We’d decided for our last day to go down a volcano! The þríhnúkagígur volcano is one that’s been inactive for over 4000 years; it’s also very unusual in that it’s got a large magma chamber left after the last eruption (they generally collapse in on themselves), so for the last two summers, they’ve opened it to tourists. It’s definitely an attraction that’s outside of the usual tourist regime, to start with, you have to walk 3km across a lava field (only 1000 years old), which isn’t the easiest of routes, especially in the rain. Arriving at base camp, you’re fittted with a climbing harness & helmet, before walking another 500 m or so to the crater. Then, a cage that’s used for window cleaners is lowered in – the chamber is tall enough to fit the statue of liberty in. (And 3 or so baseball fields … oh well, makes a difference from double decker bus / football field measurements!) The cage was first installed for National Geographic to film it. It’s a little unnerving going in, but once in the colours are amazing! I’ve been to over caves before – limestone mostly (and one filled with bats). This was very different – and clearly a very new attraction. Great to see it when it was so new & clearly not that developed.
A fabulous end to a great holiday! (And a reminder, yet again on this trip, of why I enjoyed Geography so much at Uni!)