Iceland's countryside

Myvatn, near the town of Akureyri (riddled with consonants, Icelandic words are not easy to tackle, but saying "mee-VAHT" and "ah-KOO-ray-ree" will get you by), is more or less on top of the ever-growing chasm between the North American and Eurasian plates. In the '70s and '80s, this region fielded nine eruptions from a nearby series of volcanic fissures. Locals had to put their tap water in the fridge to cool.<br>
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But on this winter's day, I'm left undisturbed to enjoy the low-lying fruits of plate tectonics: hiking on a black crust of a lava field, taking the womblike geothermal waters and breathing these hot, sloth-inducing vapors. Across the steam room, my friend flops onto her stomach in the mist, and I watch the drop of condensation slowly muster its strength. It falls.<br>
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-- Krista Mahr<br>
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Read more: <a href="http://www.latimes.com/travel/la-trw-iceland5aug05,0,4881845.story">Savor the sveit life in Iceland's countryside</a><br>
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<i>Pictured: Lake Myvatn.</i>

( Arctic-Images / Corbis )

Myvatn, near the town of Akureyri (riddled with consonants, Icelandic words are not easy to tackle, but saying "mee-VAHT" and "ah-KOO-ray-ree" will get you by), is more or less on top of the ever-growing chasm between the North American and Eurasian plates. In the '70s and '80s, this region fielded nine eruptions from a nearby series of volcanic fissures. Locals had to put their tap water in the fridge to cool.

But on this winter's day, I'm left undisturbed to enjoy the low-lying fruits of plate tectonics: hiking on a black crust of a lava field, taking the womblike geothermal waters and breathing these hot, sloth-inducing vapors. Across the steam room, my friend flops onto her stomach in the mist, and I watch the drop of condensation slowly muster its strength. It falls.

-- Krista Mahr

Read more: Savor the sveit life in Iceland's countryside

Pictured: Lake Myvatn.

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