When you drive up the main road that takes you to Geysir, the first thing you will notice is the steam lifting off the small brooks that flank the road. I kind of feel like one of those brides that bursts through a cloud of dry ice into a banquet hall of inebriated party-goers. Though, as the pots of boiling water spill out onto the barren landscape, my reception is far less ceremonious. It seems odd that no one is here. But then I realize that it is past 9:30pm and the tour busses have long since pulled out.
It’s still very light outside. The sun is high in the sky. Being way up in the Northern Hemisphere affords much more daylight. I have still a few hours until the sun will make its partial decent in the sky.
There is a chill in the air, but the ground seems as though it is on fire. The geothermal field in Haukadalur is a natural wonder of hot springs and boiling mud pools. It’s no wonder the Vikings liked this place… it’s the perfect place to bury treasure. The warm mist gives a haunting tone to the grounds and the explosions of steam are a reminder that the earth is in charge here.
I stand patiently waiting for a burst from Strokkur, the most faithful geyser in the vicinity. A few more sleepy tourists trickle over hoping to catch the magic. As I begin to set my iPhone to camera mode, a small tremble in the ground catches me off guard. Then all of a sudden the complacent bubbling pot reaches upwards in a giant blue dome and dramatically erupts into a 30 meter column of water and steam. After an over-dramatic reaction to the geothermal phenomenon, I look down at my phone. The image clearly does not match what I have just experienced. My only evidence is a grey screen that looks vaguely like the inside of a carwash. I wait for the second show. This time I am ready.