Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Geothermal Spot - Seltun, Iceland

I LOVE visiting the geothermal spots in Iceland.

Whenever I walked to a geothermal spot, I felt like I was in another planet. The vents, the red dirt, the boiling mud pots and the smell of sulfur is quite an experience. We visited a few geothermal areas in Iceland, but for me, Seltun was impressive and has left me intrigued what can be possibly boiling beneath us.

 It drizzled when we were driving towards Seltun.

 T'was a sight to see so many mud pots and the smell of sulfur was ubiquitous. My clothes, skin and hair smelled like sulfur when we got home that day. I finally experienced what my Dad used to tell us about sulfur when he was still working at the Batong-Buhay gold mines.

 More mud pots and fumaroles.

 Boiling mud pot.

It would have been nice if we brought eggs to boil here.

 I really felt like walking in a another planet.

 Mineral deposits from geothermal activity.

According to my Reykjanes brochure, "Seltun is an important geothermal area. It provides a wealth of study opportunities due to the great variety of features. Sulphur is especially abundant and has been mined there in the past. Cold, clear water flows off the hillsides and through areas teeming with fumaroles and boiling mudpots."

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Hallgrímskirkja, Reykjavik, Iceland

And we're back to Iceland...

This is the Hallgrímskirkja, which was very close to our guesthouse. We've actually used this as our guide in driving and exploring the city. You can't miss this church because of its interesting architecture, and it's one of the not-to-miss icons in Reykjavik.

In the cold evenings, Kepi and I would walk around the church just observing and studying its architecture.

According to Wikipedia, the Hallgrímskirkja (church of Hallgrímur) is a Lutheran parish church in Reykjavík, Iceland.  At 244 ft, it is the largest church in Iceland and the sixth tallest architectural structure in the country. The church is named after the Icelandic poet and clergyman Hallgrímur Pétursson (1614 to 1674), author of the Passion Hymns. State Architect Guðjón Samúelsson's design of the church was commissioned in 1937.  He is said to have designed it to resemble the basalt lava flows of Iceland's landscape.  It took 38 years to build the church. Construction work began in 1945 and ended in 1986, the landmark tower being completed long before the church's actual completion.

The church is also used as an observation tower. An observer can take a lift up to the viewing deck and view Reykjavík and the surrounding mountains. The statue of explorer Leif Eriksson (1929–32) by Alexander Stirling Calder in front of the church predates its construction. It was a gift from the United States in honor of the 1930 Alþingi Millennial Festival, commemorating the 1000th anniversary of Iceland's parliament at Þingvellir in 930 AD. More info is available here.

REFERENCE:  Italicized words are from Wikipedia.