Friday, April 16, 2010

Eyjafjallajoekull: Europe, You are Grounded!

Hope you're not on your way to Europe (well, trying to get to Europe) or in Europe trying to get home, or on some vacation where you had planned to fly around Europe. The huge volcanic ash cloud from Eyjafjallajoekull, otherwise known as the unpronounceable Icelandic volcano, is wreaking real havoc in European airspace and on travelers worldwide. BBC online has a number of stories of affected passengers, and Eurostar, the high speed train between London to Paris is warning travelers not even to come to the station unless you have a confirmed reservation. Twenty-five French airports were closed on Friday, and of course there is a French train strike. At the German Bahn, Lufthansa passengers can use their plane tickets to travel by train. Think you can get around Europe by ferry? At P&O they can't take any walk-on passengers until next Wednesday.

Jens Stoltenberg is governing Norway remotely from New York using his new iPad, and Angela Merkel is governing Germany from Portugal: both are stuck. The Queen of Norway celebrated her 70th, and it almost was a party where no one came.

If you're affected, you might enjoy seeing this data showing carbon emissons from the volcano are far less than the cancelled plane flights. As for me, I was hoping to go to Europe this April--and toyed with the idea of finally seeing Iceland. Unfortunately, my plans were rudely interrupted by the recession. Since today was the day that I was thinking of leaving, and given my fondness for prepaid hotels, perhaps it has worked out for the best after all.


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