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Eyjafjallajökull - 10 years later

Looking back on a volcanic eruption, a financial collapse and what now seems to have been a teeny tiny bit of travel restrictions.

May 20, 2020

Eyjafjallajökull - 10 years later

Looking back on a volcanic eruption, a financial collapse and what now seems to have been a teeny tiny bit of travel restrictions.

May 20, 2020

March 20th 2020 marked the 10-year anniversary of the fateful Eyjafjallajökull eruption in Iceland. Icelandic volcanoes erupt regularly, most often with minimal effects, but this one was notable for a few reasons. While it was by all measures a rather small eruption, it caused global air travel disruptions. It also started a wave of news reporters worldwide trying to pronounce this illegible Icelandic word and a lot of people remember this event for the pronunciation efforts on one hand and the cascade of travel troubles it caused on the other.

A little 21st century context

To put this event into context, Iceland was knee-deep in its rather humiliating share of the aftermaths of the global financial crisis of 2008. Icelandic bankers had gone from heroic financial Vikings who stormed larger nations on the continent with their excellent investment options and superhuman money making abilities, to criminals who had stolen people’s hard-earned pension funds and spent it all on yachts in tax havens.
The bank collapse caused the entire nation to take a good, hard look in the mirror. So, when Eyjafjallajökull erupted, spreading huge clouds of ash into the atmosphere, grounding airplanes and stranding travellers all over the world, Iceland’s ego was already suffering. Blaming an unpronounceable volcano for your troubles is kind of hard when you’re upset so news reports of people cursing Iceland for ruining their travel plans became a thing. This added insult to injury and the national psyche suffered repeated blows. Only a month later, on April 12th to be precise, the national parliament released its investigation report into the antecedents and causes of the collapse of the Icelandic Banks in 2008. It was a detailed white book of what went wrong, that surprisingly didn’t hold any punches and seemingly spared no one. Bankers and politicians were subsequently charged and tried for fraud and negligence and Iceland became the poster child for how to deal with corruption and lack of authoritative responsibility.

From ashes to a thriving industry

And Iceland didn’t just rise from the ashes of a financial collapse but also the literal ashes of its notorious volcano. The ash cloud that stopped air travel all over Europe for three days, wreaked havoc in Iceland for months, even years after the eruption. Worst hit were the farms nestled under the volcano. Black fields, ash-covered livestock and thick fogs of ash that covered the area in darkness, drove some to abandon their family farms for good. Others remained to battle out these immense national forces and sometimes had to turn away the crowds of volunteers who came from all over the country to help clean sheep, wash walls and sweep roofs. As winds changed direction, new areas were covered in ash and after scraping ice off their cars all winter, Icelanders were now dealing with ash on their windshield. And their lawns. And pets. And everywhere. The ash literally blew over and with clever advertising and some serious effort, Iceland turned its terrible publicity into something of a marketing phenomenon. Iceland suddenly became everybody’s dream destination. On one hand, Eyjafjallajökull had placed Iceland on the map as actually not that remote as this volcano grounded people in their mainland airports. On the other, a global team of reporters were now covering the events on site which further emphasised the otherworldly beauty of this spectacular island. The backdrop of the eruption mixed with rather short and affordable flights to Iceland made the island a dreamlike yet tangible destination. And so, Iceland rose from its rather devastating blow at the beginning of the 21st century to actually winning the next round with its best weapon, its diverse and immense natural beauty.

Icelanders 101

Generalisations about nations are for the most part redundant and silly, but they can also hold some grain of truth. On that note, there is one thing Icelanders truly excel at: dealing with natural disasters. Faced with the most extreme natural elements, even the most jaded and bickering Icelanders can band together like one and unite in battle. As devastating as bad storms can be, it is truly heart-warming to see people rush to the aid of their neighbours, because in the end, we’re all in this together.

COVID-19

Now, Icelanders, like most of the world, are faced with a new challenge, a pandemic that has grinded the travel industry to a halt, an industry that drives a huge part of Iceland’s economy. The travel restrictions caused by Eyjafjallajökull eruption in 2010 seem laughable compared to what COVID-19 has caused and the financial ramifications are epic. The difference is that this time around, trust in authority is far greater and growing with the great success of Icelandic health authorities and the general population in battling the disease. As of April 20th 2020, more than 15% of the nation have been tested for the coronavirus, 3 are currently positive, 1,789 have been cured and 10 are deceased. Icelanders seem to have managed to tackle this pandemic much like they would any other natural disaster, by uniting and conforming for the greater good.

We are therefore quite optimistic and looking forward to June 15th, when we can start welcoming our guests back to our beautiful island.

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Fáðu innblástur! Upplýsingar og góð ráð, áhugaverðir áfangastaðir, skemmtilegar staðreyndar og margt fleira.

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Eyjafjallajökull - 10 years later

Looking back on a volcanic eruption, a financial collapse and what now seems to have been a teeny tiny bit of travel restrictions.

