A Journey to the Interior of the Earth
Sunny Lands In The Blue Mediterranean
When I opened my eyes again I felt myself grasped by the belt with the strong hand of
our guide. With the other arm he supported my uncle. I was not seriously hurt, but I was
shaken and bruised and battered all over. I found myself lying on the sloping side of a
mountain only two yards from a gaping gulf, which would have swallowed me up had I
leaned at all that way. Hans had saved me from death whilst I lay rolling on the edge of
"Where are we?" asked my uncle irascibly, as if he felt much injured by being landed
upon the earth again.
The hunter shook his head in token of complete ignorance.
"Is it Iceland?" I asked.
"NEJ," replied Hans.
"What! Not Iceland?" cried the Professor.
"Hans must be mistaken," I said, raising myself up.
This was our final surprise after all the astonishing events of our wonderful journey. I
expected to see a white cone covered with the eternal snow of ages rising from the midst
of the barren deserts of the icy north, faintly lighted with the pale rays of the arctic sun,
far away in the highest latitudes known; but contrary to all our expectations, my uncle,
the Icelander, and myself were sitting half-way down a mountain baked under the
burning rays of a southern sun, which was blistering us with the heat, and blinding us
with the fierce light of his nearly vertical rays.
I could not believe my own eyes; but the heated air and the sensation of burning left me
no room for doubt. We had come out of the crater half naked, and the radiant orb to
which we had been strangers for two months was lavishing upon us out of his blazing
splendours more of his light and heat than we were able to receive with comfort.
When my eyes had become accustomed to the bright light to which they had been so long
strangers, I began to use them to set my imagination right. At least I would have it to be
Spitzbergen, and I was in no humour to give up this notion.
The Professor was the first to speak, and said:
"Well, this is not much like Iceland."
"But is it Jan Mayen?" I asked.