A comfy evening in Reykjavik at our apartment had us energized and ready to go explore the Golden Circle this morning. Our original plan was to head to the furthest point and then make our way back – this meant hitting the waterfalls and ending with the geysers. That is until we drove past the geysers and realized there were no crowds in sight. A perfect time to hit this area!
Walking up to the active geyser we passed the steam vents and some bubbling pools of toasty warm water.
About to Blow
I could spend a whole day watching and waiting for the geyser to blow out of its hole in the ground. Predicting when it was going to blow became a bit of a game as we stood waiting. It would bubble and look like it was imploding before a huge bubble formed on the surface and burst. With heights of almost 20 metres it blotted on the sun at times.
Our final stop on our journey today was Þingvellir (Thingvellir) national park. Home of the original parliament, this amazing park sits upon the rift between the Eurasia and North American plates. Looking out from the top of cliff it looks as though the land has been clawed at in certain spots. From this lookout point if you look down you can see where the rift is occurring. Galina and I ventured on the path down towards the church to do some more exploring before heading back to our apartment and our last dinner in Reykjavik.
Today’s adventure took us to the Lake Mývatn area in northern Iceland. With Geothermal a huge power source for Icelanders it was interesting to see one of their geothermal plants as we drove up to visit the Viti Crater. The crater used to be a volcano that blew its top. In summer there is a beautiful blue pool of water at its centre; in winter…you get snow.
It took 5 shots to photograph this crater – it is immense. Waking its edge makes you feel like a small ant trudging its way around an enormous landscape.
Back down the the mountain and across the ring road lies Namafjall Hverir. Here one can experience the joy of hot stinky steam vents and 80º – 100ºC sulphur pools. Yup, it’s that toasty. I felt as though I was on a different planet walking around this area.
This place was so different than anything we had seen so far. I didn’t know what to photograph first. Using my ultra wide angle I got low for this shot to really showcase the sulphur pool at my feet and still get a sense of place and the vents at the back of the scene. What an unbelievable place!
On the southern end of the lake lies a bunch of pseudo craters. These volcano-like shapes are created when hot lava crosses water causing an explosion of steam. This explosion creates the craters we see below.
When seen from the sky you can almost envision bursting bubbles caught at a specific moment in time. Nature is pretty amazing when she creates.
Our last stop in the Lake Mývatn area was Dimmuborgir, a lava field full of giant pillars, chimneys and tubes. Taking one of the longer hiking trails through the park we experienced these amazing lava formations up close and personal. Sometimes walking on a path and other times scrambling over the rocks themselves.
A surreal experience to end a day of weird and wondrous places.