May 20, 2020

Eyjafjallajökull - 10 years later

Looking back on a volcanic eruption, a financial collapse and what now seems to have been a teeny tiny bit of travel restrictions.

May 20, 2020

March 20th 2020 marked the 10-year anniversary of the fateful Eyjafjallajökull eruption in Iceland. Icelandic volcanoes erupt regularly, most often with minimal effects, but this one was notable for a few reasons. While it was by all measures a rather small eruption, it caused global air travel disruptions. It also started a wave of news reporters worldwide trying to pronounce this illegible Icelandic word and a lot of people remember this event for the pronunciation efforts on one hand and the cascade of travel troubles it caused on the other.

A little 21st century context

To put this event into context, Iceland was knee-deep in its rather humiliating share of the aftermaths of the global financial crisis of 2008. Icelandic bankers had gone from heroic financial Vikings who stormed larger nations on the continent with their excellent investment options and superhuman money making abilities, to criminals who had stolen people’s hard-earned pension funds and spent it all on yachts in tax havens.
The bank collapse caused the entire nation to take a good, hard look in the mirror. So, when Eyjafjallajökull erupted, spreading huge clouds of ash into the atmosphere, grounding airplanes and stranding travellers all over the world, Iceland’s ego was already suffering. Blaming an unpronounceable volcano for your troubles is kind of hard when you’re upset so news reports of people cursing Iceland for ruining their travel plans became a thing. This added insult to injury and the national psyche suffered repeated blows. Only a month later, on April 12th to be precise, the national parliament released its investigation report into the antecedents and causes of the collapse of the Icelandic Banks in 2008. It was a detailed white book of what went wrong, that surprisingly didn’t hold any punches and seemingly spared no one. Bankers and politicians were subsequently charged and tried for fraud and negligence and Iceland became the poster child for how to deal with corruption and lack of authoritative responsibility.

From ashes to a thriving industry

And Iceland didn’t just rise from the ashes of a financial collapse but also the literal ashes of its notorious volcano. The ash cloud that stopped air travel all over Europe for three days, wreaked havoc in Iceland for months, even years after the eruption. Worst hit were the farms nestled under the volcano. Black fields, ash-covered livestock and thick fogs of ash that covered the area in darkness, drove some to abandon their family farms for good. Others remained to battle out these immense national forces and sometimes had to turn away the crowds of volunteers who came from all over the country to help clean sheep, wash walls and sweep roofs. As winds changed direction, new areas were covered in ash and after scraping ice off their cars all winter, Icelanders were now dealing with ash on their windshield. And their lawns. And pets. And everywhere. The ash literally blew over and with clever advertising and some serious effort, Iceland turned its terrible publicity into something of a marketing phenomenon. Iceland suddenly became everybody’s dream destination. On one hand, Eyjafjallajökull had placed Iceland on the map as actually not that remote as this volcano grounded people in their mainland airports. On the other, a global team of reporters were now covering the events on site which further emphasised the otherworldly beauty of this spectacular island. The backdrop of the eruption mixed with rather short and affordable flights to Iceland made the island a dreamlike yet tangible destination. And so, Iceland rose from its rather devastating blow at the beginning of the 21st century to actually winning the next round with its best weapon, its diverse and immense natural beauty.

Icelanders 101

Generalisations about nations are for the most part redundant and silly, but they can also hold some grain of truth. On that note, there is one thing Icelanders truly excel at: dealing with natural disasters. Faced with the most extreme natural elements, even the most jaded and bickering Icelanders can band together like one and unite in battle. As devastating as bad storms can be, it is truly heart-warming to see people rush to the aid of their neighbours, because in the end, we’re all in this together.

COVID-19

Now, Icelanders, like most of the world, are faced with a new challenge, a pandemic that has grinded the travel industry to a halt, an industry that drives a huge part of Iceland’s economy. The travel restrictions caused by Eyjafjallajökull eruption in 2010 seem laughable compared to what COVID-19 has caused and the financial ramifications are epic. The difference is that this time around, trust in authority is far greater and growing with the great success of Icelandic health authorities and the general population in battling the disease. As of April 20th 2020, more than 15% of the nation have been tested for the coronavirus, 3 are currently positive, 1,789 have been cured and 10 are deceased. Icelanders seem to have managed to tackle this pandemic much like they would any other natural disaster, by uniting and conforming for the greater good.

We are therefore quite optimistic and looking forward to June 15th, when we can start welcoming our guests back to our beautiful island.

eyjafjallajokull1
eyjafjallajokull-2
eyjafjallajokull

Blogg

Fáðu innblástur! Upplýsingar og góð ráð, áhugaverðir áfangastaðir, skemmtilegar staðreyndar og margt fleira.

What to do in Reykjavík

Things to do in Reykjavik

Lesa blogg