Saturday, April 17, 2010

Icelandic volcano does indeed strand Laura Perry in Belgium

We are being patiently and kindly cared for by the International Red Cross.

We were told by our airline to check out of our hotel in Ghent last night and “get to the airport as quickly as possible” in case the airport opened this morning, since the check-in and customs lines were likely to be very long this morning if our plane actually flew; inter-city trains in Belgium do not run overnight, arriving from Ghent to Brussels airport at 7 am, and making it potentially only a three-hour window to get our boarding passes, pass through customs AND get to the gate – not a good idea.

Well, we arrived at the airport last night to … desolation. And the International Red Cross. Once we knew where to go in the terminal, they greeted us with large smiles and fresh water and food – much appreciated all the way around. And, cots. Now, cots wouldn’t normally seem wonderful… but I am thrilled! And they have been bringing in more all night – the Brussels Fire and Rescue, International Red Cross… everyone – it’s a steady stream of cots, food and people.

All due to the Eyjafjallajoekull volcano.

We’ll make it home when we can; our flight this morning has already been canceled and it looks as though the airport will be closed yet another day. But, so far it’s not too bad – and tempers are not frayed at all – it’s very much the “comme ci, comme ca” attitude many here adopt anyway. Not a bad way to lower the blood pressure, I must admit. Who is to say what tomorrow will bring, but we’ll take it in stride as best we can.

Best of luck there where it sounds as though the only pressing issues are allergies and temperatures. And classes!

See you as soon as possible! Boy, is this more than I had planned on! I mean… really? A volcano?

Your International Red Cross “refugee,”
Laura P.


Blogger Sean said...

Sounds pretty Belgian:-) The Prague airport is deserted and the people are sent away. It will be interesting to see what happens if it goes beyond a week. The 'fresh' foods (prepackaged and flown in) and flowers have run out here already. I foresee a collapse in Holland's tulip industry as the flights from the Dutch Antilles are unable to get the produce in. Rail which is underutilized and expensive may become a viable alternative for the transport of goods. Our local airfield is doing brisk business in propeller flights around Europe.You may have to look into a train to Portugal for a flight home:-(

April 18, 2010 12:26 AM  

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