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Apr. 16 2010 - 8:01 am | 937 views | 0 recommendations | 1 comment

Actor John Cleese pays for $5,100 taxi during Icelandic ash madness

John Cleese in May 2008.

Image via Wikipedia

Much of Europe’s air traffic has been slammed to a halt in this week thanks to the apocalypse caused by Icelandic volcanic ash covering the friendly skies. Thousands of passengers have been stranded after airports were forced to cancel flights all over the U.K., Ireland and more recently France last night. The problems have been carried by the wind to other parts of Northern and Western Europe as well, and it’s not known when the danger will finally clear up.

There are alternative methods of travel, namely ferries and trains. But as I stood at Paris’ Gare du Nord station yesterday, the latter option must have been crossed out for a considerable many as all Eurostar trains were booked for the next two days. (I’m only thankful that I flew from Northern Europe to Paris-CDG two days before this madness erupted. Pardon the pun.) And while they might be slow, even ferries have seen a sudden spike in traffic, taking on record amounts of passengers.

Those with more pocket change have taken alternative, and definitely more expensive, modes of transportation while trying to get around this mess. For instance, British actor John Cleese reportedly paid $5,100 for a taxi from Oslo, Norway to Brussels, Belgium. That’s approximately 675 miles (or 1,086 kilometers, given that this took place in Europe). Incredible. Must have been quite a road trip for the cab driver, but at least they made it a carpool. If it was fun enough, I can just picture it being made into a movie right now…


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    I'm a freelance journalist based in northern France, covering business, technology and travel. I've worked for The Business Insider, FastCompany.com, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State, and had clips & photos published in the New York Daily News, MainStreet.com, and Irish America Magazine, among others. Before that, I obtained a B.A. in Mass Communications and History from the University of California, Berkeley and a M.S. in Journalism from Columbia University, where I served as art director for the student magazine, Plated. I also currently cover digital cameras and camcorders for ZDNet.

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