An island of ice and rugged landscape. That was what we expected. And that is what we got. Iceland welcomed us with a bang. Just fifteen minutes before our landing, the volcano erupted. Warnings where send on our mobile phones and locals told us about it. Now, we being adventurers, wanted to see that spectacle. And so we made a not-so-little detour on the first day to get as close as possible. In a 2WD that is. It led us through a unique vulcanic landscape in shades of grey, brown and white. We did not see the volcano, though. It was too far away and we did not climb high enough. But the earth was marred with little craters filled with bubbling mud. And the small creeks in between steamed and gave off the smell of rotted eggs. An odor that would follow us throughout the whole trip.
Our four wheels took us all around the island. It is called the ring road and winds its way along the coast. Unlike in Norway, we planed the daily drives shorter this time. Not only because of nappy change stops, but also photo stops. The sight in front of us changed every so often. Cliffs where the sea splashed against. Old lava fields in grey and black. Farmland with more horses than man can count. And small cottages in the shadow of a waterfall. Mathilda faced the drives bravely…. for maybe the first twenty minutes. Then she strongly demanded attention our distraction. That is how we discovered the little cartoon Duck and Goose. Now all three are fans of it
Speaking of waterfalls. There are a lot of them in Iceland. So many, in fact, that they must be half of all marked sights. We only visited the most famous ones. Pingvellir, Gullfoss, Godafoss, Gljufrabuifoss. And one escaped our eyes. Dettifoss. That was on day seven when the skies declared against us. The world turned grey and at times we could not see further than a few meters through the fog. But we faced the cold and walked towards the roaring sound of falling water. Unfortunately to no avail.
But the other waterfalls were impressive. Escpecially Seljalandafoss was gorgeous. I dared to walk behind and under it. There are no photos of the shower, though. The camera withstood the rain. But the droplets made the photos unusable.
But the country has more to offer than just waterfalls. Geysirs, tall mountains, and large glaciers. The last where impressive and even reach the ocean. The Jökulsarlon glacier has formed a lagoon where icebergs slowly float through and gather on the black sand beach. The guide books are right. This is a top spot for holiday photos. Mathilda was more interested in the little black sand stones, though.
Speaking of icebergs. Swimming in the ocean was not on our bucked list this time. But, and that is a strong bud, Iceland offers many natural hot baths to soak in. Sophia enjoyed two; while me and Mathilda only one. Swimming in hot water when it’s only fifteen degrees outside is relaxing. Just mentally block the rotten eggs smell.
Good thing that this smell did not make it into the food. We ate a lot. Fish, lamb, fish, then lamb again, then lamp and then, for a change, fish with chips. Local cuisine seems to abhore vegetables. Except potatos in fries form. So we ever so often opted for cooking ourselves. Vegetarian Spaghetti Bolognese, …… And the occasional Cinnamon bun. On our next trip we will look for accommodations with a kitchen again.
Reykiavik is nothing to write home about. Despite being the biggest city, it lacks the attraction and sights of other capitals. Even the main thing, the big church, disappointed with an absolut minimalistic interiour. But the Whale Museum was great. Seeing those huge creatures, though not in real, but in real-life size, is impressive. We all stood in awe. Well, not all. Mathilda was busy running around trying to tough and tear at as many things as she can.
Until next time.