Thursday, April 29, 2010
Worse places to be stuck than Prague of course but hard to enjoy the extra week with little info and the need to be constantly in touch with/visiting - airline – airport -or agent. So-o many people having such hard times with the urgent need to return home, lack of ready money, small children, lack of medication sorely needed. Huge community effort by everyone trying to help each other out – I babysat a 10 month old several times whilst his parents (self-employed with an urgent need to return to Denmark for business reasons) trawled the internet and local travel agents for a means of travel that would cause their child the least distress and in return they found an itinerary to get me and my colleagues back to the UK (1 bus and 4 trains - Hoorah!) as our ‘lift’ with some other Brits fell through. I’m sure everyone knows how difficult it was to get transport over land and sea in the first few days and the uncertainty as to how long it would all last was deeply distressing for some. Should we take our luggage and see what we could get at the arport? Means checking out – will we get back in somewhere?
A Russian couple and their 9-yr old daughter arrived in the hotel after travelling from Moscow by TAXI!! They weren’t forthcoming about their story and were busy making more plans to move on so I’ll never know what was so urgent.
Fortunately my hotel was paid by the organisation I was working for so I had no real financial worries apart from food. Not only a financial worry I have to say - think need for comfort and all those delicious Czech dumplings to satisfy it!!! Weight gain damage to repair now – hey ho!!
We encountered nothing but help and sympathy from the very kind Czechs eager to advise us on routes home, sightseeing ideas to fill our time and help with their very difficult language. Myself and my colleagues managed to do something pleasant every day at some point – 8 km walk by the beautiful Vlatva River thro damp woods was particularly memorable as was a visit to a castle in Melnik – now a vineyard – about 50 miles outside Prague. It was also a chance to get to know less obvious but very beautiful buildings in a city I have known and loved for some time in greater depth. Can’t be bad!
I was one of the lucky ones.