It is day 3 after the Eyjafjallajoekull volcano in Iceland brought the European air traffic down. My friend Lorna from Scotland was the first to report about it, and she told me about the chaos on British airports. Now the choas spreads slowly across the rest of Europe, with our own chancellor stranded in Lisboa. It is – in a scary way – amazing how radically an event of nature can disrupt our civilized life.
I always loved flying. I won a balloon ride as a teenager and my father sponsored me a short helicopter ride as well. My first commercial airline flight was to go visit Microsoft in Redmond, and over the past two decades I amassed quite a lot of flight miles. While flying became routine for me, it still never ceased to hold some fascination.
Now the sky is clear. The image above is a montage of some shots out of my window. Being located close to 3 commercial and one military airport, the sky usually holds 2-3 condesation trails at any time. Those white, kilometer long stripes are such a common sight, that their absence rings a chord. A clear sky is a strange sight.
I spoke to a friend briefly this morning, and we spun the idea that if the ash cloud from iceland blocks air traffic for another 3-4 weeks, how would it change our behaviour and our perception of air travel?