He also wonders how far they are from Iceland and learns that they are 880 miles away, roughly 87 miles under the surface. There is a point of magnetic attraction that lies between the surface of the Earth and point that the expedition has reached.
Axel asks Lidenbrock what the plan is once they reach the center. How, after all, will they return home? Lidenbrock teases his nephew for wanting to know the end before they even get to the center, but replies that they will either find a new route or just go back the way they came.
Axel is also enthusiastic, the delight of discovery rekindled in his breast. He tells his uncle how lucky they are that the storm sent them back here, because otherwise they never would have been put back on Saknussemm’s trail.