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Iceland: Geysir

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Geysir | Iceland | Europe

[Visited: November 2008]

First, there was the smell of rotten eggs; shortly thereafter, the sight of steam blowing over the landscape. I knew I had arrived and parked my car to visit the Geysir area. Here, you can find not only the mother of all geysers, but also other geysers, as well as hot pools, bubbly baths, and steam vents. Steam comes from the earth everywhere, which gives the place a special appearance. While I was walking up, I secretly looked ahead to check if the most active geyser of the area was already hurling its boiling water into the air.

Picture of Geysir (Iceland): Hot pool close to Geysir

This active geyser, Strokkur, is a reliable one: you can just wait for the eruption which occurs every few minutes. Part of the fun is of course to try and imagine when it will strike next, as the intervals are not regular. You look into the pool of restless water, seemingly coming up and down, until at one moment it seems to be gulped inside the earth, followed by an impressive eruption of boiling water high above you and high into the air. Strokkur has stricken again! But the eruptions are so impressive, that it is easy to be tempted to stay tuned for the next one to strike. Besides, every eruption is different. Strokkur has taken over from Geysir, the bigger geyser of the two and the name giver of the area. Frankly, I am happy that this Icelandic word made it to languages worldwide. Just imagine we would call geysers strokkurs now!

Picture of Geysir (Iceland): Start of an eruption of Strokkur

The Great Geysir is the famous example of an eruption of boiling water caused by seismic activity. Its activity is not regular, though, and has changed over time. From time to time, it is activated again by earth quakes, but it can also have periods in which it stops erupting altogether. It looked very dormant during my visit. Fortunately, there are also hot pools, and holes in the ground filled with boiling water. Together with the fascinating activity of Strokkur, this makes for an exciting visit. If there is a place in Iceland where you can clearly see the very active and restless character of the country, this is certainly a clear example.

Picture of Geysir (Iceland): Steaming earth and the aftermath of a geyser eruption
Picture of Geysir (Iceland): Strokkur strikes again: eruption of this very active geyser
Picture of Geysir (Iceland): Boiling water erupting into the air
Picture of Geysir (Iceland): The boiling water of Litli Geysir
Picture of Geysir (Iceland): One of the hot pools in the Geysir areas
Picture of Geysir (Iceland): Strokkur geysir in a moment of inactivity
Picture of Geysir (Iceland): Boiling water at the Strokkur geysir, getting ready for eruption
Picture of Geysir (Iceland): Geysir area seen from a hilltop
Picture of Geysir (Iceland): Steamy Geysir earth enveloping visitors

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Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Geysir (Iceland). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Geysir.
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