It is Saturday morning, 20 March in the year 2022. Actually, you don't even want to look at your mobile phone any more, because all you read is Corona, the bad incidence values and all the things you are not allowed to do. But that morning there was another headline. The volcano in Iceland, which had been announcing itself for months with small earthquakes, has erupted!
We are Annika and Mathias, travel photographers from the Palatinate. Always on the lookout for that special adventure, the most beautiful spots on earth and touching encounters. We have experienced a lot in the last few years together, been on safari in South Africa, searched for northern lights on the Lofoten Islands and watched whales in Hawaii, dived with whale sharks in Indonesia and observed orangutans in the jungles of Borneo. But we have not yet come face to face with an erupting volcano. So we absolutely had to find a way to fly to Iceland. There were numerous arguments against it: it is a pandemic, we are in a lockdown, in Iceland you have to be in quarantine for five days, nobody knows how long the volcano will continue to spew, we have to apply for spontaneous leave. But somehow all eventualities played into our cards and 10 days later we are on the plane on our way to Reykjavik.
Already on the way to our quarantine accommodation we can see the smoke of the volcano and we can't wait to finally get there after the five days. On Easter Sunday, the time had finally come - after the third coronary test of the trip in the early morning, our negative result came in the afternoon and with it the freedom to move freely throughout the country. The suitcases were already packed and so we got into the car and drove purposefully towards Fagradalsfjall. It is a freezing day, even by Icelandic standards, -10 degrees Celsius and an icy wind is blowing. As if the path, which is not really a path, wasn't challenging enough as it is! The hike leads across an ancient volcanic field, which is littered with scree and you can only find your way by following the trail markings. Up a mountain so steep that after only two weeks of the volcano being active, ropes have been installed to pull you up. Even though it wasn't four kilometres, we arrive exhausted at the spot where we stand eye to eye with the glowing opening of the volcano. What a sight! A hill that is open at the top, thundering lava gushing out and flowing towards us. In the two weeks that the volcano has been active, a black expanse of lava has filled and continues to grow. It's an incredible feeling and an absolutely unbelievable sight. The darker it gets, the more clearly you see the liquid, red-hot stone. You can feel the heat even at a distance and we are absolutely thrilled. But when suddenly the earth shakes for a second, we have great respect. There must have been an underground explosion, but nothing else happened.
Of course, our favourite Drakensberg backpack was with us on the hike. The Backpack offers exactly what we need for this hike and all kinds of trips. In general, Drakensberg bags stand for adventure and the special experience for us and are now our constant companions.
The next morning we get the news that early in the morning the earth has opened up again and two more volcanic craters have appeared. This week we hiked to the volcano two more times and watched the natural spectacle. This earth is simply incredible!
The darker it gets, the more clearly you can see the liquid, red glowing stone. You can feel the heat even at a distance and we are absolutely thrilled. What a sight! A hill that is open towards the top, thundering lava spurting out and flowing towards us.
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