Saturday, May 22, 2010
24/365 Slight detour on the way home from England
Ring a bell?
How about the name Eyjafjallajökull? Rolls right off the tongue, doesn't it? Gotta love those Icelandic names.
My trip to the U.K. was originally scheduled for April 18-25. On April 14, this simply named volcano ramped up its current activity and caused a major disruption in European airspace. I'm not even sure "disruption" is a strong-enough word, but you get the idea.
Not surprisingly, the trip was postponed. We rescheduled for a couple weeks later, crossing our fingers that the eruption would have subsided enough by then that we'd have no trouble.
Our flight over to the U.K. was smooth as could be, and entirely uneventful. The trip back? A slightly different story.
We woke early on Sunday morning to prepare for a 9:30 a.m. flight out of Heathrow Airport in London. I checked our flight status online soon after waking and learned that our flight out was delayed by two hours. That delay alone spelled trouble for later in the day, when we were scheduled to make a connecting flight in New York.
The delay? Due to the increasing eruption of the volcano yet again. That volcano just wasn't going to let us get away without a fight.
Thankfully, our delayed flight made it out. We were holding our breath until we actually lifted off the runway. But the story didn't end there.
Because of that problematic ash cloud, our route changed. Instead of taking the most direct route across the Atlantic to New York, we had to instead fly north around Iceland. The detour added 60-90 minutes to the already long flight time. More trouble for making that connection in New York!
View Larger Map
The highlight of the flight was that we were actually able to peek out the left side of the plane and see the plume of ash over Iceland. It wasn't as dramatic as you'd hope, because we were still 150 miles north of it. The cloud from that distance basically just looked like a long, dark rain cloud.
The photo at the top of this post? The snowy mountains of Greenland. That's quite a detour, don't you think?
Camera: Canon PowerShot SD1000 at about 3:00 p.m.