Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Around the volcano and home from US in 20 hours

"Sir, we advise you to not board this aircraft". The plane was ready for departure but the empty gate seemed to underline what the ground staff just said. All other flights to Europe were cancelled. And there are certainly worse places to be stranded than San Francisco in spring. After speaking at the MySQL Users Conference my already re-scheduled via Frankfurt in two days was likely to be cancelled again. I had to try something to avoid being stuck in US for days if not weeks.

7 hours later cold air streaming in through the front door welcomed me to Reykjavik. At departure time in US no onward flights were scheduled from there. Eyjafjallajökull (see picture) was still erupting sending its ashes to Europe. Rather than being stuck in US I could be easily stuck on Iceland. But I wanted to see my family. And I wanted to see the volcano.

By the time of my arrival on Iceland individual transfers to Northern Europe opened, I got a seat to Oslo and arrived at a deserted ghost airport. The only flight for the day would bring me there to my hometown Stockholm. The ground crew in US wished "Good Luck" when boarding. 20 hours later I had dinner with my family. 2 days ahead of schedule and no extra net travel time.