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Eyjafjallajökull Eruption Exhibition

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Eyjafjallajökull Eruption Exhibition

Watch this audio slideshow about the Eyjafjallajökull Eruption Exhibition which opened on the eruption’s anniversary last month. The exhibition center is located by the farm Thorvaldseyri on the Ring Road in south Iceland, which was one of the farms worst hit by the ash fall and flooding, and run by the local farmers.

Photos of the exhibition and narration by Eygló Svala Arnarsdóttir. Photos of the eruption by Páll Stefánsson.

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One year ago the whole world watched in awe as the glacier/volcano Eyjafjalljökull in south Iceland spewed ash into the atmosphere to such an extent that international air traffic was brought to a halt.

At the same time farmers living in the vicinity of the glacier were subject to heavy ash fall that covered the pastures, seeped into their homes and forced them to keep their livestock inside. Flooding proved a hazard too.

Among the farms worst hit was Thorvaldseyri, run by the energetic couple Ólafur Eggertsson and Gudný A. Valberg. Primarily dairy farmers, they also grow cereals and rapeseed.

Their farm is self-sufficient in that the farmers produce their own energy; heating and electricity come from a geothermal borehole on their land and fuel for tractors and other farming equipment is made from rapeseed oil.

Although the volcanic eruption of last spring was a shocking blow, Ólafur and Gudný were determined not to let it crush them; they cleaned their farmhouses, shoveled away the ash with the aid of volunteers and repaired the generator, which was damaged in the flooding.

Life went back to normal, although the ash was regularly whirled up by the wind, and now the farmers feel compelled to share their experience with others.

During and after the eruption, tourists and journalists stopped by the farm to take pictures and chat with the residents, and so they figured establishing an exhibition center about the Eyjafjallajökull eruption would be a good idea.

They renovated an old car repair shop on the opposite side of the Ring Road, put up pictures and information about the eruption, placed various objects on display and finished a 20-minute documentary to screen inside the center.

It opened on the anniversary of the eruption, April 14, and became an immediate hit—1,500 visitors have already dropped by.

And a visit is definitely worth it. The center is admirably well designed in black and red. The flooring is made from ash and red lava stones below a glass window in the stage create the illusion that people are walking on molten lava.

The pictures are breathtaking and the documentary touching, narrated by Ólafur and Gudný themselves, and the center also carries various eruption-related objects along with the farm’s products, including barley, rapeseed oil, breakfast cereals and more.

Thorvaldseyri is a one and a half to two hours’ drive from Reykjavík in the direction of Vík and the farm and eruption center lie directly on the Ring Road.

Click here to visit the farm’s website and here to visit the exhibition center's website.

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