On August 29. the volcanic eruption started at Holuhraun on the Icelandic highland between Askja and Bárðarbunga. As almost every photographer living in Iceland was dying to get to the scene the Civil protection in Iceland restricted all access to the area with the exception of scientist and media which were allowed access at their own risk. As I was working for the newspaper Skessuhorn me and my fellow reporter planned a trip. We got permission on Tuesday 2. September. We packed our gear and drove north with haste. We were at Mývatn around midnight and it was very foggy and cloudy so we decided to crash for the night in Bárðardalur and get up really early the morning after. We set our alarm clock to 05:00 and at 05:30 we were off.

We drove all the way to Möðrudalur which was the only open route to Holuhraun. We checked in to the area with our press pass and off we went. It took us about 4 hours to get to the eruption site. At 09:30 we were there. It was quite massive. 1 km long line of about 6 craters pumping out extremely hot lava and gas. 


Against the sun

We immediately started taking photographs as we stood there amazed by the raw power of nature. But in the back of our mind, we were always aware of the things that could go wrong if the situation changed. We never turned off the car engine and we were never further from the car then 5 minutes run. If the eruption would begin under the glacier then the area would flood pretty quickly. 



At about 15:30 the area was evacuated because the scientists saw on their meters that the earthquakes were behaving differently. Everyone was sent away. Gathering point was at Drekagil where everyone waited for the site to open again. But at around 21:00 we got the news that the site would not open again on that day. Maybe the day after. So we drove back for 4 hours to Bárðardalur and went to sleep. The morning after we went to Mývatn and hit the swimming pool at Reykjahlíð. After the swim and a good lunch, we checked the news. We saw that the area had opened again and off we went. We arrived at Holuhraun around 16:00 and spent the afternoon there and until the darkness was too much for photographing.




lava fountain


You can check out my Flickr page and for more photos.

Holuhraun panorama

Hope you enjoyed this because I know I did. 

Here you can see a small video that I made about the trip. It is 6 minutes long and contains footage from my gopro, pictures, timelapse and a few photos from my phone.

Eldgos í Holuhrauni from Tomas Kristjansson on Vimeo.


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