The goal of being in two places at once is on most people's bucket list. However, this is normally from straddling a man made 'boarder line'. In Canada, you can have one foot in Saskatchewan and one in Alberta - Boom, you've achieved your goal. People in lab coats are still working on quantum physics theories to allow for actual biolocation, essentially all the stuff they talk about in those sic-fi movies where there are different dimensions of time in space etc. But, in the land of fire and ice you actually can be in two places at once, swimming in a crack between two continents and touch both Europe and America AT THE SAME TIME.
For those of you who aren't Geology nuts, Iceland is very special for a number of reasons, but perhaps the most famous reason is that you can be on the American continent one minute, and on the Eurasian continent the next. This can be found in the þingvellir national park with the real adventurers among us being able to swim through the very breaking point, the crack in the earth that splits us and the Americans apart! So, naturally, when I heard about this one I had to try it out! I dragged myself and fellow blogger, Workouts and Wanderlust, out to Iceland to give it a go with leading dive operator Dive.Is.
Only an hours drive from Reykjavik, we met our guides in þingvellir national park ready for a good old safety briefing, before signing our life away for the thousandth time to try a new adventure activity! We'd booked in to snorkel this vast underworld, however if you have your PADI diving certification (and a larger budget than I have) you can go way below the surface with the team as well.
The guys explained how the water for Silfra is fed from an underwater river, that starts with a glacier, so it is ice cold. The only positive is that this does mean the water stays a constant temperature all year round, so if you want to see Iceland as a winder wonderland, you can still try out this magnificent experience! However, with it being at a constant 2-4 degrees in temperature it is not somewhere you should go if you don't mind getting a little uncomfortable. While you're wrapped up in space suits, your face is still a little exposed so it stings! Great for the skin though I'm sure?
After a good hour of wiggling around getting into our dry suits (the most hilarious kitting up I've ever experienced), and with water temperature only just above freezing, it was time to descend into the abyss. Waddling down the steps in our suits and flippers was a bit of a laugh, and then it was my turn to float on in...
The only way I can describe the initial experience is feeling like a human ice cube in a glass of fizzy pop. If you haven't used a drysuit before, it prevents water getting into the suit to keep you warm in painfully cold water, and you stay fully clothed - feels weird. However, this created an odd affect without the use of weights where the suit is full of air so you float, almost out of control. But, this bizarre sensation is completely outweighed once you put your head underwater - it literally is some of the clearest water in the world with over 100m of clarity!
The 40 minute swim / float in completed in four sections - Silfra Big Crack, Silfra Hall, Silfra Cathedral and finally ending in the Silfra Lagoon. With not many fish around, some people may question what there is to look at however I simply couldn't get enough. With locally dubbed 'troll's hair' (green algae that sticks to the rocks) and incredibly clear water, it didn't get dull at all while manoeuvring through all the rock formations. The fact that you're in-between the two continents during the Big Crack section doesn't escape you either!
Being led by the expert guides who would periodically stop and explain each section made sure that you could swim/float and learn about the names behind each part of the trip. Coming to an end just before you feel yourself turning to ice, we ascending out of the water slightly less than gracefully in flippers before making our way to the trucks and the desperately required hot chocolate!
Having been something I wanted to try for so many years, it seriously didn't disappoint and I'd recommend to ANYONE who wants to do something a little unusual. A huge thanks to Dive IS for helping me tick this one off the bucket list this year, and I can't wait to hit Iceland for a third time to try some of the other awesome activities these guys have on offer.