I Got Stranded in Russia

Okay, I have to start by pointing out that I’m already an insanely unlucky person. I can’t even keep track of the times something quite unfortunate has happened to me, and I’ve been greeted by the response, “Oh. This has never happened before”.

I also have to point out that usually, I’d give myself a bit of leeway with a visa, just in case of a flight being delayed or cancelled, but I wasn’t able to in this instance, unfortunately.

So my flight from St Petersburg to London got cancelled 4 hours before departure, due to weather conditions at Heathrow – even though by the looks of things, no other airline had to cancel any Heathrow bound flights. Instead of trying to extend my visa and wait two days for the next BA flight, I booked a SAS flight at the cost of nearly £300 with a layover in Stockholm. This was the only flight combination that was available for me to get which would allow me to get back to London in time to get the last train back to Wales, which was where I was studying at the time.

Aside from a constantly crying baby, the flight from St Petersburg to Stockholm was pretty great; it was smooth and arrived ten minutes early. Stockholm also has a nice airport – aside from the extortionate prices charged for bottled water (which turned out to be sparkling in the end, which clearly meant it was undrinkable).

But then the flight from Stockholm to Heathrow was grounded for an hour as they deiced the plane. As every minute went by, I could feel the train slipping away from me (and the non-refundable train tickets as well). By the time we eventually landed at Heathrow, I had to buy a coach ticket to Chester and it was one of the most uncomfortable experiences of my life.

After a sleepless night on the coach, I then had to walk in the freezing cold to Chester train station at 5 o’clock in the morning to wait for the first train to North Wales. And let me tell you, most of Chester train station is open-air and it is really quite cold in December.

And that, my friends, was one of my better travel stories.

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