en.infoglobe.cz » Iceland: Rough Corner of Europe II – To the Swimsuit – VIDEO
Iceland: Rough Corner of Europe II – To the Swimsuit – VIDEO
We were travelling around the island to get to know it better. We set off to the east from Reykjavik. First we are headed to Þingvellir park (Thingvellir). The park is listed in UNESCO’s world heritage program.
This place is known mostly for one of the oldest parliaments. It was founded in 930 AD and it was called Althing. Only in 1798 its assemblies have been happening in the capital. Þingvellir National Park is above the line separating two tectonic plates therefore this area is active. North American and Eurasian continents are drifting apart couple of millimeters each year. The volcanic scenery here is impressive. Rivers, lakes, and mountains add to the overall scenery. We saw the sun first time in Þingvellir so we wanted to idle a bit. Only then we realized how soft moss there was.
Another interesting place you shouldn’t miss on Iceland is the famous Strokkur geyser. The geyser area is right along the road. You cannot miss it. The places where mud springs onto the surface also raises steam. There are lakes with hot water along the way. Wind carries away steam so fast that it is really difficult to capture the geyser in the moment you want. Strokkur geyser is irregular. However, it is springs frequently enough every visitor can enjoy it. First light blue dome is formed and than water burst through it couple of meters high.
Couple of kilometers down the road to the east there is the king of Icelandic waterfalls – Gullfoss. Upper cascades start mildly but the lowest is really massive. Water flows to a crack in the rock. From the right angle you can see beautiful rainbow the contours of which are nicely visible in fog of water. We also attempted to see the Rainbow Mountains (Landmannalaugar). The road was close in this season. On Iceland once the road is closed you really cannot go through.
We are approaching to Hveragerði town. We shop there at Bonus supermarket (as we implied in the last part there are not too many places where to do your groceries). We are looking forward to our first natural hot spring in Reykjadalur valley. The hot Varma river is also there. The instructions were clear – park at Hot River Café and go up to the mountains. Once you find the café you cannot get lost. It takes about an hour and half to get to the hot river from the parking lot. The Varma River is reachable only on foot. Therefore, there are not crowds.
The road goes along the river canyon. There is still something interesting to see. Somewhere smoke raises from the ground. It comes from mud and acid lakes of various size. It hasn’t take long before learning that we arrived at our destination (by seeing people in the river). It is windy here. We don’t look much forward to changing into swimsuit. However, we talked to an Icelander who recommended us a better place to take a bath. It is a confluence of warm and cold water so everybody can find a spot which is the best. And, it is a place where you can swim for hours. Young people camped along the river. This place really impressed us. At the end of our journey on Iceland we would go there one more time to stay over night. Also, there are great options to do some trips into the surroundings. You can at least get a glimpse of the atmosphere surrounding the Rainbow Mountains. Even here mountains are veiled in different colors. Here you can often feel natural forces at play, for instance bubbling puddles, or smoldering places.
Next week you can learn about how our journey continued.
Next part of our travels starts on the north of the island. It is at Eyjafjördur fjord, the place where the second largest city on Iceland is located – Akureyri. It is a nice city, rich, and full of students. It is really worth seeing. However, our long drive to Vatnsnes peninsula was not very impressive.
In this part of our series we take a look at island’s north and east. In the east, there are fishermen’s villages along the road number 1. The atmosphere here is very peaceful. It took us a long time to bypass eastern fjords. We were disoriented because everything looks so similar here and there also was thick white fog. One shouldn’t take this lightly.
I really recommend you to travel to the southeast if you happen to be around Hveragerði. There is the lava cave of Raufarholshellir near the road No 39 and you reach it after about fifteen minutes of drive.
If you intend to visi a beautiful country that is different from the Czech Republic but you don’t want to travel to another continent Iceland could be your choice. The country is near the polar circle and it is the westernmost European country. It charms everybody. It is mostly for its nature which are rare on the European continent.
Thanks to the feeling of omnipresent danger, the island lures travellers. It is located in the most volcanically active region in the world. It really has lots to offer: monumental glaciers, bubbling thermal springs, majestic falls, colorful lava fields covered with heath, and many other things. It is only a glimpse of what lures people here from all over the world.
The night was absolutely calm. Living in couchettes is not the most pleasant thing, but one can manage. We were very lucky because of the weather, the sea was absolutely calm and we could have our calm sleep…
Alarm at 7,30. We have to leave cabins until 8,30. As always, I bought a good book guide and read it. In introduction, there was: “Despite you can travel by boat, we recommend it only to experienced sailors with tough stomachs. Gale is strong on the route as well as storms and waves of the Atlantic."
I get up at 6 already. Yesterday I forget to charge my equipment so I have to do it now. More of us had the same idea. I still ponder whether to participate in hike or not. Eventually together with drivers and other great group that we will have a rest day today.
I wake up at 7.20 a.m. in a shock. I burst out of sleeping bag heading to washroom. Fortunately, I remembered the time of departure. It is an hour later so when I get it back together I start preparing for the departure. The weather is not very good today, it is a bit foggy.
"Working" with the elves worked out pretty well. We have a nice sunny day, although it is bit cold. Skútustaðir is one of the few towns at Mývatn lake. Our goal is a walk near pseudocraters. Local name for these strange hills, about twenty of them, is skútustaðagígar.