Tag Archives: travel

Where the Earth shows its bones

(Thoughts on time and change, from Iceland)

Photo: Lava flow, near Selatangar, Reykjanes Peninsula, Iceland (all photos in this post © Stephen Heard or Kristie Heard)

Iceland is a beautiful country, a changing country, a very young country, and an old one.

sm eldfelll IMGP6095Photo: Tuff cliffs from Eldfell cone, Heimaey, Westman Islands, Iceland

Iceland, of course, is a newborn in geological terms, sprouting from the MidAtlantic Ridge and still growing. The Earth’s bones show everywhere: sometimes cloaked only in a thin layer of moss, as on the lava flow above; sometimes a little more fully dressed; and sometimes, completely exposed. The other day, I climbed Eldfell*, the volcanic cone from the 1973 eruption on Heimaey, in the Westman Islands. I was looking across at grass-capped cliffs of tuff just 5,000 years old; but the ground beneath my feet was bare cinder, and younger than I am. Continue reading