VOLCANO FAGRADALSFJALL, Iceland (AP) – Pandemic or no pandemic, the world will never stop. This is perhaps no clearer than in Iceland, where a volcano awoke from a sleep that lasted 6,000 years, roughly a year or two.
The glow of the bubbling hot lava that gushes from the Fagradalsfjall volcano can be seen from the outskirts of the Icelandic capital, Reykjavík, 32 kilometers (20 miles) away. For others in the world, there is always the live stream.
But this is the Reykjanes Peninsula’s first volcano eruption in about 800 years, and nothing quite matches the exhilaration of witnessing firsthand and personally the raw power of planet Earth. Fagradalsfjall itself is made up of the Icelandic words for “beautiful mountain in the valley”.
Miguel Angel Morenatti, a Seville-based freelance photographer for The Associated Press, loves Iceland and announced his trip to the North Atlantic island nation when he heard about the March 19 eruption.
“As a landscape photographer Iceland is a paradise,” he said.
Reaching the top is not for everyone. It’s a steep climb, which takes two to three hours, but for Morenatti, it’s an experience his five senses have never experienced. Morenatti hopes the photos he has taken capture some of this “natural wonder”.
“When you finish the climb you are in awe of what’s going on there,” he said. “An awesome picture, a Dante-esque sound and the smell of gas that reaches your throat. “
With the gradual opening of international travel, more and more people will be able to take the same trip to marvel at the volcanic spectacle. And with summer approaching, daylight will stretch into the wee hours of the day, so there won’t be such a rush to do this strenuous hike.
Yet, with the coronavirus pandemic still raging in many parts of the world, Iceland has strict rules on who can enter the country., which has about 400,000 inhabitants. Getting the full vaccine is key.