Adventures in Iceland – Inside the Volcano

Following Blue Lagoon and Whale Watching, our group of riders all met back up for a nice dinner in the city.  I wasn’t feeling too well, likely caused by my lack of sleep and didn’t eat much or stay too late for the party.  I guess that made me a slightly better roommate that night at the hostel.

A little more refreshed, I sat outside the hostel in the morning for the bus to pick me up for my next tour: Inside the Volcano.  Nearly all of the riders had booked this despite it being pretty expensive (lesson learned, almost everything in Iceland is expensive, except for the flights!) because it looked awesome!

I got on the bus according to plan, knowing who was supposed to be coming with me (nobody else was staying at the same hostel as me at the time), and looked out the window, waiting to see where we stopped.  We pulled into the terminal and I heard their names and the words “no show”.  What?!  There was wifi on every bus, so I started messaging them, apparently they had been waiting for the bus forever and it never came by!  Not sure where the wires got crossed, but they were never able to make it in time to catch the transfer bus to the tour itself.

I had expected the group in the timeslot before me to be there, but apparently the earlier group of riders (so many of us booked this we had to split into 2 times) received some sort of last minute notification that their tour was cancelled as it had been overbooked.  I believe they were refunded, but what a disappointment! (I do believe some of them were able to do it on another day)

So it was down to just me.

Thankfully I don’t mind spending time to myself and the guides were kind and informative.

Caverns, hills and craters created by lava some 4500 years ago
Caverns, hills and craters created by lava some 4500 years ago

We arrived at the base site, which was at the bottom of a ski hill.  The guide walked us across an old lava field and briefed us on the history of the volcano.  For one, it was a baby volcano, only about 4500 years old, but no, its not active, we won’t die today.  Phew!  The most interesting thing about it was that while most volcanos will rise up and then collapse (leaving a crater) this one managed to hollow itself out instead.  It is the only one in the entire world of its kind, so a must see if you have a thing for rocks, or just want to say you saw it.

We then got to another camp at the base of the volcano.  There, we were fed some delicious soup and coffee, we received a lovely Buff bandana (which now I cant find mine!  So sad!) and got to visit with the most adorable ambassador of Iceland we have ever met.

Arctic fox cub.  How badly do you want to give him a belly rub?
Arctic fox cub. How badly do you want to give him a belly rub?

We were given our harnesses and helmets, as well as some instructions about how to use them, and how to handle ourselves inside the volcano.  Then our group set off to climb up to the top of the volcano.

At the top of the volcano
At the top of the volcano

We entered into the lift and made our way down.  The lift was a modified window washing lift and rocked back and forth as it navigated down through the entrance of the volcano.  In some places it was a tight squeeze!

Selfie in the lift!
Selfie in the lift!

It opened up significantly and we were allowed to explore pretty much anywhere we wanted.  The colours of the rocks were so beautiful, so many different colours based on how the lava flowed and cooled.  There were also several channels as you looked up where it had flowed and hollowed out.  It was cool and damp, and water dripped peacefully from the ceilings.  After I had successfully climbed into every available nook and cranny, I took some time to sit still, close my eyes, and just listen to the quiet drip drip drip.  It felt cathartic.

While I felt sad that my friends weren’t able to enjoy this, there was something very special about taking the time to myself, and the dark quiet of the volcano seemed to fit just right.

While things felt a little disorganized with my friends experience, the tour itself was wonderful and I would recommend it.  I do believe it was a pretty new adventure, and there are always kinks at the start.  I would certainly give them the chance again!

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