Innocently minding our own business, as we took in the atmospheric scenery on the drive up towards the Krafla Geothermal Power Station and the Víti explosion crater, we saw this:

I had heard, prior to going to Iceland, that the average Icelander makes Björk  look normal.  Quirky does it, apparently :)

It was quite the contrast from the landscape at Hverir.

Krafla, Hverir, Iceland

View towards Krafla from Hverir

Víti translates as Hell – and oddly enough, there is more than one volcanic crater with this name, in Iceland…  One cannot help but be sucked in to this Olde Norse culture.  By the thundering gods!! and all that…

Viti Explosion Crater, Iceland

The crater lake of Viti (Hell)

You can see how grim it was, up in the clouds, but we made the trip around and down into this explosion crater; not quite into the bowels of the Earth, but it did feel strangely warmer…

Viti explosion crater, Krafla, Iceland

Firstly, a walk around the edge of the largest of the lakes

Viti explosion crater, Krafla, Iceland

A smaller crater lake looks like a Tropical Island in reverse… No sharks here to worry you!

mud-pots, sulphur, brimstone, Viti explosion crater, Krafla, Iceland

Mud-pots and brimstone – are we in Hell yet?

mud-pots, Viti explosion crater, Krafla, Iceland

Feeling rather tropical and steamy down here…

Viti explosion crater, Krafla, Iceland

Climbing out of Hell

Viti explosion crater, Krafla, Iceland

Hell is actually quite colourful, really

Viti explosion crater, Krafla, Iceland

Inside the crater walls

Viti explosion crater, Krafla, Iceland

Misty views into the crater lake

Curiously, at the end of the Road to Hell – there’s somewhere to leave your car.

Viti explosion crater, Krafla, Iceland

Hell hath… a car park??

Of course, there’s more to this region than just the Viti explosion crater.  This being a geothermal area and a highly active one at that, means that man wanted some of that power.

And thus, a power station was born.

Krafla geothermal power station, Iceland

Krafla Geothermal Power Station

There are pipes criss-crossing the landscape, linking all the boreholes with the main power station.  In fact, in a couple of the photographs of Viti above, you will see long silver pipes lurking in the background.  The boreholes are drilled to various depths, bearing in mind that there is a hot, molten magma chamber sitting somewhere between 3-8 km below ground.  What the boreholes essentially do, is release the hot, steamy vapours generated by this lava pot.  This steam then passes through turbines, which in turn powers magnetised rotors that are surrounded with a  coil of copper (blah, blah, blah), and tah-da! electricity is generated.

Krafla geothermal power station, Iceland

One of the boreholes at Krafla

Once all the steam has done its business and condensed into super-hot water – it has to go somewhere.  In a similar way that the Reykjanes Power Plant feeds the Blue Lagoon (a post coming your way soon!!), the Krafla plant feeds the Myvatn baths.  But before it gets there we see more strange sightings on the road away from hell…

Krafla geothermal power station, Iceland

What the devil? Are we still on Earth?

In context…

Krafla geothermal power station, Iceland

Run-off – downstream of Krafla Geothermal Power Plant

Bear in mind, this is also down-stream of that toilet ;)

About these ads