Wednesday, April 28, 2010

My Journey Home

This is how my beloved and I got home from Cuba.

On Sunday the 18th we reported to Jose Marti International to discover unsurprisingly that our flight to Paris had been cancelled. Instead we were offered a flight to Bordeaux, beyond the reach of the volcanic ash cloud.

On Monday morning we arrived in Bordeaux. After some train problem emerged we were eventually loaded onto buses for Paris, which arrived in Roissy/Charles-De-Gaulle at about 01.00 in the morning, after a stop-off in Orly (srsly).

CDG was reopening on Tuesday, so we hoped to fly home then. Sadly, Dublin was still closed, so that scotched that. Sleep deprivation meant we were a bit confused, so we checked into an Ibis in the airport so we could shower and work out what to do. Eventually we decided to go to the Eurolines bus station and see about getting a bus to London. Here we discovered that they were running many more buses than their website suggested, and we were able to book a bus for the following morning. The helpful guy at the desk said that if we really wanted to we would probably get on the fully booked out buses going out that night, as there were always no-shows. But we felt that it would be better to get at least some sleep in first (and we had already paid for the Ibis).

So, on Wednesday the 21st we got on a bus from Paris to London. It was meant to go at 10.30 but it did not leave until a bit later due to some kind of complication. This brought us to Calais, where we went through the bureaucratic formalities required to enter Festung Englande. We also saw the people who were queuing to get onto the ferries as foot passengers.

Once in England we started seeing posters for the forthcoming general election. Strangely, they all seemed to be for the Conservative Party, but all featured the face of some Gordon Brown fellow; perhaps he took over as their leader while we were away.

Delays meant that we arrived in London too late to make the night bus to Dublin, so we booked on the one for the next day, at the horrifically early time of 06.30. We checked into a cheap local hotel and then went out for a delicious curry only slightly marred by the braying Tories at the next table.

So then on Thursday the 22nd we caught the bus that brought us to the big ship from Irish Ferries (a company I notionally boycott because of their union-busting practices). This brought us to Dublin uneventfully.

image source

An inuit panda production


String Bean Jen said...

How matter of fact you are about it all! I would have been shitting down the necks of everyone left, right and centre while and after enduring this travel nightmare!

How long does a bus take from London to Dublin and how does that work anyway? Where does it get on a ferry?

ian said...

Well, it was all very matter of fact, apart from when I was sleep deprived on Tuesday and having complicated internet access and small child issues - perhaps a story for another day.

The bus from London to Dublin leaves Victoria Bus Station at something like 6.00 am (or 6.30, or something) and arrives in Dublin at 5.30 to 6.30 pm. It gets the ferry from Holyhead to Dublin Ferryport. It is a far less comfortable way to travel than getting the boat and train, but it all worked.