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That 70's Volcano

A Day on Heimaey Island

sunny 55 °F

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After a 2-hour drive from the Blue Lagoon, we boarded a 30 minute ferry to the largest of The Westman Islands--Heimaey Island (which translated from Icelandic literally means "home island"). The island may be best known for a 1973 eruption that lasted 5 months and added 2 kilometers to the island--much of that a blood-red or black lava rock still scarring the landscape today. The town of 5,000 people was evacuated within hours (the entire fleet of fishing boats was in the harbor that day) and only one person died--a man who suffocated while trying to loot the pharmacy.

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The town is small and can be easily navigated in a day. We took a 3 hour "circle tour" boat trip around the island to see the most remote bird cliffs (including a puffin colony) and volcanic caves, then hiked to the top of the volcanic mountain Eldfell to survey the vast destruction of this natural disaster.

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After a great lobster soup dinner at 900 Grillhaus, it was off to sleep at the Hotel Porshamir, a very basic but comfortable 2-star (and only) hotel on the island.

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The sun sets here at 9pm and it's not fully dark until 11pm (even in August). Visit in June for the midnight sun and golf games that begin at 8pm!

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Posted by Maltags 02:00 Archived in Iceland Tagged heimaey_island

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