Blog: Leonie BarrieThe ash dash

Leonie Barrie | 21 April 2010

As the skies over Europe start to open up again and the gloom that accompanied the cloud of volcanic ash from Iceland begins to dissipate, tales of resourcefulness in the face of adversity are what we're going to remember.

Stuck here in New York after what was just meant to be a weekend break, there have been few options for getting back to the UK other than boarding the QE2 or diverting to Spain and, believe me, I've considered both. There's nothing more frustrating than sitting back and waiting for something, anything to happen, and it's easy to understand why people have embarked on mammoth journeys to get home by whatever means possible. I bet we've all watched with admiration as they've traversed Europe by hire car, coach, taxi and train before making the final leg across the channel by warship, cruise liner and even a flotilla of speedboats from Calais.

And of course the prospect of being stranded in a hotel or airport for days on end isn't just restricted to the masses. Remember the Norwegian prime minister running his government remotely via an iPad after being stuck in New York? And actor John Cleese $5,000 taxi from Oslo to Brussels? But one less well-documented journey was that made by the founder of the fast-fashion chain Primark. According to The Telegraph, the chain's "secretive and elusive" boss, Arthur Ryan was forced to take a coach for the long ride from Malaga to Calais. Even a multi-millionaire can't thrash the ash.

Arthur Ryan takes a volcanic coach trip


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