Reykjavik welcomes visitors while volcano erupts
It’s all quiet in the Icelandic capital as the Bárðarbunga volcano continues to make headlines worldwide. Bárðarbunga is located in the remote central highlands, over 200 km from Reykjavík.
Iceland has thirty volcanoes and a long history of eruptions. The substrata of the country is constantly rebuilding itself from magma flows deep underground. Occasionally one of these volcanoes erupts with potentially disastrous results. In 2010 Eyjafjallajokull erupted and disrupted air travel for ten days in North America and Europe. It sent a plume of ash high into the atmosphere where it was carried far away from Iceland by winds at high levels.
In August another volcano called Bardarbunga erupted, causing concern that once again aviation could be adversely affected.. So far the effect on air traffic has been minimal – only about fifty aircraft have had to deviate slightly from their planned flight profiles. A second volcano, Holuhraun, has also been throwing out lava in recent weeks.
Lava from the volcanoes has so far reached the surface only on land that is not covered by ice whereas an eruption under an ice cap may be explosive and result in an ash cloud that is likely to disrupt aviation.
Meanwhile all is quiet in the capital city of Reykjavik, which continues to welcome visitors. Reykjavik is a charming and interesting city, with plenty of sights to amuse the visitor for a couple of days. Places of interest in the city itself include the city’s central park area “Austurvollur”, the parliament house, the Hofdi House and the Hallgrimkirkja, the church which is Iceland’s tallest building and which defines the Reykjavik skyline.
However, anyone taking a Reykjavik city break should not miss the opportunity to get better acquainted with Iceland’s geography and geology and visit some of the breathtaking sights which are within easy reach of the capital city.
A thoughtful Icelandair pilot took a brief detour to give passengers a closer look at the Bardarbunga volcano last week! He took the flight on an extra circle around the volcano, giving his passengers a unique view of the stunning lava display.