CORVID-19 turns Red Deer couple’s European vacation into an ordeal

Delburne-area couple Jim and Bev Wood now in 14-day self quarantine

Vacation turns into frustrating ordeal for Red Deer County mayor

Deserted Barcelona streets patrolled by police and frantic efforts to find a flight home became a Red Deer County couple’s European vacation memories.

Jim Wood and his wife, Bev, are now safely home on their farm near Delburne waiting out their 14-day self-quarantine.

It was quite an experience getting there.

Wood, who is Red Deer County’s mayor, said he and his wife went to France March 3 for what was supposed to be a three-week vacation and a visit to a real estate investment trade show in Cannes, France.

The trip started out OK. France had closed its museums and art galleries, but the restaurants were all open. They were to go to MIPIM, which bills itself as the world’s largest real estate event, but it was cancelled.

They went to Cannes anyway for a few days before heading to Barcelona.

“We arrived there and it was shutting down as we got there.”

They were booked into two hotels and by the time they got to the second one, two days after their arrival, they were warned the city was locking up tight.

“Every restaurant was closed. Every store was closed. The next morning, they said everything is shutting down, and by the next morning, it will be illegal to be on the street.”

Those found outside would be questioned by police.

Clearly, it was time to come home a week early.

That proved to be an ordeal. It was unclear which Canadian airports they could fly into. They wanted to avoid any U.S. connections for fear they would get stuck there.

Adding to the stress, he’d heard of an England-to-Spain flight that was turned back in mid-air because of new travel restrictions.

They eventually found a flight through Frankfurt and landed in Calgary last Monday. They had paid $400 each for two return tickets with WestJet. But the best they could find was an Air Canada flight that cost them $3,577 each.

Wood was not impressed.

“They took true advantage of all of our nice Canadians who needed to come home when told to by our government.”

He and his wife of 41 years will now spend the next two weeks ensuring they remain healthy. Both are feeling fine, he said.

“And we’re getting along good, too,” he said with a laugh.



pcowley@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Eighty-one homeless camps were removed from Red Deer’s woods so far this year

Parks workers are catching up after a six-week COVID-19-related lull

Salons busy: Red Deerians rushing to get their hair done

As Alberta is emerging slowly out of COVID-19 restrictions, many Red Deerians… Continue reading

Outgoing Red Deer Food Bank director recalls two decades of providing for a basic human need

Fred Scaife experienced many uplifting moments, along with daily stress

VIDEO: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

Alberta government website has latest COVID-19 statistics

Red Deer Advocate readers can stay up to date on the COVID-19… Continue reading

Drug trafficking charges laid in central Alberta investigation

Investigation included Ponoka, Brazeau, Leduc counties

Political parties don’t need COVID cash

The least essential service throughout the pandemic has been politics — which… Continue reading

Whitecaps ‘keeper Maxime Crepeau dreaming about being back on the soccer pitch

It’s been 80 days since the Vancouver Whitecaps last saw action, so… Continue reading

David Marsden: Jason Kenney is all hat, no cattle

There are few character failings more unappealing than those of people who… Continue reading

Montreal Impact allowed to train individually at Centre Nutrilait

MONTREAL — The Montreal Impact are giving their first-team players access to… Continue reading

Black Crowes, the Trews among artists in Budweiser Stage at Home TV concerts

TORONTO — Live Nation Canada and Budweiser are launching a weekly, one-hour… Continue reading

Most Read