Trip to Iceland - Day 1.
Iceland - The beautiful pearl of the north. In November me and my colleagues had a 3 days trip to Iceland. It sure was a great experience visiting such wild, extreme and beautiful country all at the same time.
Iceland is located at the juncture of the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans. And it's only about 200 km away from Greenland. First scenes of this land outside the window.
Even though it is called Iceland you can't really see much of an ice. At least in this part of the island.
And these are the trucks that've been waiting for us. We all were pretty amazed. You can see a person near it to realise the scale of them.
The other one had 6 doors and reminded of more like a limo.
So we headed for our first destination. Real volcanic land. If you've ever been to a volcano you would find the nature very similar to it. It really looked like an airport is in the middle of nowhere.
Our driver. I personally am about 194 cm tall and he was much taller than me. :)
Not many cars on the roads either.
Here we are closing in to our first destination. You can see clouds of steam ahead.
We are heading for the geothermal spa which is one of the most visited attractions in Iceland.
The spa is located in a lava field. The water here is unbelievably clean and healthy. The color of it is just amazing.
This place is called "The Blue Lagoon".
A walk to the entrance through the lava field.
The first thing that amazes you is the color of the water and the second is the temperature of it.
The warm waters are rich in minerals like silica and sulphur and bathing in the Blue Lagoon is reputed to help some people suffering from skin diseases such as psoriasis.
The water temperature in the bathing and swimming area of the lagoon averages 37–39 °C (98–102 °F).
Superheated water is vented from the ground near a lava flow and used to run turbines that generate electricity. After going through the turbines, the steam and hot water passes through a heat exchanger to provide heat for a municipal water heating system. Then the water is fed into the lagoon for recreational and medicinal users to bathe in.
Blue Lagoon, Iceland.
It's quite extreme. The temperature outside was about -2C, but the water was about 40C. So the hardest thing is to get out of the house in your swimming shorts and quickly jump into the pool. The watchman demonstrates how cold it really was outside. The only problem is that your ears keep freezing.
Very useful place when the wind is too strong.
Really an amazing place. You can swim there all year long even when outside temperature drops below -20 C.
After "Blue Lagoon" we continued our first day journey through the island.
And since we have these enormous trucks why not to go offroading a little bit.
A view from the inside.
In was quite unusual driving roads that are this steep.
The higher we got the stronger the wind became.
On top of the hill the wind became so strong that it was impossible to get out of the cars.
So we took some pictures from the inside. It was safer and easier.
If you look straight ahead to the ocean there would be absolutely no land at all, all the way to Antarctica.
Looks like a very hostile environment but at the same time incredibly healthy.
You can see a pipe going down the road. This is the hot water from the geyser they transfer and use to heat their houses.
Here is a closer look.
Finally back on the civilised road. By the way the condition of the road is close to ideal.
Typical Icelandic scene. Coastline, a fishing boat and some mountains.
Had to take at least one photo of me as well. :)
So we continue our trip to see some geysers. You can already see the steaming water.
And here they are. First thing you notice is the smell. It's quite nasty. The smell of hydrogen sulfide gives that "rotten eggs" smell.
Geysers require a specific set of geological conditions.
First, heat from a magma very near the earth's surface.
Second, a supply of water that can circulate deep enough to be heated by the magma.
Third, cavities or pore space in the rocks just below ground level that can act as a pressure chamber.
Fourth, silica rich rocks that will provide abundant silica to seal the pressure chamber and keep the pressure contained until the eruption results.
Geologically, having all four of these conditions at once is a relatively rare occurrence.
Here is an illustration of how this works. So weird when its freezing outside but the water is boiling at about 100 C.
The sun began to set so it's time to move on.
Iceland - The beautiful pearl of the north.
It's quite dangerous to drive near them when it's stormy. Because of the wind going down the mountain generates speed up to 70m/s which can easily roll over your car.
Our next destination is the volcanic cave. This is the entrance. If you don't know it's here you will never find it.
Plus you need special equipment to enter it. Quite hard to climb slippery stones with a camera.
When the eruption occurred the lava flow went underground created a very long round cave. Later the lava disappeared leaving the cave. This one is about 1.5km long and about 15m high.
We went only about 100m inside of it. The further we went the darker it got. I'm not sure that I would want to go all 1500m till the end of it. But still, very interesting place.
Our last destination of the day were another geysers. Before we've seen the water just boiling and evaporating. This time we're about to see the erupting geysers - Haukadalur.
The erupting geyser in Haukadalur valley are the oldest known geyser in the world.
Here is a small one. You can see the boiling water in it from the heat underground.
And here is the larger geyser. The water in it don't just evaporate. It erupts. Also take a look at the sky and clouds. Very unusual shapes.
The eruption occurs every 8-10 minutes. All this time the water keeps warming up, and when the temperature reaches its maximum it blows up in to the air or erupts.
Here you can see the difference in about a second. One moment it's stable and the other you can see a huge explosion that goes abut 20m up in the air.
And even though the water is 100 C hot the temperature outside is so cold that it immediately cools down making no damage to the people around it.
After the eruption the water fills the hole once again and the whole cycle continues.
If you're lucky you can catch the very beginning of eruption. The bubble. It appears only for a moment, much less than a second before exploding.
And here goes the eruption.
Beautiful and amazing.
Geyser eruption, Iceland
Some smaller non erupting geysers.
It is forbidden to walk around the field. Only down the specific path. Otherwise it can be very dangerous.
Here is again an illustration of how these geysers work.
Time to go for our camp side. I just love driving these roads.
A church by the coastline on the beautiful sunset background.comments powered by Disqus