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Volcanic Ash and No Planes – The Journey by Road

One never knows the challenges they will face until they come along.  Last week with all the confusion  related to air travel I had to make a decision to support some friends in their travel arrangements.  The two key issues were one friend was in Ireland trying to get to Romania for his sisters wedding on Saturday 24th April.  Three other friends were stranded in Romania trying to get home with no flights available.

With all the uncertainty around not knowing when Airports would re-open, time was closing in on a decision to be made as to travel or not.  The only information we had was that our friends stranded in Romania, the earliest they were informed about the airline getting them on a flight was this coming Thursday (a week and half later).  On this side it was looking like Friday 24th April was the earliest airports would open by then it would be late to start to travel overland.  Several options were examined and finally at 5pm on Tuesday last we decided to drive across Europe.  The only way to approach this in ones mind was to look at it as an adventure and just enjoy the journey.

Yes in the middle of our journey the airports started to open up but travel arrangements were still affected.  New options were looked at again like getting flights within mainland Europe so our journey would be shorter but given availability of seats and prices been quoted for air tickets, what could one do except continue as originally planned.

The route before us was Wales, England, France, Belgium, Holland (a little part), Germany, Austria and Hungary.  After travelling through the day and night and taking turns in driving and sleeping, we reach Budapest on Thursday where we had agreed to meet.  Our friends had made a 17 hour train journey through Romania.  So I dropped off one friend and pick up three others.  The round trip was 4,5875 kilometres.

The end result was our friends made it home and her only brother made her wedding.  We had some great support from others helping us to book the boat trips etc as we travelled.

Lessons learnt when one is faced with decisions sometimes you just have to go for it and not waste too much time thinking about it, as someone has to call it, I am glad I did.  We made the journey fun and had some great laughs along the way.  I am sure we all got something from our travels, if not just a story to tell.

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