With all of the disruptions to travel caused by the eruption of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano over the past week, online forums and social networking sites have been buzzing with news updates, many stunning photos, and tales of closed airports, separated families, vacations plans gone awry, and generous strangers coming to the aid of stranded travelers.
The community on Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree travel forum, as well as the communities on the Lonely Planet Facebook page and on Twitter, have been busy posting the latest updates and sharing their own tales — we’ve compiled some of the best contributions below.
Volcano buzz on the Thorn Tree travel forum:
Volcano refugee network — Are you stranded and want to share a ride or room? Do you want to let a stranded traveler crash on your couch for a day or two? Have a tip to share? Join the Volcano refugee network on the Thorn Tree travel forum.
Eyjafjallajökull? Say that again? — Have you been saying ‘that Icelandic volcano’ instead of attempting to pronounce (or spell) ‘Eyjafjallajökull’? You’re not alone, and some linguistically inclined travelers on Thorn Tree have tried to tackle the tongue-twister. Repeat after me: Ey-ya-fyat-la-yokut. Now say that five times fast.
Help, I’m stuck in the US! — Should I buy a boat?
What travelers on Facebook and Twitter are saying:
Always look on the bright side of massive volcanic ash clouds:
Term started today in Oxford, and I’m stuck in Vienna. Cruel irony, I took a nap in the sun today, a feat not possible in Oxford.
– @traveling_girl on Twitter
– Enid A. on Facebook
Been rebooked on next available flight home. It’s in two weeks. Time to enjoy Thailand some more!
– @Dren_Ramone on Twitter
My husband is stuck in Munich Airport since friday… lucky him, it’s one of the best airports!! At least, he could take a shower!!!
– Ceci M. on Facebook
Wow! I was thinking about visiting Iceland before this and now I REALLY want to visit. Thanks for the volcano action Iceland!
– Sebastian K. on Facebook
Well the ashes here in London create a beautiful (pale) lilac sunset! So enjoy the beauty of it if you can…
– Anna T. on Facebook
Best laid plans:
Missed my own birthday party. rescheduling still uncertain, have been on hold with airline for days.
– @susan_m_b on Twitter
A friend of mine has wanted to go to Rome all her life. Got it as a present for her 30th birthday. Now cancelled due to ash. Too sad!
– @walking_tour on Twitter
Missing Norway’s most eccentric man’s 66th birthday due to Icelandic volcanic ash
– @Kristoffer_Hy on Twitter
My dad is stranded in New York for a minimum of 8 extra days. He doesn’t have enough money for this!
– @SadieGeoghegan on Twitter
– Aude P. on Facebook
Planes, trains, and automobiles:
Cologne to London: 4 train, 2 taxis, 1 ferry, 16 hours, €500 and a hire car which has to be repatriated to France by tomorrow
– @bsmart on Twitter
4hr in-flight delay @ JFK, then 8hr wait for Cancun-Cuba connection, finally land in Havana 17hrs after first boarding
– @minipei on Twitter
Cancelled train from Berlin to Freiburg….3 trains – squatting room only, ipod-less, food-less, language-less, plenty of time.
– @stewartkim_ on Twitter
There is one really annoying issue: you can rebook most tickets only on the phone. I’ve spent already 7 hours on hold
– @SmelloftheMoon on Twitter
Eurolines bus Berlin-Amsterdam then another bus -London, 1 hr spare for connection, at least on the move (be it slowly as 22 hr ride)
– @edentravels on Twitter
Tips and assistance:
Devastating, anxiety-inducing, expensive. Must have: Sudoku, magazine, novel, coffee and the virtue of patience.
– @TLC_Designs on Twitter
Anyone stuck mid-travel because of this, I implore you: please be extra nice to your airline customer service agent. My cousin works for an airline call center and has been on the receiving end of angry phone calls all day. My cousin is a really amazing and creative person, but she is NOT capable of causing a volcanic eruption. Keep this in mind when dealing with your fellow beings: it’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice.
– Melanie R. on Facebook
Stranded in NZ? Go to FB page Stranded In New Zealand. Kiwis are a generous lot and many are opening their homes to stranded travellers FOC! What are others around the World doing to help? :o)
– Paula H. on Facebook
Stranded in Orlando, FL? Sea World and Bush Gardens are giving away free tickets to the park if you can produce an airline ticket for Europe.
– Deborah S. on Facebook
A little volcano humor erupts on Facebook…
I apologize on behalf of our volcano!
– Sandra R. (from Iceland)
We accept your apologies :)))))))
– Gerlando A.
No, you should figure out how to put it out :)
– Birk O.
– Olga K.
Those @#$% Icelanders again, when are people going to wake up and realize that they are the source of too many of the worlds problems.
– Chad M.
Have your travel plans been affected by the volcano? Chime in on Twitter, tag your tweet with #lpash, and test your brevity skills — or let us hear the full story in the comments below.
Are you stuck in Europe and looking for options? Lonely Planet has tips for turning your volcano stranding into the travel experience of a lifetime, and for a short time you can download Lonely Planet iPhone guides to major European cities for free.
[Photo: Scary Eyjafjallajökull by Sverrir Thor]