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Escape from Munich – Under a cloud


It was nothing more than a routine business trip to Munich. Three days using the services of our efficient friends at Easyjet and regular hosts – Holidayinn. All was going to plan and after a night out we thought the plan was pretty good! I recomend the happy hour here


But did we miss the Ash clouds gathering? or was it just an illusion…

Either way it all seemed ok until we get the call. UK Airspace is closed! Well naturally we ignored this until around 4pm on Thursday 15th April. Then as we started to look into how to get home we discovered how many others were doing the same. The Eurostar website seemed to let you believe it had spaces left from Brussels to London but as you went for the book your selection now, it failed and took you back to the menu! Trains had the same problem so we started to look at cars €1700 to hire a car to the UK but then no means to book a crossing! €450 to hire a car to Calais or €250 to hire a car to Brussels. Decisions!

We decided the best option was the central train station. The Hauptbahnhof. We could either book the right train or hire a car directly. A short train journey and we would soon know…

All 4 main car ire companies just shook their heads. No cars! Europcar had a Fiat Punto! not really enough for 4 plus luggage! Did they have 2 cars? well… no they didnt really want to help as the mere mention of driving 1000KM to Calais made them through their hands up in extra costs que es cialis and trouble!. Ok time to try Deutsche Bahn. Take a ticket and wait a while. actualy 40 others in the queue in front! But eventually we were served. ‘We would like to get to London please?” A wry smile and some intense key tapping… Ok. Friday evening fast train to Paris. Stay overnight and the Calais for 11:00. Hmm that meant a night in Munich and a night in Paris then a crossing. €220 each plus 2 nights hotels. Slight improvement if using the overnight train to Paris instead as this meant we sleep on the train and not in a Paris hotel. Same price.

Meanwhile we had split up and the others went to a different hire car centre. Only to return after the assistant could only swear and complain that we were causing her trouble! It was decided to once again go to the Europcar desk at the Hauptbahnhof and see if they would ring round thier depots for us. Success! A 30 minute taxi ride and we were handed the keys to a brand new Zafira. Only 4km on the mileometer. 

We set off slowly at first and stopped at Dachau for a MacDonalds. It was sometime after 9pm when we finally started the long drive, some 5 hours after we started to work out our return. The route i took is one i know quite well from previous trips and goes something like this…

Stuttgart, Direction Karlsruhe, Towards Strassbourg, Metz then up to Luxembourg, Into Belgium, Left at Namur towards Tournai and Lille, Dunkirk and then Calais. 1000KM more or less. Arriving shortly before 07:30. A quick look around found the Sea France Ferry was allowing foot passenger for €50 and it sailed at 10:15. Just time for a coffee and a rest before queuing to board. No maps or GPS were used in the journey.

We met others who had also travelled some distance. One guy had flown from Rome to Paris and then driven to Calais. Another pair had also driven from Munich. However, this took them 14 hours as they has a Smart convertible! They also had to change it at Paris. Needless to say they were first at the bar on the Ferry… 

The route looks like this…

We have a Ferry and the Programme Manager is smiling…

and im ready for a snooze! and a shave. Must be the €50 price for the crossing making me smile.

The white cliffs of Dover were a welcome sight!


How fresh we look 😉


Once again it was another hire car. This time rustled up by the office. As ever someone is working on Powerpoint…


 Before the final push into the UK. Firstly via Heathrow, Then via Stansted and finally for me Northampton. Leaving poor Ray to catch the train to Birmingham and then drive home to Daventry…

We still have one member of the crew who is still trying to escape and he is now apparently working in the Holidayinn as an American tour guide and stsand up comic to help pay his way.


4 comments to Escape from Munich – Under a cloud

  • Frank Fender

    Nice adventure. Great pics of the Glockenspiel.

  • admin0

    Courtesy of one of the group with an Iphone and a panaorama application.

  • Dominic Serra

    No truer a story told. I watched as they scrambled. Not sure if I would ever see them again, I bid them God Speed! As for the comic? I myself caught the last plan out of Munich, I called the comic and said this is our break! From Munich to Zurich, then to Boston….then home. He said, I wait till the morning. Sadly he finally got what he always wished for, he became “the last comic standing.”

  • Peter Greco

    My trip to Munich was extended for a full week thanks to the volcano. Most days I would work from 7:30 local time until noon when I would go for a wolk down to the square, stop into church to pray for a flight the next day, and then walk back. Then work until 6:00 and go to a restaurant for dinner. Since Raymundo taught me how to pronounce Schweine hoxen, I ordered that the first three days, but once I started to snort involuntarily I decided to switch cuisine. Most Bizarre? ordering Chinese food. The waitress didn’t speak German or English. I tried to guess from the pictures on the menu, but everything looked like Weiner Schnitzel with a side of rice, so I tried reading the menu, which was in sort of a Chinese words written with the Western Alphabet, and ordered the thing to pronounce,
    pigs knuckles

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