Mt Askja (1,510 m) is an impressive volcano that rises straight out of the Ódáðahraun lava field. Its name comes from the Icelandic word for caldera, the most prominent feature of Askja. The volcano of Askja originated some 10,000 years ago, but the caldera was only formed in the mighty eruption of 1875. After spitting out a huge amount of ash and gas, the magma chamber from whence it came could no longer support the volcano above, so that the middle of the mountain slowly began to collapse. The subsequent depression filled with water and formed the lake you see today. Lake Öskjuvatn is now the deepest lake in Iceland (220m) and is considered one of the greatest calderas in the world. Both scientists and tourists admire the volcano for its perfect shape and mammoth size, exaggerated by the flatness of the surrounding lava field. The lake is a brilliant blue colour and has been the subject of much study – in 1907, a pair of German geologists disappeared in the lake while studying its chemistry, most likely drowned. A monument to them now stands near the other crater lake of Víti.
In preparation for the first manned flight to the moon, NASA pinpointed the lavascapes around Askja as the most lunar-like on planet earth. Both Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin travelled to Iceland in the mid 1960s to undergo training for the moon landing. The hike around the top rim of Askja is long (about 8 hours) and complicated, not least because of the unco-operative weather. If there is any wind at all, do not make the hike, as the slope down into the lake is very steep and the ridge on which you are walking quite narrow. For now, the only place to stay is the mountain hut at Drekagil (sleeps 60).
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Tip’s Creation Guidelines
Tips must be in English (Quality of English will be evaluated and any tips in another language will not be accepted)
Each tip must be at least 150 words
Topic of tip must be travel
Each entrant must create at least 10 tips using their Tiplr account (But there is no limit to the number of tips created)
Each tip must have a good quality photo (When using the website, photos should be at least 800 pixels in width)
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Quality of text (i.e. well-written, in fluent English, unique/original, off the beaten path, avoids mainstream travel topics, etc.)
Authenticity of information provided
“Smartness” of tip
Ability to select the proper category and location for each tip
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