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There are many exceptional travel tales being told by clients and Taxanders alike as delegates fought the volcanic ash cloud emanating from Iceland to get home. This year's Taxand Global Conference will not be forgotten in a hurry as tax issues continue to be hot in the face of scrutiny and travel tales reach unimaginable levels of absurdity!
NEWFLASH: Thursday 15 April 2010 - the Taxand 2010 Global Conference in full swing....
But...A volcanic eruption in the south western part of Iceland's Eyjafjallajoekull glacier has released a significant volume of ash into the air. Experts say the tiny particles of rock, glass and sand contained in the ash cloud could jam aircraft engines...
Friday 16 April 2010 - European airspace is closed!
Taxanders and clients around the world tell their tales on how the flight ban affected them and their journey home.
So you get a real feel for the events as they unfolded and the travel tales told thereafter we have quoted both Taxanders and clients to highlight the energy, determination and team efforts involved in your epic journeys home.
Taxand Argentina stayed another week
"I came back the following thursday, so no problem." Matias Olivero Vila
Taxand France hired a bus...
"The bus took 12 hours to arrive in Paris" Franck Llinas
"The trip back was a bit slow (we rented a bus and drove back the French team, clients and friends of clients, including a Doctor who was in Berin for a Congress). It was a 12 hour drive but real fun. I will remember the stop at a petrol station close to midnight in the midle of nowhere. We all invaded the station and tried to find something to eat. Eating a large German sausage was an experience and great fun. Thankfully we didn't leave anyone behind" Oliver Vergnoille
Hogarth PR faced public transport carnage
"When we arrived in Cologne we heard there had been a train crash. This created pandemonium at the station with passengers all fighting for seats on the few buses available. We finally managed to get on a bus to Belgium, stopped a night in a hotel before jumping aboard the Eurostar to get back to London on Sunday night." Barnaby Fry and Chris Matthews
Taxand Hungary enjoyed the German countryside
"Following the conference, on Saturday, my colleague and I travelled through half of Europe which was very entertaining - I haven't seen the pretty parts of Germany from so close. Was worth it for 12 hours of sightseeing!" Lilla Stricca
Taxand India divided and conquered
"We finally gave up on Berlin and travelled to Frankfurt for an overnight stay. We leave for Rome tomorrow to try our luck to get into Delhi via Aman, Jordan." Mukesh Butani
"Counsel from Rajeev prevailed and we just waited. The only adventures we had were in and around Berlin. Got back quite safe and easily in the end and loved the extra time in Berlin!" Abhishek Goenka
The International Tax Review took the scenic route
"We did 1200 miles on 8 trains in 16 hours, via Disneyland!" Oliver Watkins, ITR
Taxand Ireland were driven mad
After hiring a minibus it took the Irish team 38 straight hours of driving to get home!
Taxand Japan went home via Taxand France
"I travelled to Paris by train on 19 April as my flight to Japan was supposed to be leaving from Paris. As soon as I arrived in Paris, I went to Taxand France's office. They welcomed me and let me use an Partners' office who was on vacation. I was able to work there, as if I was in my own office for the following three days until I could catch a flight back to Japan. I felt at home thanks to courtesy of Taxand France." Eiki Kawakami
Taxand Luxembourg maximise the autobahn
"Best use of the absence of speedlimit on German highway. We reached the Burger King in Trier right on time for an early dinner on Saturday." Laurent Grencon
Taxand Malta took 3 days, 2 trains and 1 flight to get home
"I got home on Sunday afternoon after catching a train from Berlin on Friday evening and arriving in Zurich on Saturday at 0900hrs. It was an 11 hour journey. From Zurich I managed to find a train ticket to Rome via Milan although I almost lost the train in Milan station! This was another 8 hour journey. I slept one night in Rome and on Sunday got a flight from Fiumicino to Malta. It was quite an experience but tiring!" Walter Cutajar
Taxand Malaysia waited for chaos to subside
"I was rebooked on the KLM flight which left last Thursday evening and reached home on Friday evening. All is well now though." Veerinderjeet Singh
Taxand Client and husband raced home to look after 1 year old
"I was trapped in Berlin and my husband was trapped in Budapest, we have a baby, 1-year-old, who stayed in Madrid... and did not have anyone to stay with him for the weekend while we were returning.... I tried to catch a train... but they were all completely full until Monday. Finally, my husband was lucky to catch the last flight from Budapest before they completely closed the airport and our baby was in good hands at last. I had to return to Madrid by car with a pair of colleagues from Taxand, who have turned to be excellent travelling companions: we had hilarious chats during the driving... so not to bad!!!" Veronica Vinelli, Maxam
