Go to Iceland for the Fireworks (Just Avoid the Volcano Smoke)

7 years ago

WOW! The planet is showing us who's boss, that's for sure. The global web of airplanes has been brought to a halt because of a volcanic outburst in Iceland.

Chaos is reigning across Western Europe [today], with hundreds of flights canceled due to volcanic ash sweeping across the continent. The pulverized rock and glass from the Icelandic Eyjafjallajokull glacier volcano is harmful to the engines of airplanes, apparently. -- Gizmodo

(Go on, for fun, say the name of that volcano out loud: Eyjafjallajokull.) WOW!

Image: Hello, I am Bruce

Flickr has a breathtaking selection of photos up, and the Yahoo Editor's Picks team that put these images together reminds us to keep things in perspective by describing the eruption as resulting in:

...dangerous amounts of volcanic ash in the sky, huge headaches for travelers, and, it should be stated, unexpected beauty.

Just in case you're hosed because of the flight chaos, take a deep breath, make another cup of coffee, find a comfy chair, and call your airlines. Be prepared to wait. Remember, you're not the only one who had their travel plans thrown off kilter by ... WOW, A VOLCANO! WOW!

Smoke billows from a volcano in Eyjafjallajokull

The only reference I have for Iceland as a travel destination is from an odd little movie called Cold Fever, in which a Japanese man goes to perform last rites for his parents, who died while traveling there. That and those famous hot springs heated by, WOW! A VOLCANO!

Visiting Iceland feels, when I consider it as a destination, like visiting another planet. Nothing I've discovered since looking into the idea of Iceland has made it seem any less other-worldly. Weird food, special outfits, mythical creatures, and legendary personalities. Plus, WOW! A VOLCANO!

The Icelandic people became adept at preserving fish for the cold and dark winter months by drying and curing it. They stretched meat by making the most of every bit of the carcass. Singed sheep’s head stew is a particularly traditional delicacy which can still be found in some Icelandic restaurants today. These traditional Icelandic methods of preserving and making the most of every scrap of available bit of food have become gourmet dishes today. -- Suite 101

Financial collapse. A belief in elves and a delicacy of rotten shark. Volcanic eruptions. Sure, these are all things you may have head about in association with Iceland. But I know what you what you really want to learn about ... the Reykjavik rúntur.-- The Reykjavik Runtur

It takes just over an hour by skidoo, speeding across the bumpy, barren landscape in search of the place where the land splits and Iceland’s innards bubble up to the surface in the first volcanic activity on the glacier for 200 years.

Donning a thermal boiler suit to cope with temperatures that can dip as low as -25C on the glacier, I joined the curious travellers hurriedly booking trips to the volcano. Predicted to last just several weeks, people are booking fast, although a fresh eruption just yesterday seems to indicate the volcano will not become dormant too soon. -- Daily Mail

A stone near the parking area remembers Sigriour Tomasdottir, a farmer's daughter who lived on the nearby farm Brattholt. Private plans had been drawn up to damn the Hvita river at Gullfoss for hydroelectric project, but Sigriour walked to Reykjavik to protest to the government and even announced that she would fling herself into the falls if construction went ahead. The government instead bought the falls and made them a nation monument.

Playing poker with Sigriour would not have been profitable… -- Iceland 2009

One of the most popular attractions of Iceland, this waterfall is a two-tiered drop. The first tier is a 14-meter plunge through the washing-machine style rapids. The second tier is an 18-meter majestic drop -- seemingly into nothingness. Gullfoss is a unique waterfall in that it appears and disappears out of nowhere. The fierce hissing of the rapids is the only indication that you are near a waterfall.

The scene is just out of this world. -- Samuel

Iceland hasn't been on my radar as a destination because it seems like a hard place to be a (mostly) vegetarian -- those Northern climes are all about the meat -- and because living in the Pacific Northwest, as I do, I'm drawn to warmer destinations. But seeing the photos of that spectacular volcano, watching the heart of that tiny icy place bring the planet to a halt, and poking around the photos of some truly breathtaking landscape has turned my curiosity towards the Land of Fire and Ice. Plus, WOW! How about that VOLCANO? Seriously, I know it's a huge hassle for lots of travelers, but WOW!

Nerd's Eye View

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