Somewhat surprisingly, I received a call yesterday from one of my old bosses at the Guardian, asking if I was free to do some reporting from Santander on the Cantabrian coast. With British airspace closed since before the weekend due to the Icelandic volcanic explosion, thousands of holidaymakers have been stranded in Spain for days trying to find a way back home. Many hundreds found a stand-by place on the Pont Aven, a ferry which left Santander last night bound for Portsmouth.
Stragglers continued to trickle in even after the ship had left harbour. One man I spoke to had been stuck in Málaga since Thursday. He had driven 12 hours hoping to get yesterday’s ferry but missed it by minutes. Santander is such a beautiful city that – though I didn’t tell him at the time – it seemed like a blessing in disguise. He’ll be able to enjoy its not inconsiderable charms today while waiting for the next sailing tomorrow.
The report I contributed to is here. I only had time to snatch a couple of quick pictures as I had to file my copy to the paper. Note to self: go back to Santander soon.