On the 24th of May, 1863, my uncle, Professor Liedenbrock, rushed into his little house, No. 19 Königstrasse, one of the oldest streets in the oldest portion of the city of Hamburg. Martha must have concluded that she was very much behindhand, for the dinner had only just been put into the oven. “Well, now,” said I to myself, “if that most impatient of men is hungry, what a disturbance he will make!”
“M. Liedenbrock so soon!” cried poor Martha in great alarm, half opening the dining-room door. “Yes, Martha; but very likely the dinner is not half cooked, for it is not two yet. Saint Michael’s clock has only just struck half-past one.”
“Then why has the master come home so soon?”
“Perhaps he will tell us that himself.”
“Here he is, Monsieur Axel; I will run and hide myself while you argue with him.”
And Martha retreated in safety into her own dominions.
It didn’t start in the little house in Hamburg, but in a little flat in Mallorca. But it involved a mysterious piece of paper, like the adventure of Jules Verne’s “Journey to the center of the earth”, to be more specific a dive magazine lying around in the dive school in Porta Pollenca, Mallorca. After the third or fourth bottle of wine it was clear, we have to do this. Cold water, no fish, no life whatsoever, this sounded like the dive of a lifetime…
Silfra is located in Iceland, in Þingvellir. The place where the vikings met to form the oldest parliament in modern Europe, the place where the european and the american tectonic plate separate. The tectonic movements formed a fissure and a system of caves, which are filled with water originating from glaciers. This water is older than 10.000 years and belongs to the clearest waters in the world (well, unless you happen to dive behind me, then you get all the crap I hit with my fins). It’s about 4°C. The fissure is pretty deep in some places, opening up in a system of caves. But due to an accident last year, the national park services only allow dives up to 18 meters…