Saturday, July 25, 2015

Lady's Birthday Adventure Part 5

Today is about fire. Iceland is one of the newer land structures on this planet and is continually growing. There is a rich geological record of previous volcanoes too. There are currently 22 active volcanoes in Iceland. You all may remember in 2010 when a lot of flights all over the world (for 6 days I believe) were grounded because of an eruption.

All this volcanic activity does effect how people live. They have seismic activity almost daily (we didn't feel any). We met travellers who were monitoring it constantly (we figured if something happened, someone would tell us!) They have emergency plans for what to do in the event of an eruption, especially in the south where most of the major activity is (read about it in one of our lodgings).  Iceland is the leader in geothermal technology. We stayed in several places where the water and heat was from a geothermal source. Also, they love their hot springs and heated pools. The most famous being Blue Lagoon. We didn't go there, we went to the big hot spring near Myvaan. Almost every town we stayed in had a pool and hot tubs, often using natural water as the source.

We did not see any lava on this trip (guess I am saving that for my trip someday to Hawaii as it is a bucket list item), we did see a lot of signs that there was thermal activity going on underneath the ground.  Here is a sample.

The first place we saw it was at:

These are the types of signs you see around the "hot spots"

This next picture, we aren't sure what type of geothermal activity we are seeing. It was across the lake in Thingvellir National Park. 

Then of course there are geysers. The original geyser, which all others are named for, is in Iceland. It  use to erupt very frequently, but now it rarely does. 

The name fit as that is how big it is!
This is the most active geyser in the geyser park. It goes off about every 10 minutes. We saw it "erupt" at least 4 times during our visit.

This is what the geyser "pool" looks like between eruptions.

The next picture is on the glacier in Eyjafjallajokull.  This is near volcano Kalta, a sub glacier volcano. According to our guide, scientists expect a major eruption from Kalta. It has been showing signs of activity since 1999.  If you look close at this picture on the rock at the back in the middle, you see what looks like an antenna. This is a volcano monitoring system.

Next up, we had our visit to Mars. It is just what I pictured the red planet looking like. 

This is near Mytan. It appeared to be a natural "hot spring" (no swimming aloud) that had geothermal pipes near it. 

We didn't see lava but we did climb 3 volcano craters. The first Hverfell:

I admit it was much further up then I expected! 

At the top!

Next up:

It is interesting to me how different the rock formations are around very similar geological events! 

Finally, Saxholl. This is where I sprained my ankle. We were walking and I stepped on a loose rock and rolled it. The first words out of my mouth were not HBO ones but rather, "I didn't just sprain my ankle!". Fortunately it was the second last day of the trip and was a minor sprain that only was a problem for about 2 weeks.

That is a look at some of the fire or hints of fire we saw. I will share some of the cool lava rock formations in a later post about rocks. Come back next week for a ice and snow and one of our favourite places. 


  1. Hari OM
    Am really enjoying the 'tour by proxy'!!! Such a different and fascinating land. YAM xx

  2. that was great to travel to mars with you! many thanks for sharing so much cool photos. I once saw in tv that people took a bath in that hot springs, is that the blue lagoon you mentioned in your post where the people can park their butts in the hot water? have that springs a smell too?
    easy rider

  3. Wow! We would love to go there too! Thanks for the photos! We are science geeks and enjoy seeing things like that.

  4. Wow, it occurs to me now how little I know about Iceland! What an interesting place. I'm glad you didn't sprain your ankle until almost the end of the trip!

  5. I am really enjoying all these great Iceland post (and photos) and also learning tons that I never knew about Iceland!!
    Dory, Jakey, Arty & Bilbo

  6. WOW....looks like another world.....another planet, even!

  7. Oh my goodness, how fabulous!!! I would love to see a place like that!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

  8. Great photos! Iceland truly is other worldly. I went on holiday there as an impecunious geology student in 1980. Everything was so expensive that we camped and ate rice and packet for two weeks, but it was well worth it for the amazing landscapes.
    Cheers, Gail.

    1. PS Just read back through Parts 1-4. We too took the road round the island, but by public bus rather than Ford Fiesta. I notice the surface is all tarmac'd now, whereas most of it was dirt road back in 1980.

  9. Gosh, these pictures are incredible! It almost looks like another planet. I'm curious what the temperature was like? Is the water/steam from the geyser hot? You may have already addressed this in the first parts. I'm going to go back and read them now.

    Thanks for sharing your amazing journey with us!


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