I had no idea when I left Venice’s Marco Polo airport that there was a violent storm sitting over the British Isles. Even when the captain told us that it would be a bumpy landing in Edinburgh, I thought nothing of it, and caught the airport bus to Waverley Station.
What greeted me there was a mass of people and a departures board with the word CANCELLED written across every section: in other words, no trains at all were running. What to do? I joined a lengthy queue at the one information point, but when I reached the front I was told that there was no information, and it might be as well to find a hotel for the night. Easier said than done. Of course everything I tried was fully booked, and to make matters worse the station closes overnight. I had visions of roaming the streets alone with nowhere to go.
Feeling hungry, I went into M&S for a sandwich and asked the boy on the till if he had any suggestions. “Why not try the LNER staff office round the corner?” What a godsend! I left the crowds milling around outside and was soon in the capable hands of Kevin Conroy who thought it would be a good idea to try the outlying villages for accommodation as there was nothing left in Edinburgh. Finally he found their last room in a pub in Currie, and told me how to find the taxi queue to get there.
It was miles away, but I had a warm welcome and a comfortable night, no thanks to the station who could have given support and help to the estimated 4,000 stranded passengers.