Getting stranded in Paris last month, by the volcanic eruption that grounded cross-Atlantic air traffic, was a mixed blessing for the Mountain View High School Madrigal Singers.
They’d already been on the road for two grueling weeks, performing at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London and Notre Dame in Paris, and were travel-weary. Back home in Mountain View, family plans, homework, SATs and familiar beds were calling. Their flight was to leave Friday, April 16.
But all that was suddenly put on hold while a vast plume of ash from an April 15 eruption of Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland drifted over Europe, grounding thousands of planes and stranding millions of travelers. The volcano shot a cloud of smoke and steam miles into the air, posing a threat to aircraft. One European country after another shut down air traffic.
For the next six days the group had a ball. Now, however, there’s a bill to pay that will run upward of $53,000 to cover the unplanned extended tour.