How cool does it sound to swim between two continents? How about doing this after having climbed down six meters of volcanic lava rock that was formed by earthquakes and eruptions? Let me tell you that it’s much cooler than it sounds!
Last weekend my friends and I decided to go up far north in Iceland, where temperatures can get quite low. We ended up by Lake Myvatn, or “The Lake of the Flies” as it is called. Luckily for us, we did not have to deal with flies. Even more luckily for us, we did not encounter any tourists or anyone else for that matter while we were there. It was just us, nature and the spirit of adventure.
Lake Myvatn is surrounded by geothermal areas, lava fields, pseudo craters and volcanoes. It is truly a gem, and we were fortunate enough to explore it. We started the day off by hiking up the 2700-year-old crater, Hverfell, which rises like a phoenix up from the lava covered area. The great thing about Hverfell is that you can either walk all around it or go down to the crater and explore. We first decided to walk around the top of the crater and spent some time before lunch taking pictures and fooling around.
Being the adventurer that I am, when it comes to food, I always try to go all out. During the breaks we have while on these excursions, you will most likely find me with a grill on one hand and an ice cold beer on the other. We needed to eat well before embarking on the second leg of our trip, so we sat down on what seemed like the only grassy spot in an area surrounded by lava… and sheep. A fun fact: Icelanders are only around 330,000 in population, but the sheep population is around 800,000.
We quickly finished lunch, excited to head towards our next destination. We walked for couple of minutes towards the lava field before entering it. From there we followed our friend’s footsteps. We were fortunate to have someone who knows the place well, as the location we were headed towards was, and is, probably one of the best-kept secrets in Iceland. It’s so well hidden that I would guess that less than 1% of Icelanders even know it exists.
Our destination was a volcanic fissure filled with hot water, naturally set at just the perfect temperature to allow us to relax and enjoy ourselves. We had to climb down six meters into the crack when we came upon a ledge that seemed to invite us to take off our clothes and jump in. So there we were, literally inside the earth with the Eurasian tectonic plate on our left and the North American tectonic plate on our right, surrounded by good friends, and an amazing view.
Words truly could not and cannot express the surreal feeling of awe and excitement we all felt at that moment in time. Thankfully, we were able to capture some video footage to share with everyone. If you want to experience this for yourself, just come and visit, it’s as easy as it sounds. I am so ready to experience it again, and perhaps next time we can share this experience together.
Check out our video: