The Craters of Dimmuborgir



Dear Diary

The situation with our increasingly empty tanks makes us increasingly nervous and we decide not to stop until we have reached a gas station. We hope to find them in the small town of Mývatn. We hope the name of the place doesn’t keep what it promises, because it translates as “mosquito lake”. We will find out that it is true.

relieved when fresh fossil fuel flows back into our car. We turn around again and drive back the ring road to see a few areas we missed on the way there.




There are some areas around Mývatn that are well worth seeing. It’s bubbling everywhere, because here is an area of extreme geothermal energy again. In shimmering colors, the ground is a desert of ice and ash. The barren ground sometimes shines yellow, white, red or changing into purple, in between are small craters piled up, from which disgusting steam is constantly escaping.

Every now and then signs draw attention to the fact that you should be careful where you step, as in some places only a remarkably thin crust of earth separates you from the inner life of the earth, which is several hundred degrees hot …

The hot mass immediately below the surface of the earth is not the only exciting boundary condition. We can walk over the lava fields over a thick layer of ice. Fat, but not fat enough.

Individual holes let us see that under this seemingly safe surface, sharp points are waiting for dangerous injuries. We shudder a little at the thought of breaking through the snow with a careless step.

We visit the Námafjall area and hike on rather adventurous trails over the ice to craters and solidified lava. It looks like a volcano just erupted yesterday and the lava has only just hardened.




We are of course completely selfless and take care of each other. That’s why our motto is “let the fat run ahead, as long as it doesn’t break in, it’s safe”.

In other places you can see lava covers that look as if the magma wave just rolled over here yesterday and then solidified. Bizarre shapes testify that the rock here was really still a short time ago, that it stretched nets because it was tough, or that it simply came to a standstill somewhere as a sticky mass, in whatever form.

In addition, the “area” is still too young to be able to do anything with the term erosion. In other places these land masses have built up to form huge towers and gates before they solidify and look like the badly cliché plastered backdrop from a 70s fantasy film.



It seethes from all holes and crevices. Iceland is like the opposite of Atlantis, because this island has only recently grown out of the ocean thanks to the volcanoes. Iceland is very young and is still developing, which can be seen here directly.

It smells badly of sulfur and other chemicals. All over the island you can always smell rotten eggs. It becomes quite normal and you wonder if you breathe fresh air in between.



We had to pay a visit to Dimmuborgir simply because a well-known Finnish metal band bears this name and their music is pretty much the same as what you can see here in the form of rock. Sharp-edged rocks stick out from the ground and you can cut yourself on them if you are careless. The translation of Dimmuborgir makes sense: “Black castles”.

Winter still prevails here and a few short trees are bare. We wander through this bizarre landscape. Chris notices that our travel guide says that behind this landscape there is another crater that can be climbed. We keep this knowledge to ourselves for the time being, because we know that our friend Uwe hates every meter of altitude.

The lava has built natural towers and bridges. It looks like nature’s playground. Of a very infantile nature.

We let Uwe believe that we are only doing our laps here on flat ground. Only when we are shortly before the Hvarfell crater do we reveal to our friend that we are now going up there. Since he doesn’t have enough time to get upset, we can tackle the climb without difficulty.




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