Yesterday I went on a brilliant day tour of Lake Myvatn with Saga. I caught an early bus from Olafsfjordur to Akureyri and Gifli my guide for the day picked me up from the bus stop.
The fist place we visited on the tour was the waterfall Godafoss. The snow is melting from the mountains very quickly and the waterfall was full of silt and running very fast. Godafoss was named after the local chieftain of the area threw the icons of the old gods into the waterfall when he decided to convert to Christianity in 1000 AD.
Then we drove onto Lake Myvatn which is about an hour East of Akureyri. It is a geothermal region as the earths crust is very thin. So the landscape is completely different to the other places I have visited in Iceland.
We stopped at the pseudo craters that formed from cooling lava about 2500 years ago. I was able to walk to the tops of the craters and get a great view of the lake. The pseudo craters are also home to lots of sheep.
Next on the tour was the Krafla eruption site. There was a volcanic eruptin there from 1975 to 1984, so the land is very new in some places. The new lava is black and the older rock faces are shades of orange. I walked up to Viti Maar ( The Crater of Hell) formed in 1724. Inside the crater this is a bright blue lake full of sulphur and minerals. It was extremely windy on top but the views were fantastic.
My favourite place on the tour was bleak Namafjall. This region is full of steampits and mud pits. The mud pits had a strange blue/grey colour that contrasted vividly to the orange and yellow sandy rock around them. The way the mud continuously erupted in the pits was completely mesmerising. The land is acidic, sulphuric and has a very high temperature which causes the bright colours.
After lunch we stopped off at the rift between the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates. The rock is pulling apart creating a giant scar in the earth. I was able to climb inside the rift to a cave where there is a river of hot blue water.
The final stop of the day was the Myvatn Nature Baths for a dip in the bright blue sulphurous water and then back to Akureri. A fantastic day!