It’s not. I’m now stranded in London trying desperately to get back home.

Friends on Twitter are envious. One could really be stuck in a worse city. But I have four children at home that really do need me. I need to get home.

All night last night I was thinking of ways to get back.

We have a contemporary history of Egyptian immigrants being illegally smuggled out of Egypt to southern Italy by sea. If I could only find those smugglers and get me a trip on the return route back to Egypt. But where does one find a smuggler?

Of course by morning I was thinking more clearly. The plan now is to find a flight out of another southern European country before they are all booked up and to try to beat the south-easterly winds that are causing the volcanic ash to spread all over Europe. I need to beat the ash to southern Europe and get out as soon as possible.

I’m now in a desperate race against time. Find a plane out of southern Europe and a train to that southern European country, all in time before the ash arrives.

Follow me in Twitter for the updates on how the drama of it all (yes, I’m being very dramatic about it) unfolds.