Taxand Mexico already had a holiday planned
"Fortunately, I had a vacation trip planned for the next week, so by the time I had to fly back home, flights were back to normal, so I stuck to my original itinerary." Manuel Tamez
Taxand Norway kept things simple
"Norwegians are always focused on doing things simple, which is why we simply rented a car and drove the 1200km back home to the outskirts of civilisation. Nothing really happened, as the Germans still make pretty good cars. This trip is similar to going to a party in the neighbouring valley in Norway, due to several reasons; it may quite often take some time to get back home." Harald Jahannessen
Taxand Romania made it a family affair
"We rented a car and drove from Berlin to Budapest (900 Km) and then my husband drove another 900 from Bucharest to Budapest to pick us up... all is well now!" Angela Rosca
The Spanish team hired a car and took the train
"Just 18 hours of fun by car and train from Berlin to Barcelona ...." Vicente Bootello
"I had to be in Barcelona on Saturday morning to celebrate the 50th aniversary of one of my best friends with a paintball game with dads/mums and sons followed by the lunch. I took the train to Berne hoping to catch direct train to Barcelona. However the train to Barcelona was fully booked. I headed to Geneva airport on another train to rent a car. Whilst on the train I made a new friend, a product manager who was also hurrying to Barcelona to his best friend's wedding. Turns out the guy works for one of my clients!! We shared a car and drove all night finally arriving in Barcelona at 9.30am. I raced home, took a shower and within an hour of arriving home I was out "shooting" my wife and friends in a paintball game!!" Albert Collado
Taxand Sweden suffered a pain in the neck
"Not really. We were lucky to get home at all, by train, ferry, train and finally a night bus which resulted in a painful neck as a great memory." Claes Nordmark
Taxand Client enjoys the ride
"Long train journey home - but I like trains." Chris Kelly, Tokyo Electron Europe Limited
Taxand Turkey takes 2.5 days to get home
"We looked at many different routes to get home and settled on Berlin to Budapest which took 12 hours by train. Arriving late in Budapest we queued past midnight for tickets to Brasov. We then stayed the night in Budapest before setting off for Brasov - another 12 hours travelling. In Brasov we stayed another night in a hotel. We were then picked up by a driver (and his girlfriend!) to take us to Istanbul in their car - another 12-14 hour drive. On the way we found out Bucharest airport was open so we diverted and luckily there was a flight at 10:30. We arrived at the airport at 10.20 and due to an hour delay we managed to find two tickets home! I had never been in my life so happy to sit in a plane before!!! Finally we arrived in Istanbul an unforgettable 2.5 days later." Uluc Ozcan
Taxand UK raced each other home
"I managed to get myself on the Eurostar. Total travel time from Berlin so far 23 hours including overnight stay in Brussels and a few beers in Paris. I think Shiv wins the prize having taken the ferry from Cherbourg." Jagdip Bharij
Berlin to Rotterdam to Brussels to Paris to London. Total time 26 hours.
"Just emerged from the tunnel into the UK! Total travel time so far 28 hours including overnight stay in Paris!" Marcus Nicolau
"All in all 10 hour train journey(s) from Berlin to Paris, overnight stay in Paris before travelling to Brussels to get the Eurostar to London. Then train to Stansted to pick up car - Total journey time 30 hours!" Marcus Nicolau
Taxand UK & Taxand Global Marketing dashed madly across 3 countries
"We got train from Berlin to Cologne ok but despite having 2 sets of tickets for 2 different trains they were totally overbooked so we ended up speeding in a taxi from Cologne to Brussels (ie. across 3 countries!). Running out of time two of us dashed to the station try and print our tickets asap. We made it into the Eurostar terminal with 10 minutes to spare!" Abbie Tarren
Taxand Ukraine managed to fly!
"I was lucky to catch Berlin - Kiev flight. Back in business!" Vladimir Didenko
Taxand US hired a mini bus and win the prize for the longest bus journey
The US team hired a mini bus, nick-named the "forever bus" to drive to Madrid...and ended up travelling 16 hours to Paris then onwards 17 hours to Madrid...all had flights out on Friday 23 April. What a journey!
Taxand Venezuela did planes, trains and automobiles...
"After 20 hours driving from Berlin to Barcelona I am on the high velocity train to Madrid." Manuel Candal