Mývatn is a lake in the north of Iceland and to the south of Akureyri. The name of the lake comes from the Icelandic mý (pronounced me ) which means midge and vatn (the n is silent, sort of) which means lake. This gives clues as to why the area might be best avoided in high summer. Attracted to the carbon dioxide we all breathe out, midges bite, they swarm around your face and mouth and get in your hair and I, for one, will go to great lengths to avoid them. I’m very glad we were visiting the lake in the middle of winter.
It really is a very beautiful, spiritual place and an area of very active volcanism. The shrub, clinging to the rock in the picture below reminded me of a bonsai. Very Zen and that’s how it was. We’d just sit, listening to the silence, very meditative.
Steaming, boiling pools and vents emitting hot sulphurous gases creating mole hill type structures can be found dotted around. Watching the steam billowing from beneath the earth, hissing and spitting, is a powerful reminder of the tremendous heat and energy that is locked up beneath us all, it’s just that much closer to the surface in Iceland. Using this energy to great effect, Iceland is the greenest country on the planet.