Conran: Carry on around Europe; no planes, but plenty of trains and automobiles…Part 1

Well, thanks to that volcano, this year’s Milan Furniture Fair brought more adventure than most of our Conran staff out there had bargained for.

11 hour train journeys with no food or water, queues 4 hours long, 4 hour taxi journeys across borders…

Last week we introduced you to Conran and Company’s Head of Business Development, Lorraine Brennan. 2 days later than planned, she did better than most and is finally back in the UK.

I have friends still stuck out in Milan. It was absolute mayhem, but at least it was very stylish design led mayhem!

As soon as we found out about the flight ban we immediately booked another hotel for an extra night. Prices were just going up and up. The train station was chaos, Italian style. We tried to hire a car but there were none available and as well as that they had put an embargo on any hire cars leaving the country. In the end we seriously haggled with a very charming cab driver to drive us to France.

With the exception of reversing down the motorway at high speed as well as u-turning in front of three lanes of  on-coming traffic he was fantastic. We shared hairbo’s, stories and some driving tips.

It took 4 hours to get to Nice and then the queues at the station were incroyable! We were told….

aucuns trains à Paris – no tickets, no trains, no way.

We said bouf! to that, threw caution to the wind and bunked on the next train anyway……………

11 and a half bone rattling hours later we arrived at Gard du Nord. Another queue incroyable et aucuns trains à Londres, until Wednesday.

By this time we had nothing to lose and we wanted to get home! Ignoring all the announcements saying there were no tickets left we waited in line onland were finally told we could get on the next train leaving at 1.40 that afternoon, so we managed to get two tickets on the next Eurostar out of Paris. Jammy.

Photos to follow…!

We’re going to let Lorraine have a breather and hear more about the actual show in a couple of days time.

The continued fine Spring weather may mean cancelled flights and travel mayhem throughout Europe but, on a lighter note, does mean the rooftop at Boundary which has just reopened for the Summer months is nice and warm, the perfect place to enjoy the sunshine and those fine volcanic-ash sunsets!

Better than a European getaway!


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