The Land of Ice and Fire Part 1

Well its still raining here in Wales…………….still…raining…

So lets get out of Wales and go some place else….Iceland seems fitting for this time of year

I visited Iceland in the February of 2012 on a geography field trip with my school which meant no lazing in hotels, it was all geysers, hot springs and waterfalls, which is what I love.

Within minutes of our plane landing we were out of the tiny Keflavik International Airport and were piling onto the bus that would take us to our first destination, the Blue Lagoon.

The Blue Lagoon is prehaps Iceland’s most visited attraction, a made-man lagoon filled of surplus water from the nearby Svartsengi Geothermal Power Station. The water is rich with minerals like sulfur and silica, which gives the lagoon its milky blue colour. As a result the lagoon is said to have a great deal of medical purposes, and the mineral rich mud is supposedly very good for your skin, so its pretty common to see people wearing a nice lagoon mudpack on their face.

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I’m not so skilled at applying mud packs

Though the lagoon itself is heated at around  38C/100F, the minute you stepped out of the  pool……..it was pretty chilly to say the least. Still I had a lot of fun using the saunas and exploring the lagoon, the heat combined with the cool air means the lagoon is almost always encased in a thick mist. However before you get in the lagoon you have to take a shower….lets just say that if your in Iceland, you better get use to public changing rooms.

After leaving the Blue Lagoon, we headed to our hotel for the night in Reykjavik, it was fascinating looking out across the country’s vast volcanic fields, a blasted wasteland of black rocks for miles upon miles.

Upon arriving at the hotel though we went out see the Northern Lights, and we did….sort of. Unfortunately they were much too weak to pick up on my piddly camera and for most of the time we were unsure whether we were seeing the Aurora Borealis or just a cloud in the night sky.

The next morning we set off on our road trip of South Iceland, our first stop was the Hellisheiði Geothermal Power Plant, one of the principle examples of Iceland’s unique approach to the country’s energy needs. From there we drove to the village of Hveragerði, with the sun rising among the snowy landscape.

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The Hellisheioi Geothermal Power Plant
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Dawn over Iceland, dawn being at around 11:30am

Hveragerði was hit by a powerful earthquake in 2008,creating huge fissures the ground which can still be seen today inside the village’s earthquake museum, which also houses an earthquake simulator; an eyeopening experience to the sheer ferocity of a 6.0 earthquake.

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The Sun rises over Hverageroi
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A small fissure cause by the 2008 earthquake

Stopping just outside of Hveragerði, we got see our first proper, naturally formed, volcanic springs; springs so hot that only extremophiles can survive within them.

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Volcanic springs
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Volcanic springs
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Volcanic springs

The terrible smell of sulfur filled my poor nose (think rotten eggs), it’s a smell you can’t escape from in Iceland, thanks to its geothermal heating even hot water smells slightly of eggs.

But it is beautiful, smelly and beautiful.

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Hverageroi

Thus concludes part one of my tale, if you enjoyed this story feel free to write in the comments, or leave like and thanks for reading.

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22 Comments

  1. Next year, I’ll finally be visiting the land of Ice & Fire. Almost can’t wait. I wasn’t planning to visit the blue lagoon. Glad you mentioned it in your post, and as I am a Psoriasis patient it can only be good for me I guess.
    Looking forward to read more about Iceland. Have a great week !

    Liked by 1 person

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