Nisyros: even hotter rocks

Tuesday was to be a Big Day, the day that we went into the caldera and onto the crater floor.  Nisyros is classed as a ‘potentially active volcano’ and is much visited as  such by tourists from nearby Kos.  No visit to Nisyros is complete without visiting the caldera and the craters within it.

We took the volcano trip bus, one-way only as the time allowed before the return is at most an hour, nowhere near long enough to visit and properly appreciate both craters.

We went to the ‘minor’ crater first so as to avoid the general rush to the main crater.  In the event we were returning from that as the trip buses were leaving so we had the main crater more or less to ourselves.

As always it was very hot, particularly on the floor of the main crater because  of a combination of overhead sun, reflection from the white rocks of the curved crater walls and floor, absence of any breeze, the heat of the volcano coming through the crater floor, and the sulphurous gases emanating from the many fumaroles (fissures).  I know I can’t take more than half an hour of the heat and sulphur fumes and so it prove with Ruth and Tim.

The place has to be visited to be appreciated.  The rest of this blog is taken up with pictures of it which might capture something of the impact.  Yet another bout of Repetitive Photo Syndrome.

Looking along the smaller of the craters from the rim

Water-eroded landforms in the smaller crater, a bit like the Hoodoos in the Rockies

A sulphur-encrusted, gas-emitting fissure in the smaller crater

Looking across the main crater from the rim, the scale shown by the size of the people standing on the crater floor

Sulphur deposits on the way down to the crater floor

The crater wall from the floor, more than 20 metres high

Close-up of the needle-like sulphur crystals around one of the fissures

A more complex fissure

Looking across the crater to its rim and the rim of the caldera beyond

On the caldera floor looking towards the smaller crater

From the crater we crossed the caldera floor, a hazardous enterprise according to one local tourist guide, and then climbed the kalderimi (part-paved donkey path) steeply up to the crater rim village of Nikia from where we caught one of the two daily buses back to the town.

The peaceful and picturesque main square in Nikia

Impressive day

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