After climbing Hverfjall Crater, we drove back North a bit and took a little road out to see Grjótagjá. This is a small cave with a geothermally heated spring in it. Not a cave in the sense that you’re going a distance under ground. You walk/climb down a few rocks maybe 10 feet and there you are. There’s the two entrances for it, one on either end of the little chamber. I tell you guys this, because I expected what everyone envisions when discussing a “cave” and this wasn’t it. Even worse, we were far from alone there.
People used to bathe and swim here until the 1970’s. The Krafla eruptions from 1974 to 1985 heated the water to unbearable temperatures. Since then it has been gradually cooling down, but not to a temperature that is comfortable for swimming. Although that did not stop the group of old German men from stripping down to their birthday suits, wading in, and splashing the water and scrubbing themselves… An absolutely unattractive sight in such a beautiful spot! Too bad they didn’t pay more attention to the sign at the entrance that says no swimming… Or more likely, they just didn’t care.
Thankfully, the Germans didn’t stay too long. Should probably be thanking the water for being too hot to stay in! They eventually dressed and left, and the crowds dwindled for a moment. I really wanted to linger here so that I could get decent pictures without anyone at the opposite end, and for the video. Sitting in the cave you can hear the water dripping from the roof and hitting the surface of the spring. I knew if I could just get a few moments of silence (namely, no one else there with us because tourists are noisy people in general), it would be magical. I wasn’t disappointed!
After the video, before leaving, I couldn’t resist… I had to put my feet in the water! I can not resist doing this! Whether its a heated spring (first time for me here), a river, an ocean, whatever… I like to get my feet wet! I was able to keep my feet in the water for maybe 30 seconds before I would have to raise them up, allow them to cool in the cool air and dip them once again! That water is right on the edge of bearable and too hot!!
The rest of the pictures here are either the fissure in the earth over Grjótagjá or the pseudocraters around Lake Mývatn. A pseudocrater is a crater that results from a steam eruption as opposed to the typical lava/fiery eruption. There are a lot of decent sized pseudocraters all around Lake Mývatn and on island within the lake.