ÍS: The Surtshellir & Stefanshellir Lava Tunnels

Surtshellir, Iceland Oh, happy day! It’s time to start posting the film from my June trip around Iceland’s Ring Road. There might be a few repeats from my iphone pictures for those of you who followed along back in June, but I tried to take different shots with my phone and camera, so hopefully it will mostly new sights. One of the first places my mom and I went (she traveled with my for a week and a half till Akureyri) was the sight of the lava tunnels Surtshellir and Stefanshellir. We drove about 60km inland from Borgarnes and a bit onto the barely-can-be-called-a-road F-road through lava fields to reach the tunnels.

Surtshellir, IcelandWe climbed the gaping hole pictured above down into Surtshellir. About a mile long (the longest in the country), this cave is mentioned in medieval documents and was used in the 10th century as a hideout for outlaws and bandits. It is named after a fire giant. There was snow left at the mouth of the huge tunnel, after which we scrambled down some boulders further into the dark. There was a mist in the air, and we could hear water dripping somewhere further along. Since this was a last minute plan, we only had a small flashlight, which provided barely enough  light for both of us to make our way across the rocks. I tried to be brave and keep going once the tunnel turned, but when my flashlight suddenly turned off for a few seconds, I gallantly chickened out and high tailed it out of there. We didn’t go into Stefánshellir, but did walk to the mouth of the tunnel to peer in.

Surtshellir, Iceland

Surtshellir, Iceland

Surtshellir, Iceland[35mm film taken with my Canon Rebel 2000 SLR]

2 thoughts on “ÍS: The Surtshellir & Stefanshellir Lava Tunnels

  1. Pingback: ÍS: Lava Fields & Other Rugged Spots | An American in Iceland (and other places too)

  2. Pingback: ÍS: Hraunfossar | An American in Iceland (and other places too)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s