So, I didn’t do an entry yesterday, because it wasn’t super eventful. It didn’t start out great. I was pouring what I thought was yogurt (the runnier ones come in large juice containers) onto my oats, only to find out when I took a bite that it was actually sour cream. The girl running the guesthouse was looking at me weird when I did it, which should been a clue. Anyway, the first bite was a nasty surprise, but I didn’t want to give her the satisfaction of knowing I’m an idiot, so I ate it anyway, and made sure she thought I was enjoying it. Don’t try it at home….it was revolting.
Next, we drove for what felt like hours through a strange barren landscape, where it looked like nothing could live/survive. Finally we pulled into a gorgeous lush-looking canyon, with a giant waterfall! I know, shocking. So, the first one is called Dettifoss. Its claim to fame is that it has the greatest volume of any waterfall in Europe (400 cubic meters of water thunders over the edge every second), and you can see the spray for up to 1km away:
You can walk alarmingly close to the edge of the falls, on very slippery rocks, with no guardrail. Mo said she saw a tiny note written at the bottom of the sign (which I didn’t see at all) warning that if you go further than the viewpoint, it’s at your own peril. But the area beyond the viewpoint isn’t roped off, and there’s nothing to discourage people from venturing out on the rocks! Maybe the Icelandic attitude towards tourists is “survival of the fittest”?
Further down the beautiful canyon is a smaller waterfall (yes…they are everywhere) called Hafragilfoss (super fun to say!), which was also pretty:
Next up we headed to Ásbyrgi canyon. It’s in the shape of a horseshoe, and the legend is that Odin’s 8-legged horse Sleipnir accidentally touched down on the Earth, and left this hoof-print. But there were no viewpoints from above to give us a good aerial shot of this, so all we could really do is drive around it, and admire the walls of the canyon, which wasn’t too exciting for us, and we didn’t even take any photos.
Lastly we checked into our hotel. Mo had a soak in the outdoor picturesque hot tub, and then we headed into the town of Húsavík, which is renowned for its whale-watching. We skipped that, and had a lovely dinner, and just checked out the cute little harbour and bizarre-looking church.
Not a lot else to do, so we made our way back to the hotel, but enroute a funny little symbol lit up on our dashboard to warn us that the air outside was cold enough for snow and frost! It’s definitely been verrrry chilly up in the North. We were expecting it to not be balmy in the North, but we certainly weren’t anticipating snow or frost in mid-to-late June!
Mo wants me to mention that we are in a geothermal area, so even the toilet at our guesthouse has hot air rising from it, it’s like getting a facial for your butt every time you use it!
Today was a bit better. We are staying in the Mývatn region. Lonely Planet describes it as the “undisputed gem of the Northeast”, but we were a bit wary, since we’d read that “Mývatn” translates to “lake of midges”, and we were already pretty tired of the pesky biting flies. But as it was cold this morning when we got there, they weren’t too bad!
The lake itself is surrounded by craters and diverse lava formations. We went to a nearby place called Dimmuborgir (translates to “dark castles”). The strange pillars and crags were formed about 2000yrs ago. We lucked out and arrived just in time for a private guided tour with a park ranger (who’s name we can’t pronounce or spell, even if our life depended on it).
This particular spot is called the Kirkja (“church”), because it’s a cathedral-like cave:
Now apparently in Iceland they don’t have Santa. They have these weird elf-men called “The Yule Lads” who leave presents in the shoes of good children, and rotten potatoes in the shoes of the bad children. They have such bizarre names as “Spoon Licker”, “Door Slammer”, “Sausage Swiper”, and “Skyr Gobbler” (“skyr” is Icelandic yogurt, and it’s AMAZING….I don’t blame him for gobbling it up).
Apparently they live here, amongst these lava formations. We didn’t see them (thank god! If one had popped out of the rocks, I would have fainted on the spot), but we found a camp allegedly belonging to one of them. I had to resist my natural urge to short-sheet his bed:
It was overall a really cool place, and neither of us really fancied ourselves as geology-enthusiasts, so we weren’t sure what to expect, but we ended up really loving it.
Next up we climbed a crater! It’s called Hverfjall, and it appeared 2700yrs ago in a “cataclysmic eruption” (which sounds very dramatic!) and is 452m high, and 1040m across. It was no easy uphill trek let me tell you, but it was worth it!
The pictures make it hard to see just how impressive it is, so you’ll just have to trust me!
After that trek, we rewarded ourselves with a relaxing soak in the Mývatn geo-thermal pools, which are known as the “Blue Lagoon of the North”:
They even let us have beer in the pools!
But just to make things super awkward, they make you shower naked with no curtain/privacy before you’re allowed into the pool. They even have a sign telling you which parts of your body to especially pay attention to….
We deserved the beer after enduring that!
3 thoughts on “Who Says There’s No Rest For The Wicked?”
I love the mandatory showering prior to entry! Wish it was like that here so going to the public pool wouldn’t be like free vaccination. You guys look great! It so beautiful there…
LikeLiked by 1 person
Honestly I cannot get over those waterfalls, what a beautiful country! Luck you girls to be out exploring. I really do love the washroom & shower warnings…makes you wonder hey?
Peed my pants a little laughing at the random shower picture! Get those bits! Also…butt facial, yes please!