It’s not every day you get to land on the surface of an erupting glacial volcano. When I did just that in 2010, on Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland, I was in the hands of a highly experienced helicopter pilot and a world renowned volcanologist (who refused to get out of the chopper, I might add).
That was just one of a series of surreal experiences in Iceland: the sky seeming to go from daylight to blackness in a matter of seconds, the nonchalance of residents who grew up in the shadow of active volcanoes and were a bit nonplussed by all the excitement. Icelanders always expected that at some point in their lives that one of the nearby peaks would start spewing lava. Most of the rest of us stood in amazement, while fliers in much of the world were grounded in frustration.
Three years later, I am still in touch with a wonderful Icelandic journalist, Bjorn, who keeps me apprised of any and all rumblings. The formidable Katla is due to blow after 95 quiet years, though if I learned anything in Iceland, it may be that using “formidable” to describe a volcano is often redundant.
"Flashback Friday” is a meander down memory lane of stories I’ve covered over the years that may just spark some memories of your own. My team has worked hard scouring our archives and we hope you like them. Tweet me at @jansingco and let us know what you think!