Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Suðurland, Iceland: Eyjafjallajökull

This family farm is greeted every morning with a spectacular view, but it comes with a price. There's a volcano lurking in those hills, and you never know when it might blow. The family has some bags packed at all times, just in case.

The people needed those bags in 2010, when Eyjafjallajökull did indeed erupt. A good amount of ash went into the air, messing up the world's air traffic system for a while. More immediately, the heat of the volcano melted part of the snow around it. That led to flooding, which rushed down the hills and through this property. You can imagine how much fun that is.

What do you do in such circumstances? Make the best of it. First you clean up, and the farmers of the area did that. Then, you open a tourist center. It took a year, but in 2011 the Þorvaldseyri Visitor Centre was ready to go. There's a 20-minute film on what happened that shows what took place on the mountain and on the farm. It's a good job that explains the situation well, and it worth the stop on the road. The Centre has a website.

Meanwhile, volanic eruptions are always fascinating to see ... on video.

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