Saturday, September 13, 2008

Geysir + Gullfoss

We started out early in the morning towards Geysir and Gullfoss. The drive was very scenic, but we were slightly disappointed our ipod radio tuner didn't work so well. Iceland really loves it's metal music, except for what became the theme song of our trip Jason Mraz's 'I'm Yours'.

Once we arrived to Geysir I found it quite comical. First, there was 'Litli Geysir', a hole that simply bubbled. Then there was the Strokkur geyser. People were surrounding a large hole staring into their cameras and waiting... and waiting. Right as the Stokkur finally bubbled over and erupted the camera of a German woman, who had be waiting, turned off at that very moment. I loved being able to understand her frustrations.

The large Geysir rarely erupts any more, so the Stokkur now steals the show. The entire area is teaming with beautiful and unique holes in the ground. There was a small fissure with bright blue water. You could see into the ground, but curiously this area wasn't bubbling. The geyser must run along a geothermal volcanic vent.

Still, the run off from the various minerals created beautiful effects in dirt. I loved all of the contrasting colors and stopping to think about just how much was going on underground in this area.

The next stop was Gullfoss, the largest waterfall in Europe, which pours 35 million gallons of water a minute. The spray from the waterfall creates yet more rainbows.

We were really surprised that it's possible to even touch the water, or worse. There is no barrier. It was impressive, due to the amount of water that was continually gushing past. Stefan mentioned how crazy it was to think there is no on/off switch - it just continually pours.

Driving in Iceland is peaceful. The roads are so desolate that they even created one way bridges. The rule is, whoever is closest has the right of way. I love all of the road signs that help tourists. They often have a ⌘ symbol denoting tourist attractions. Often times you will see them from the road.

Along our way to Vík, to see the black sand beaches, we spotted Seljalandsfoss, another amazing waterfall without a source. It pours from the rocks in several areas. Other special things about this waterfall include that visitors can walk behind it and the adorable dog who adopted it.

We really don't know too much about the dog here, besides everyone thinking it's someone else's. When we arrived there was another couple who he was friendly with and he would bring his rock for them to throw. Soon they left and it was just Stefan and me... and the dog. He quickly befriended us and enjoyed when we would throw his rock. A tour group arrived and he approached a woman who glanced at us before throwing his rock. Stefan and I loved it - we had a well behaved dog that people thought was ours for half an hour or so. There was a near by house so my assumption is that he simply comes to greet tourists, and with the revolving cycle no ones arm gets too tired for him to retrieve his rock.

After feeling guilty about leaving the dog that wasn't even ours behind we ventured onwards to Vík.

I was slightly over ambitious when planning our trip. There was so much to see and do that we intended to make our way (a 5 hour drive) from the far West coast of Iceland all the way to the Southeast area, where Jökulsárlón is located.

We were ever so thankful to be able to check our emails because the hotel, that we booked through an online site, later wrote telling us we would be refunded because the hotel was full. This changed our plans substantially and since we plan to return to Iceland at some point in time, we decided to make the most of closer locations. We decided to only drive half way to the city of Vík.

There was still plenty of driving to be done, but at a much more leisurely pace. I appreciated that because it allowed us to stop and visit the cows. I always love the brown ones for some reason - including this slightly apprehensive one who came around and kept trying to lick my hand.

We loved stopping on a whim and really taking all of south Iceland in. I was delighted to pass one of the traditional cave homes, this one was called Rutshellir. There are approximately 90 of them preserved in South Iceland.

1 comment:

JoernandAllison said...

Your journey is so enjoyable :)
It is good that you're easy going, the hotel thing could have ruined the entire trip for some people!
I can't believe those cave homes- incredible. And of course, the gysers must have really been amazing to see!