Thursday, 10 October 2013

Hiking and bathing in the Highlands, the Golden Circle

After our first encounter with the warm and comfort of hotspots, we couldn't help ourselves but continue the practice on camping area situated around a famous hotspot, Hveravellir, in the Highlands.

When we arrived there, some of us run directly to enjoy the hotspot and the rest had a warm cup of hot chocolate accompanied with delicious handmade traditional Icelandic treats. The camping space was filled with green grass and at one corner it featured a small hut that was situated exactly next to the warm bathing spot.

a very blue earth eye
typical situation in the car. cameras-coffee [gps almost useless]
Needless to say, we spent most of our night in the hotspot. We preferred to be wet and warm, rather than dry and cold in the tent. There were also ominous black clouds coming our way, and we were afraid of an upcoming storm, but that didn't stop us from having a small pool party with wine and beer and entertaining discussions with the other foreign guests of the camping: Norwegians, Germans, Austrians, French, Swiss. [notice a pattern here? too many German speaking people!]

We entered the hotspot around 10:30 and left it in the early morning hours, some visited it again even after that! It was a strange feeling to enjoy your night in the sun light.

At some point, we also had a few Icelanders join the pool. Most notably, the rescue and help team that roams the Highlands in a truck. Their job is to travel around the Highlands in case someone needs help because of an injury or accident. Funny thing, most of the team were women!

renting one of these huts is pretty expensive

The following day we continued our way in the rocky mountains and reached the famous Kerlingarfjoll. We set up camp, ate, and then went on to hike and take pictures (what else?) We encountered amazing spiky valleys, and an incredibly flat and empty small airport.

this camping arrangement, we called the French City. a group of French students arrived at some point and set camp there. so cute

The storm we were afraid of didn't come that day, but rather the next, and exactly at the time we visited the most touristic route in Iceland, the Golden Circle. Weather was so bad we couldn't take any pictures at the majestic Gullfoss (because of the fog) but we managed to take some in the Geysir area and Pingvellir.

I am just going to say this bluntly: geysirs are awesome! But when they erupt, they do look like a certain reproductive part of the human body! xD 

The colors of the boiling water vary but are all spectacular, as well as the color variations of the soil around it. In different spots it looks radically different.

We spent the night at the National Park at Pingvellir, and during our first small walk around the area, we almost lost our ticket, because it fell in the river. One of our members managed to rescue it just in time. (there is something with our team and rivers, we keep getting stuff thrown in there!) 

The next day it was our 'buffer' day, where we had nothing particular planned. We eventually split in two teams, one that drove all the way up the west coast of Iceland (and swam in ice cold ocean!) and the other that returned to Reykjavik one day before to visit the once-a-week occurring flea market.

More on that on a next post!

Places we visited:
- Hveravellir
- Kerlingarfjöll
- Asgardsfjall  
- Golden Circle
- Gullfoss 
- Strokkur
- Geysir
- Þingvellir

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