Monday, April 19, 2010
We learned about the volcanic eruption in Iceland the day after it occurred from a British couple while in Annecy (later in the trip I'm currently blogging about a week after). We were having dinner on the last night of our French Spring Break when conversation kind of just began with a lovely pair of travelers, and they asked if we'd be affected by the ash, being obvious vacationers.
The ash? I had no idea what they were talking about.
And that's when they told us about the enormous plume of ash rising from this still erupting volcano, and the airspace that had become compromised by its presence. Flights were being canceled, airplanes grounded and people stranded, in the UK and creeping across northern Europe.
Today was everyone's first day back to school after Spring Break where I work, and 22 teachers in the elementary school were out. Eighteen high school teachers were also out, as well as a host of students. Where was everyone? Stranded. Everywhere from the States to Ireland, Turkey to China, people are waiting for the okay that it's safe to fly back home. Some people were closed enough to finagle their ways onto ferries and trains to make it back home, but even those are overbooked and chaotic. It's crazy, and no one can say for sure when the volcano will calm and the ash, settle. I'm just hoping they don't risk it and fly too soon anywhere. I'm also hoping this clears up soon so we can start planning summer trips.
So if you're living in Europe and you're home, be thankful you're not stranded somewhere. And if you're stranded, be glad you were asked to wait instead of riding on a plane with engines clogged with rock and glass ash. This too shall pass...let's just hope it does so quickly.