Bjarnarfell, Haukadalur, Iceland

Bjarnarfell, Haukadalur, Iceland

To anyone's eyes the above scene looks a patch of idyll and you may be surprised to find that it comes from a geologically active area with geothermal springs and geysers. There are times when bare earth and rock do not look so attractive and the area surrounding the geysers of Haukadalur, or Hawkdale as the place would be called if it were in the north of England, would fit with this appraisal.

It was only later that I stood awaiting Strokkur's watery eruption and I headed for the top of Laugarfjall (try loo-arr-fyatt-lu) to gain some more unique vistas and my ambling about the low-sized hill brought me to the view in the photo. Between my vantage and the craggy top, there lay a lush green valley with the river Laugá winding its meandering way through there. Though rock of volcanic origin still made its appearance, this was a pleasant counterpoint to the desolation surrounding what draws many a visitor to the area.

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