Wednesday 28 June 2017

Travellers weary after taking the long way home

Patricia McDonagh

Ukraine

John McCabe and four of his friends paid two taxi drivers €2,000 to get to Amsterdam from Odessa in the Ukraine.

"We grabbed a taxi from Odessa to take us to the Polish border. The taxi driver didn't have a visa so we took another taxi. We were travelling for 37 hours."

Germany

Jonathan, from Waterford, was forced to take six trains, two ferries and a taxi costing €1,000 to get him from Dusseldorf in Germany to Calais in France.

"We were stranded after attending an exhibition. We left at 6am and we were travelling for 27 hours."

Spain

Philip Foster is facing a 22-hour car journey to get from Marbella in Spain to Cherbourg in France.

"There will be three of us in the car. We are going to drive up through Spain and France and hopefully get the ferry to Rosslare."

Twenty-seven teenagers from Belvedere College youth club are hoping to get a coach to Calais in France and then two ferries to get home from Madrid in Spain.

"Our flight was cancelled on Friday. We were told we wouldn't get home until April 26 if we waited for a plane. Everyone is very home sick," club leader Alex said.

Portugal

Eurovision winner Charlie McGettigan and 34 others were forced to pay €12,000 to hire a bus to get out of Lisbon in Portugal.

"We came on a short four-day break here and it was supposed to cost me just €500. But my flight on Friday was cancelled."

Singer Paddy Cole paid €4,000 to hire a bus to drive from Faro in Portugal to the ferry in Cherbourg, France.

"Myself and eight others hired a 16-seater coach. We just crossed over the border in France and we are hoping to get to the ferry."

Performer and singer Tony Kenny was left stranded in Faro, Portugal. His wife, Joan, is hoping to make it back to Ireland for a tribute concert to her mother, Billie Barry, on Monday.

"('Apprentice' star) Bill Cullen is down here as well and if he can't organise transport then it tells you how hard it is."

France

Eddie Bow got a bus to Cherbourg ferry port after he became stuck in Lourdes, France, with the International Hospital Federation.

"We had 74 people with us. Some of them were sick and old. We got a ferry and then a coach home."

Italy

Maire Lauren was left stranded in Pisa, Rome, after her flight was cancelled on Saturday. She had eloped to get married last Monday. She is getting a lift home from an obliging truck driver.

"I just want to get home now," she said.

Anne-Maire Hogan was forced to get a Eurostar bus from Rome to London after her flight was cancelled on Friday night.

"I rang the Irish embassy yesterday and an hour later a man called and there was a bus going today."

Irish Independent

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