Regular readers will have noticed that I have a bit of a travel habit. And my wife and I are currently in Tokyo. Our primary excuse for coming here was an SF convention (I was the foreign guest of honour), but you don't fly from Scotland to Japan for a long weekend without taking some extra time to poke your nose around.
Anyway, we were due to fly home tomorrow — Monday, on a long-haul from Narita to Paris Charles de Gaulle, then a connection back to Turnhouse (Edinburgh).
However. Airliners fly along great circle paths — the shortest route between any two points on a sphere — and the great circle between Narita and Paris CDG flies over the northern coast of Russia and then down the Baltic. Which is right in the middle of the ash plume venting from That Damned Volcano, aka EyjafjallajÃƒÂ¶kull.
And our flight home has just been cancelled (in the early hours of Sunday morning).
We're not in any immediate jeopardy. We've got travel insurance, sufficient money, and enough medication for an extra fortnight. However Tokyo is the most expensive city on the planet, so I think I'm going to be a bit busy today negotiating an extension at our hotel and doing some hasty planning.
The bad news is that the last time EyjafjallajÃƒÂ¶kull popped its top, in the 1820s, the initial eruption continued for six months. If that happens, we may be hitting the trans-Siberian express. Not to mention doing a whole lot less air travel this year ...
Finally got through to Air France, after a couple of hours of war-dialing. I'm now awaiting the arrival of an e-ticket with us re-booked on basically the same flights, departing next Sunday (i.e. six days late). I am hopeful, if not optimistic ...