Travel stories

Due to the ashes spewed by the volcano in Iceland it was not possible to travel by airplane at the end of the conference week. Alternative routes to back home were many. Here are some stories by the unlucky travellers.

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Gleb - 61 hours to Darmstadt, Germany; 11 switches

  1. 16.04 08:45 - 12:10 Bus from Saariselkä to Rovaniemi train station.
  2. 16.04 12:50 - 15:20 Train to Oulu.
  3. 16.04 15:50 - 22:40 Train to Helsinki. Visiting Helsinki airport, last hope to catch up the flight. Overnight in Holiday Inn Hotel. Here I left Carlo Canali, he refused to follow crazy Russian...
  4. 17.04 08:30 - 10:45 Ferry to Tallinn
  5. 17:04 12:30 - 16:55 Bus to Riga. Have listen almost all Metallica repertoire conducted by dozen big Finnish guys, who were traveling to the concert of theirs idols in Riga.
  6. 17:04 19:00 - 23:30 Bus to Kaunas
  7. 17:04 23:45 - 06:40 Bus to Warsaw. Like suspicious wanderer around Warsaw train station have been inspected by security of some top-rank person, who was going to the Krakow to sorrow ceremony.
  8. 18:04 08:00 - 14:30 Train to Szczecin
  9. 18:04 14:35 - 15:30 Train to Angermünde
  10. 18:04 15:32 - 16:30 Train to Berlin
  11. 18.04 16:32 - 20:44 Train to Frankfurt
  12.  18.04 20:47 - 22:00 Train to Darmstadt. Get stack in the tunnel of Frankfurt local train cause of crazy football fans, blocked the way for almost one hour.

Frank, Michael D, Wilfried, Vanessa, Sarah - 64 hours, 4 switches, to Darmstadt*, Germany

We left Saariselkä after breakfast and some shopping with the bus at noon on Saturday, April 17. After a four hour trip we arrived in Rovaniemi and had some dinner in the ?main station? restaurant. At 6 pm the direct train to Helsinki left. We had reserved seats which turned out to be quite comfortable for sleeping.

In the morning of Sunday, April 18 we arrived in Helsinki. After a long brunch in a local hotel we transferred to the ferry terminal in Helsinki ? Vuosaari. The ferry from Helsinki to Travemünde left on Sunday, April 18 around 4 pm. Fortunately, we had reserved a cabin already since it was sold out when we came there. We also met Stephan Paul, who spent two days in Helsinki waiting for a place on that ferry to Travemünde.

The scheduled arrival in Travemünde was Monday, April 19 at 8.30 pm local, i.e. German time. We arrived in time and went with a Taxi to the rental car pick up in Lübeck. Sarah found some other people heading also for Paris on the ferry and joined them to Paris also with a rental car. At 11:30 pm we started the 600 km trip to the Frankfurt area where we arrived around 4 am.

Travel time was about 64 hours from Saariselkä home to the Frankfurt area and everything worked out as it was planned on Friday night and Saturday morning during booking of the tickets.

Bill M - 120 hours to New York, 3 switches

I'm back. My Friday flight was canceled, and re-booked on Sunday. The Sunday flight was canceled and re-booked on Weds. I was going to go to the airport on Weds to try to fly standby, but the airport was closed, so I didn't. However, this is what happened: the NY flight couldn't land at Helsinki because it was closed, so it landed in an airport 200km north. The people were bused to the Helsinki airport. They picked up the Weds. Helsinki to NY people, bused them 2hrs north, loaded the plane with baggage and people, and then the pilot said they just closed that airport, so they unloaded and bused back to Helsinki, arriving at 1am. Glad I missed that! On Thurs. the Helsinki airport said it was closed until 11am. They canceled all morning flights. Then they said they would be open at noon, but the northern airport where our plane was, was closed, so no plane, and the Thursday morning NY to Helsinki plane never took off from JFK, because both Helsinki and the northern airport were closed. Finally at 9pm they opened the northern airport, the plane got to Helsinki at 10pm, we finally left at 11pm (supposed to be 2pm).

Lutz and Alexander,  3-4 days to reach Greifswald and Geneva

Alex and I [Lutz] had rebooked the Friday flights to Monday and Sunday, respectively. After these flight had also become obsolete we joined forces and traveled together: On Monday by bus to Rovaniemi, then night train to Helsinki. The first ferry available was departing on Wednesday late afternoon and we on Thursday in the evening at Travemünde/Germany. My wife came to pick me up, which were two three-hour rides for her (one for me), as there was no decent train connection to Greifswald at that time and we arrived that night at Greifswald. Alex arrived at Geneva on Friday early afternoon - after several changes of trains during the night.