This article from the Nepali Times, http://bit.ly/18FMedT, highlights the recent airport closure that caused over 80,000 people to be stranded. We were among them and I wanted to share our experience with you. Practicing the fine art of patience. We woke up early on Wednesday morning, hoping that the rain of the past 2 days had stopped long enough for us to go up to Sarangkot, to see the sunrise over the Annapurna’s in the Himalaya Mountains. The weather was clear and the view was amazing. It was an experience that will not be forgotten. As we gathered our belongings to head to the small Pokhara airport Pam D heard about an “incident” at the Kathmandu airport. A Turkish Airline jet had missed the runway in dense fog and landed in a grassy ditch adjacent to the runway. The wings of the plane were partially blocking the runway that is used for the larger planes and therefore the international airport was closed. We sat in the Pokhara airport for over an hour before we were told that our flight to Kathmandu had also been cancelled. “What to do?” Should we plan for a flight in the morning or take a van to Kathmandu tonight? We decided to stay one more night in Pokhara and take the chance of catching a flight the following morning. The Hotel Travel Inn once again was able to accommodate us all. We booked flights for the following morning and headed off to do some more shopping before dinner at “Moondance.” Thursday morning we were able to fly to Kathmandu on a smaller Buddha Air plane and as we landed we saw the disabled Turkish Airline plane sitting where it had landed the day before. The international airport was closed and it was the Holi Holiday celebration. We asked about the airport when we arrived at the Yak & Yeti and were told that it was to open in the evening. However, the evening came and went without the airport opening. On Friday morning, after a call from Ramesh, our Nepali friend, letting us know that the airport was still not open, we walked to the China Southern Airlines office to figure out “what to do.” Thankfully we were one of the first people to arrive at the office and I was able to get all 6 of us on a flight on Sunday morning, going through Guangzhou, China and on to Los Angeles. As we stood in the China Southern Airlines office for close to 2 hours we saw some very frustrated people begin to emerge from the crowd. I took a risk, as I have been in this situation before in San Francisco. We were flying home the day after the Asiana Air plane crash on the SFO runway in 2013 and saw how that situation was handled in a much larger airport in a country with the infrastructure to move things along quickly and hoped that this airline would handle things similarily. Booking us on the Sunday Morning flight was a gamble. If the airport opened early, we would not be in the que with everyone else who’s flights had been cancelled, but if the airport did not open by Sunday morning we would be at the end of the line of people trying to get on planes when the airport did open. The only way out of Nepal at this point was to drive to the Indian border, 8-10 hours on a bad road, and take the train or bus (not safe) for 24 hours to Deli. Either way we would not be home for several days! We spent the next several days enjoying Kathmandu and putting some much needed dollars into the Nepali economy. The airport opened late Saturday evening and was going to remain open around the clock until operations returned to normal. We headed to the airport with the reassurance that everything was going smoothly, but soon found out differently. I don’t think anyone in our van thought that it would be an easy task to get through the lines, but we also were not fully prepared for the crazy chaos that awaited us. It is hard to describe the line to just get in the door as people from all over the world pushed and shoved just to reach the entrance. It took us close to an hour to get inside the door at the airport! One hour of fighting to keep our place in line. The police did not have control of the situation at all and I was mad at myself for the shopping that we did on the last few days as everything was just too much to carry through the crowd. We waited in a very busy and disorganized departure hall of the airport and were surrounded by many frustrated people. Our 22 hour journey was just beginning but we were among the lucky people who were among the first to leave. I later read that planes circled for hours waiting for a chance to land as the Kathmandu airport is small and does not have the capacity to handle the influx of passengers that the Turkish Airline crash created.