Eldfell erupting a rainbow

Eldfell suddenly arrived in spectacular fashion on the island of Heimaey on 23 January 1973, and caused quite some upheaval. After it finished its business on July 3 of that same year, it now lies Continue reading

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The walking track to Helgafell

Poor old Helgafell is often a bit overlooked, as everyone flocks to its famous neighbour Eldfell. For a long time, Helgafell was the ruling volcano on Heimaey. The one that merged the chain of rocks to the north and Stórhöfði to the south into the present island, its classic volcano-shaped silhouette dominating the interior. Until Eldfell turned up Continue reading

Vestmannaeyjar! – Þar sem hjartað slær…!

I have been drawn to Vestmannaeyjar ever since I first saw those mysterious island shapes shimmering on the horizon, on my first short trip to Iceland in 2006. It was like a force of nature that couldn’t be denied. I just had to go there.

When I returned in August 2007 for a longer trip with more time to explore, those islands were first on my list. Sailing into Heimaey harbour, through a narrow opening surrounded by a jumbled chain of steep cliffs on one side, and a huge field of Continue reading

Reykjanes – Hidden treasures beyond the barren landscape

Reykjanes peninsula is the first impression of Iceland you see after arrival. Keflavík International Airport is located on the tip of the peninsula, and you’ll travel along its northern shore on your way to Reykjavík, and beyond. Barren and desolate as it may look on first sight, there are actually Continue reading

Eyjafjallajökull – The one that rules them all

The unpronouncable one, silently looming in the background. Always in the shadow of its bigger sisters and brothers. Nobody knew its name, or could even pronounce it, except Icelanders. Until that day in April 2010, when it literally Continue reading

Tongariro – The track across Middle Earth

Nhauruhoe featured as the terrifying Mount Doom in the Lord of the Rings movies. Although it is often referred to as a seperate mountain, it is actually one of the many cones of the vast Tongariro complex. With its 45 degree slopes and perfect triangular shape, Nhauruhoe is the most distinctive volcano-shaped Continue reading

Mount Etna – Vigorously steaming from all its craters

Mount Etna is Europe’s most active volcano, and it’s in a constant state of excitement. There’s always some activity going on. Often it’s just quietly steaming away, sometimes even producing pretty smoke rings. But when it erupts Continue reading

Pico del Teide – A volcanic playground

The Canary Islands bubbled up from an isolated hotspot, forming a chain of islands as the continental plate moved across it over several millions of years. The older islands to the east have been steadily eroding away in the meantime, but the western part of the archipelago still boasts Continue reading

Mount Haleakala – The House of the Rising Sun

Haleakala is the House of the Rising Sun – literally.

The sunrises are of such an epic magnitude that they draw people to get up at ridiculous o’ clock at night to drive up its endless winding hairpin roads to the summit, braving dizzying steep dropoffs, in order to gawk Continue reading

Ode to the mountains! – The magic of Mount Taranaki

As long as I can remember, I have always been fascinated by mountains. Especially of the fire-spewing kind… Perhaps because of the total absence of them in my home country The Netherlands… or perhaps it’s something more. The awe-inspiring beauty and majesty of them. The mysterious lure Continue reading