The day had finally arrived, we were at home trying to fit a camping backpack with fleeces, hats, and boots in the middle of August because that night we were leaving for Iceland! The next morning would start two exciting weeks of travel by car along Highway 1, around the country.
Well, that was our plan, until a problem with the plane forced us to fly out a day later…what bad luck! Of course, the beauty of this small delay is that the two friends that were going to make the trip and had gone on another flight were already there, had taken a tour of Reykjavik and rented the car. Just as we landed, they picked us up with smoked lamb sandwiches in hand (of which we didn’t eat right away, but when we did, we knew were delicious) and took us straight, without dropping off luggage or anything to the Blue Lagoon.
Before the trip our excitement had been building since seeing http://www.bluelagoon.com/ this link, but the pictures are nothing compared to getting into the pool of hot water, heated with geothermal power in the landscape. Then you put on white clay which leaves your skin super soft and feels relaxing. That in itself is why it is very important to shower well with soap and water before entering (there are giant posters in several languages in the showers that will remind us) and out. Well, the skin ends up looking and feeling good, but let’s not even talk about hair…Lomographers with curly hair, get ready for some beautiful natural dreadlocks!
Our next stop was the campsite of Reykjavik and a night on the town. The two most surprising things I found was how late it took to get dark, including how long it took to get sun, and it was quite colder than I expected! (From personal experience I tell you these holidays are great for people of low tension and who don’t enjoy the heat. )
The next morning we said goodbye to the capital for another two weeks and we set off to the Golden Circle, which is something like the obligatory visit outside of Reykjavik in Iceland if your trip is short. In this journey you walk in areas such as Thingvellir National Park, home to one of the fault lines that every year separates the tectonic plates of America and Europe known as Geysir and Strokkur. It is hilarious to wait out the geyser (with how bad it smells) to take a picture, end up wet, and still not end up getting a decent picture, or a double Gullfoss waterfall…there are simply no words!
And, of course, in the very first day I fell in love with the endless roads of Iceland…
That night we slept in Hveragerdi, a town which almost goes unnoticed but we loved it. It has great outdoor swimming pools. We camped with the most lovable people. We ate at a bar that had live music and monologues. That night we discovered that in the town, all the greenhouses were lit with beautiful orange lights.
The next day we woke up to it raining outside (a lot!). So to take the chill off we went to a bakery for breakfast and almost didn’t leave! Here we discovered one of the traditional sweets called “snudur” which is like a cinnamon roll but larger and can be eaten alone or coated with chocolate or caramel. Unfortunately, I am sorry but I have no photos of the treats, I finished eating it before I had time to remove the camera from the bag!
With full stomachs, we headed to the Seljalandsfoss and Skogarfoss waterfalls. They are like most things in Iceland, breathtaking. They are surrounded by a bright beautiful green landscape. It is worth it to get lost a bit looking around for faces of trolls on the rocks. In the first waterfall, you can walk behind it. The second is so mighty that it is very difficult to get very close without being drenched. Sure, the weather did not help much, it never stopped raining all day and the wind was increasing at times. So we spent the rest of the afternoon traveling slowly – first due to rain, then to take photos with the glacier background as we traveled to the Vatnajökull National Park, our next stop.
Fortunately, as we approached, the rain stopped and the clouds were leaving, so we had a beautiful view of the glacier! We went to camp there, next to the glacier and the next day we would make an excursion on the ice … which I will introduce in the next installment! Grab a good wool cap and stay tuned!