NICK Alexander’s wife Emma was holidaying in Sharm-el-Sheikh, Egypt, last week when her grandfather suddenly died.
“Her grandpa died on the Thursday morning, just as the ash cloud was coming across Europe,” explained Nick, 42, who is originally from Manchester.
“But she managed to book the next flight to Cairo and then one on to Frankfurt.”
As mother-of-two Emma was in the air, all other flights in Europe were cancelled and she realised the only way out of Germany was by train.
She explained: “I knew I had to get back for my grandpa’s funeral and there was no way out of Frankfurt. I just sat and sobbed.”
She knew her only chance was either on or under the Channel – so she headed as far north as possible.
“Emma was determined to get back for the funeral so she took a train from Frankfurt to Cologne and then another one to Brussels,” said Nick.
In the meantime, he booked her on a ferry from Calais – and Emma persuaded a taxi driver in Brussels to take her there.
Nick, who had heard that Sea France weren’t taking foot passengers, drove from their home in Shenley, north London, to Dover so that he could take a ferry to Calais and collect Emma on the other side.
He said: “I literally drove off the ferry, picked up Emma and drove back on to the next ferry to England.”
Emma was travelling non-stop for 24 hours and the couple arrived back home at 5am — the funeral was at 10am.
Emma, 35, said she would never regret doing the journey because she wanted to be there for her grandpa.