Iceland is planning to be energy self sufficient in the next two decades and using geothermal power production is one of the ways they are planning to do it.
Instead of environmentally risky oil pipelines, insulated steam pipes snake across the landscape.
Today we went driving into the mountains north east of Reykjavíc, up towards the Langjökull glacier. We knew we’d be passing the home of the eponymous “Geysir” (the first geyser known to Europeans). We also knew it would be a total tourist trap and that Geysir only erupts when there is seismic activity, which isn’t right now, but we thought we may as well go and see it.
Yep the place had the obligatory store with very over priced tourist stuff in it, and there were all sorts of tour groups there, just like we expected. So it was with an unwilling heart I went to look at Strokkur, the only geyser that regularly blows a column of water into the air.
As I hung around with all the other mooks with my camera at the ready, waiting as the minutes crawled by I kept thinking to myself, “why am I bothering with this?”
I have to admit that as I watched the water in the geyser well up and down for about fifteen minutes, I could feel the tension of expectation mount inside me. Then all of a sudden the water wells a little higher than before and with a gushing blast a large tower of steaming hot water shot into space. It was so violent, powerful and fast that everybody, including me jumped.
One moment I’m a jaded piece of meat that couldn’t care less, the next I’m an excited little kid who can’t wait for the geyser to go off again.
I watched Strokkur do its thing three more times and eventually had to be dragged away from it by my wife.