Yes, eruptions are serious business. One has to bring the right equipment, check the conditions, and above all, exercise caution. It is not every day, after all, that one is confronted with the raw, boiling power of earth’s mantle shooting up in glow-in-the-dark orange jets.
It is not an everyday experience. Everywhere around you, you see the signs of something exceptional. A holiday air reigns, alternately feeling like a solemn pilgrimage and carnival.
Everyone seems to have come for something different. Old couples picnic off to the side of the main event, and wispy teenage boys are wired into VR headsets, piloting their drones over the lava field. Some enjoy a moment of silent contemplation, and others are clearly here for the spectacle and fun of it all. For others, such as geologists and the search and rescue team, the eruption site is an office.
Here, we briefly show a few of the many faces and scenes of Meradalir.
The slopes above the eruption serves as the perfect vantage point to view the eruption from. The eruption is obscured until the moment hikers crest the hill behind it, and visitors new to the scene can often be heard gasping in surprise when they first see the eruption below.
The angle provides an excellent view over the eruption, but doesn’t quite capture the scale of the jets. As we descended the slope, we could better appreciate the magnitude of the eruption.
Katrin and Tomas, a German couple, pause on the slopes for a water break. They had taken an even longer route to the eruption site, and had walked some 30km that day.
Tóta Maja, from the Search and Rescue team Björgunsveitin Ok, stands by with her partner, Jóhannes. Asked how she felt about the most recent eruption, she said she was very excited, and that so far everyone has been behaving very well.
Fashion designer Eva Poleschinski and her photographer struck digital gold last year when one of her pictures from Fagradalsfjall went viral. Here, they hope lightning strikes twice for them.
Berglind and Ragnar saw all of the drone footage from last year and just recently got one for themselves. Here they are taking their new drone on its maiden flight.
University of Iceland geologists, Catherine Gallagher and Jóna Sigurlína Pálmadóttir, conduct some fieldwork. When we came across them, they were breaking off a chunk of lava to take back for sampling. They said the Meradalir eruption was a very nice, polite eruption: no surprises so far, and away from roads and settlements.
J.J. and Carlos were in Iceland for the first time. This was their first eruption, and they seemed like they were having a great time!
Laimis has been living in Iceland for three years. He saw many of the pictures from the eruption last year and thought he’d give lava-grilled hot dogs a try (which, by the way, we don’t recommend!).
Lucia, Alexandra, and Lila were having a great time taking pictures. Having just moved here two months ago, it was quite the welcoming for Alexandra.
Those visiting the eruption site should be sure to read our Ask Iceland Review article on the Meradalir eruption for information on safety, parking, and weather conditions.