First Stop: Iceland

Here are a few items on my usual pre-vacation checklists:

1. Pack underwear

2. Bring passport

3. Make sure I am not flying into a volcano

Being a rather conscientious person, this system usually works well. But this time, somewhere between the underwear and the documentation, I forgot to check whether or not one of the many volcanoes in Iceland was about to blow. You know, before I bought tickets on Iceland Air.

Alas, the unpronounceable Eyjafjallajokull wasted no time in exploding. Which is unfortunate timing, because now Peter and I are the proud holders of two tickets to Paris, via Reykjavik, leaving next Friday.

But that’s no big deal, right? The volcano hasn’t been in the news for like, weeks — at least not since British Petroleum began pumping crude oil into the ocean and the European Union threatened to collapse. But that doesn’t mean the volcano’s calmed down. Far from it. Check out this photo of its ash plume:

The volcano — which actually just sits beneath the glacier known as Eyjafjallajokull (perhaps its anonymity is pissing it off) — shows no signs of abating, and in fact just shut down Reykjavik’s airport for the umpteenth time in the past few weeks. At the moment, it looks like we still will be able to fly into Iceland, on an overnight flight into a second airport, four hours away from Reykjavik. But getting out? Not so easy. As of today, all flights to Europe were cancelled.

This is going to be an interesting trip.

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