Continuing my stories from outworldly Iceland, here’s one of the most memorable ones — the day trip to the Laki area in the south of the island. For that, we needed something much bigger than our minivan 😉
Once you get off the main road, you basically drive on gravel / dirt roads like this…
… and pass through enormous rocky fields of cooled lava, now covered in moss.
Most of the time it’s just rocks, moss, and some very low vegetation / grass. No trees, no shrubs.
The landscape is very different to anything I’d seen before, quite surreal.
Love the photo of what appears to be an artificially made road, cutting through the moss-covered ash valley.
After quite a bit of driving, we stopped by this tucked away little lake and were allowed to take a walk around the area. Jokes aside, the Laki area is part of a national park and you’re not allowed to get off the road at all since your tracks don’t really change — we saw car tracks that appeared as fresh as if they were made yesterday where in fact our driver told us they were 50 years old!
A bed of moss.
We’re literally in an extinct crater…
A bit random as there really isn’t a parking around per se, but hey, at least it was funny 😉
Hard to tell from the photos, but it kept on raining throughout the morning. Still, good to stretch your legs around and really get a feel for the place.
We finally reached our destination where the 4×4 dropped us off and we continued on foot to actually climb Laki.
We started seeing other people around which was refreshing.
After you gain a bit of altitude (and the clouds are not in your way), you can actually see where Earth literally opened up and spewed lava from its core, amazing.
An interesting view almost from the top of Laki — the Lambavatn (closer one) and Kambavatn (farther one) lakes. It was a shame it was so cloudy as the view apparently is spectacular otherwise.
The top was so cloudy and rainy that we didn’t really stay for more than 5 minutes before heading back…
On the way down it started to clear up and the volcanic fissures and crack in Earth’s crust become quite noticeable as stretche over 30km away.
A panoramic view almost from the top. The 1783 eruption was amongst the most devastating ones in recorded history as it basically wiped out a 5th of Iceland’s population and the majority of the livestock, further impacting Europe and even Earth’s climate as a whole… mind boggling really.
Rock details and texture that I liked.
Inside one of the mini volcanoes along the fissure.
And another perspective.
Another great rock that appears like it cooled off yesterday, but in reality it’s been over 200 years! Time has stopped indeed in this place…
I decided to venture out a little bit and ended up in this spot where I stopped and realized something — it was absolutely silent. And I don’t mean the relative quiet you get in nature in most places, I mean DEAD silent. There were no birds, no vegetation besides moss to rustle, no people or civilization noises, no wind even. I could have heard a pin drop, such a strange feeling.
On the way back our driver promised he’d show us what this baby could do.
Let me just say, it did not disappoint 😉
It’s a shame he didn’t let me drive it…
It wasn’t until way into the afternoon that the sun showed itself and revealed some color around us. I liked the contrast between the dark clouds and the golden canyon.
If there’s one thing that’s definitely in abundance in Icelnd (outside of sheep), that’s waterfalls like this one. In the morning it was completely covered, but in the afternoon we saw how big it really is.
A panorama of the river that turns into the waterfall above.
All in all, quite the day. Stay tuned for more!