Blogs > News-Herald Food and Travel

Food and travel captivate Janet Podolak, who chronicles both for The News-Herald. Get the back story of her three decades of stories here. Guest bloggers and fellow News-Herald staffers also periodically share details of their trips.

Monday, April 19, 2010

London bound barring volcano plume

Volcano willing, I’ll be headed for England on Thursday. Adventure is guaranteed although it might not be quite to my liking.

I’m asking News-Herald readers for their suggestions and input.

A rather minor volcano in the south of Iceland has sent a plume of ash into the world’s busiest air space, grounding hundreds of flights and closing airports in much of Europe, including Heathrow where my flight is headed. It’s been called the biggest disaster for aviation since flying began and is costing billions. One news account said Britain might be facing food shortages this week because its air space has been closed since late last week.

Celebrity Cruise Lines, which is hosting me and dozens of journalists for the preview of a new ship, hasn’t canceled our journey yet.

I’m keeping an eye on Eyjafjallajokull web cams, which have an English version but need no translation. ( sends out live video feeds from four cameras surrounding the glacier, which has long been a popular tourist attraction in Iceland.

The explosions of magma through the surface of the glacier are dramatic. Because the lava passes through ice on it’s way toward the earth’s surface it explodes into the sky, sending ash up to 30,000 feet in the air.

The good news is that the plume is now at 10,000 feet, which means that aircraft could conceivably fly above it, but the truth is the airspace over London is closed until at least 1 p.m. Tuesday. (That’s early morning here)
Millions of people are stranded, including thousands at London’s Heathrow Airport, where I am headed. I am also monitoring British websites, and for the latest news.

I originally had intended to ask News-Herald readers for their London suggestions and hidden gems they may have discovered on their own visits. I’ll only be in the city a half-day, but I'm on the lookout for good stories, photos and videos. Those who followed my travel communiques by blog (July-August 2009) know that I usually can cover a lot of territory in a short time.
Now, however, I’m also asking your advice on getting there, including strategies for coping with delays, which will be inevitable. I’ll have my laptop along with me, so should be able to keep readers updated while I am on the road.

I have a feeling I’m about to get a first-hand education on why frequent business travelers are called Road Warriors.

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