Monday, January 11, 2010

Namaskar pass, Iceland - "the gateway to hell"

Iceland is a beautiful place that is surrounded with a number of geographical wonders that are believed to be immensely distributed in the wide diversity. The indigenous land is also surrounded by a number of wide and open horizons that has all the power to just attract any visitor towards itself with a sense of gravity and independent freedom.

When visiting Iceland you just may feel an ever living quest so that you can always explore the beautiful topographical diversity the very moment you step on the soils of Iceland. The famous Namaskar pass which is located near the North of beautiful Lake Myvatn is also considered as one of the wonders of the world, and is one such place that you must surely visit when in Iceland.

Situated at a height of 410 m in the famous Mount. Namafjall, this pass has managed to derive its name based on the 19th century due to sulfur recovery from this mountain. One of the best ways to reach to the famous pass certainly is to try and take route No. 1 of the Ring road that is located between the Mynav and the Egilssta. There is also another route which is called as the Serpentine routes which you can take from the Reykjahli, that is situated at least 5 Kms away. Lake Myvatn is one place that is also looked up as most famous resort area of Iceland and can be reached just within 45 minutes from the nearest town. So, once you have managed to reach Hinauffahrt, you may immediately get a nice view of the Muckensee and the Jar-ba-sholar, which is also a famous volcanic crater and covers the Jar-bo-in lagoon right behind it.

A stretch of hot water springs called as Hverarond is certainly located just at the foot of this famous mountain and these are better known for the wide variety that they keep on changing. There are also a number of mud holes, mud pots or fumaroles that can always be seen boiling with extra amount of energy.

The famous Namaskar pass is just situated at a little distance to Krafla volcano and there are also a number of other geological spots that are located nearby to it including desert Myvatsorafi and Burfellshraun. Whenever visiting Namaskar pass you have to keep in mind to visit Heibquellengebiet, Pseudo craters of Skutusta, Dimmuborgir’s lava formations and also the historic waterfalls of Go-afoss which is just located nearby to the road.

At the foothills of this spectacular volcanic mountain is an expanse of hot springs called Hverarönd or Hverir that are known for their changing variety. You may also find a number of fumaroles, mud pools and mud pots that all seem to be boiling with relentless energy. The pass Námaskarð is strategically located at a short distance from the Krafla volcano system as well as other interesting geological spots like Búrfellshraun and the desert Mývatsöræfi. While visiting Námaskarð, you must not miss the Heißquellengebiet, lava formations of Dimmuborgir, pseudo craters of Skútustaðir and the historic waterfall Goðafoss by the road.

However, Námaskarð earns its notoriety chiefly because of its sulphurous mud springs called solfataras and steam springs called fumaroles. Though you will scarcely find any pure water spring in this wonderful geothermal site of Iceland, the beauty of the colorful minerals defies all comparisons. The gigantic size of the mud craters is what makes you go ‘wow’ at the sight of them. You get parking, accommodation and dining facilities at Grýtubakki.

The other thing that is sure to strike you about Námaskarð is the sheer lack of vegetation. However, if you give a thought to the high temperature range, it does not appear an impossibility altogether. The constant emission of the fumes has made the ground utterly sterile and acidic, unfit to sustain any floras and faunas. You must bear in mind that the fumes can be harmful for humans as well.

Hence, better not forget to cover your nose or wear a mask while enjoying the hues of mineral deposits. You also must be careful about where you walk. Do not try to get over adventurous and cross the ropes that surround the pools. The ground beyond might crumble any moment and accidents do occur every now and then due to the erosive nature of the mud springs. There are no guards or guides to keep you off from the impending danger and so you must look after yourself.

It needs a visit to Námaskarð and Lake Mývatn to dispel the myth of icy coldness that people tend to associate with Iceland. In fact, Mývatn ranks fourth among the largest lakes of Iceland and remains the favorite haunt of various species of birds. The efflorescence of the sulphuric gases and hydrogen sulphide lets loose a riot of colors to flood the neighboring rhyolite rocks of this region. The view of the magnificent Lake Mývatn coupled with the turbulent bubbling and overhanging fog gives you a feeling that you have arrived at some extraterrestrial land or is it...the gateway to hell!




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