Tuesday, 7 October 2014

The Bucket List

I have always liked the concept of the bucket list.

The bucket list follows no rule other than writing down all the crazy dreams that live within me. These are the dreams that are unrealistic, silly and even naive in the sometimes-too-narrow-for-its-own-good world of adulthood. 

There is nothing wrong with dreaming big. In fact, the bigger the dreams, the better the imagination. the bucket list is the list where we write the things we want to say, the things we're even too afraid to say out loud. So we say them on paper. Or in a Word document. Or an app even.

My bucket list has a few crazy things I'd like to do in life. One of these things is to see an active volcano erupt. Don't ask my why, but for some crazy reason I have always been fascinated by this wonder of nature, this extraordinary erupting beauty that is the maker of this world.

Seeing that I grew up on an island that is known for erupting volcanoes, earthquakes and melting glaciers at spring, it's probably best to call it natural curiosity. Not to forget the blizzards and the strong winds that are rarely silent. Those I don't love but they make for incredible companions to the raving mad nature.

Iceland is a place for craziness. 

And so, when the third volcanic eruption in less than five years commenced just over a month ago, I knew I had to eat a slice of that cake. And so, to celebrate my partner's 34th birthday, I booked a sightseeing flight from the most beautiful place in Iceland, Mývatn, that is, Lake Midge, with Mýflug, a small local flight service. 

Beautiful Mývatn. Photo by JB.
The shores of Mývatn. Photo by JB.
The extraordinary landscape in Mývatn. Photo by JB.

The Hverfjall crater. Photo by JB.
Mývatn seen from the skies. Photo by JB.
In the late afternoon on September 20th - after a lovely walk by the lake - my partner and I embarked upon the adventure of our lifetime, a sightseeing flight over the volcanic eruption at Holuhraun near the great Vatnajökull glacier (The Water glacier). 

The magnetic Krafla crater. Photo by JB.
The journey to our destination was extraordinary. Shortly before we arrived at the sight of the eruption, we flew over the beautiful Krafla crater, a crater that is known for powerful eruptions. 
The Vatnajökull glacier from a distance. Photo by JB.
The glacier looked upon us from a distance but our destination was not the glacier. It was the amazing eruption.
The great eruption in Holuhraun. Photo by JB.
To capture the great moment, I couldn't resist the urge to film it on my iPhone 4s. 

Our vessel on this journey was a small six-seater flown by a young but capable pilot, a woman with a great future in the aviation industry. And quite possibly the best job in the world… I mean, she gets to fly near an erupting volcano for a living. How incredible is that.
The vessel of my dreams. Photo by JB.
This vessel lives in my memory as the grandest ride of my life… it was the vessel that made a dream of mine come true.

And so it happened that my craziest dream came true. 
A true bucket list moment.