Saturday, August 27, 2011

We had a nice, quiet, sunny breakfast on the hill where we camped that overlooked the bay this morning. Contrary to the middle of the night where I was sure our tent was going to blow away, it was actually a calm morning! (In the middle of the night, I actually had to get out of the tent to re-peg ropes and things in order to not blow away!!  ) As well, during the night, I got up to go look at the stars, which were fantastic – there was also the faintest hint of the northern lights as well!

We drove today…and drove…and drove…until we arrived in a little harbour town called Seydisfjordur where the ferry from Denmark docks once weekly. The town is supposed to be full of Scandinavian character as the little houses were shipped from Norway in ready-made kits back in the day. The town only has 700 inhabitants and most are involved in fishing in some way. The town was founded in 1830 and was one of the largest and wealthiest settlements in the East of Iceland. It was a cute visit. We also saw a nice waterfall as we were driving down the mountain, where we stopped to have lunch.

More driving brought us to Dettifoss. This waterfall is Europe’s largest waterfall and has approximately 500 cubic meters of water spill over the edge every second! The river, Jokulsa a Fjollum is the second longest river in Iceland and is definitely big and powerful looking! I wouldn’t want to fall in, that’s for sure. The waterfall, itself was pretty spectacular. A lot of water and power. Unfortunately, it was a tad cloudy, so no rainbow was spotted from all of the mist, but as we left, there was a rainbow in the field!

We then headed towards Lake Myvatn, which actually means “Midge Lake” and there were a few bugs out…but not too bad! We first saw “the fields of fire” where there is a whole field that is busy steaming away with hot pots and bubbling mud pools. There is a lot of sulphur here, and this area reeked of it! Actually, this area provided sulphur to Europe until the 19th century when other sources were found. We then visited Krafla, an “active” volcano! In 1973, the geothermal plant located here, is said to have caused a series of eruptions from their drilling into the ground. These eruptions are called the “Krafla-Fires” as the eruptions continued on for the next ten years! Now, there are steaming vents, hot water, and mud pools that visitors (like us!) can visit by walking through the area. Kind of cool to see relatively fresh lava!

We found a campsite right on the water, had a quick dinner, and then headed off to the Myvatn Nature Baths – basically the same idea as the Blue Lagoon in the South, except that these ones are actually supposed to be a better experience as there are far fewer people around and the views are superior! Made me happy! We stayed in the pool for a good two hours before we decided that sleep needed to happen as well.

Night!

-Allison

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