Lava day

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April 25th 2022
Published: April 26th 2022
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The day of lava. Not that we hadn’t had some experience before, given that we’re walking on it and the whole place is created by it, but today’s activities were specially focused (entirely unintentionally) on lava.

We had to reschedule our semi-sleep in of today for a geology lesson and a quest to find those bloody elusive basalt columns that the good people of Vik had apparently relocated in an attempt to force us into puffin observation. We were not to be foiled and found them just around the point at Reynisfjara (have memorised that one!). Even from the most sleep-hungry among us, it was voted a worthwhile diversion. The columns, having formed when the flowing lava was forced to cool quickly upon meeting the sea, were fascinating to see. Lots of other interesting formations and patterns to see in the area, in particular, the different sizes of the pebbles as we moved up the beach.

Settled in for the drive back towards the west, and some hearty tunes from the back seat, with a quick stop for a delicious pastry morning tea before we arrived at the Lava Cave. The cave was formed by lava flowing through the area and drying a crust on top while the molten lava continues to flow through the middle and then ran out. The result is some fascinating colours, Mars-esque glistening hydrophobic bacteria and some amazing icicles. A hugely engaging guide showed us through and demonstrated the darkness in the depths of the cave. We made our way back to the entrance, received some feedback about all the photos and enjoyed the different formations and colours along the way.

Quick refuel in the car for lunch and we continued on our way to Thingvellir National Park, site of both the spreading tectonic plates and the location of the world’s first continuous recognised parliament. The Althingi (which is such a cool name and I’m not even 100% sure what it actually means, but we’ll go with ‘council’) used to meet to decide all matters important after their settlement in 874AD. But our budding geologist was most interested in seeing the North American plate and the various fissures. Spent some time wandering around the area and looking at the formations and very clear water.

Last stop on our Icelandic journey is Reykjavik. We arrived in the late afternoon and found our home for the next two nights and took some time for a bit of a rest. Headed out for a delicious dinner at 101 Street Food, followed by a wander and some icecream before retiring for another well-deserved sleep.

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