Journey to the Center of the Earth
Snæfellsjökull National Park
Have you seen the movie “Journey to the Center of the Earth” or have you read the classic novel where the movie was derived from? The novel was written by Jules Verne, who was a very creative thinker. Anyway, if you haven’t checked out neither the movie or the book lately, then here is a brief detail about it; it is about a scientist, his nephew and an Icelander mountain guide who are on the quest in finding out what happened to the scientist’s missing brother inside a lava cave. They then discover some kind of a portal to a lost world in the center of the Earth. But we will not go beyond the details about the movie nor the book, but the cave they went into. Though in reality, Vatnshellir Cave in Snæfellsnes doesn’t have that weird hole where you can fall down to reach the center of the Earth. (But you’ll never know, right?). So where is this mysterious cave located? It is in Snæfellsjökull National Park, 10 minutes drive away from Hellnar. This cave is about 8000 years old isn’t really a good sight from above, but you know what they say, precious gems are always hidden (or did I just made that up?).
You need a good mountain and cave guide to get the adventure started because it can be quite dangerous going inside a large and deep cave without someone who knows the ins and outs of it. And besides, the cave is locked and only those who have legal access can get inside the cave. It has a door with letters above it spelled “UNDIRHEIMAR” and in Icelandic translation it means Underworld. The adventure is about to start on this spot.
When you get pass the door it would take about 35 meters underground, it is like a height of a 12 storey building and 200 meters into the lava tube. Going down the stairs down to the first chamber is worth it, as very interesting lava formations awaits you in the first chamber. There will be a second set of stairs, a spiral like stairs that would take you further down the cave.
The cave was once partly closed by soil and very strenuous to access. Volunteers from the Lions Club of Nesþing made it all possible to get it open again. With the lead of Árni B. Stefánsson, a cave explorer, the cave is now open for public.
Legend has it that the cave was inhabited by a legendary half troll named Bárður Snæfellsáss in the 9th century. This gives the Vatnshellir lava cave a mystery.
There is a replica of this cave in Tokyo Disneyland. But it is nothing compared to the real thing. Where you actually travel deep into the underworld. Pure silence and darkest will surround you. With walls of lava glaze, beautiful rock sediment formations and lava formations that gives the place enthralling wonder. So put your helmets on and get ready for your journey to the center of the Earth.