Friday, June 3, 2011

Sharing the best of Iceland

The second leg of my trip started with some unexpected disruptions. The eruption of Grímsvötn volcano caused a 30 h delay in Alan's flight and gave me some sleepless hours at the tiny yet noisy Keflavík airport.

Because of ashes covering the south east part of Iceland the primary plan of traveling counterclockwise was open to doubt. Fortunately just before leaving Reykjavík we got to know that the road was re-opened and decided to give it a shot.

Our first stopover was Hveragerði, a small town renowned for its geothermal energy. Greenhouses, blooming flowers and hot springs are omnipresent. We took a walk in the vicinity and could almost feel how the earth was boiling. In the evening there came another chance to do some wild camping and we pitched our tent near a waterfall in a small park.

A stove where you can probably make your earth-cooed dish

Broken pipe with boiling hot water

In bloom

The view from our five star hotel

Our plans suddenly changed... not because of the volcano but because of terrible downpour. After a night in Selfoss we decided to follow the sunshine and head north. So we revisited my hosts on a farm near Borðeyri - Bjarni, Eyrún and their daughters. Just like a week ago, now the two of us received excellent hospitality, mind-enriching discussions, plenty of knowledge about their country and some trips in the vicinity.

On a cow farm

After two nights in warm and dry accommodation it was a time for a change. We got to Akureyri and slept on a campsite, not well-maintained and not open, but the conditions were still decent.

We did some hiking south from the town and were flabbergasted by the variety there. Wide river, peaks capped with snow, green fields with grazing sheep, tiny farms.

This strange letter is actually pronounced as "th" but if you don't know it, you'll probably say something that sounds like "moon cup."

The thing we'll remember mos about Akureyri is excellent dumpster diving opportunities. Just in Netto and some bakery we found enough food to last us for the entire trip, only if it could stay fresh for so long and not add much extra weigh to our backpacks. All in just one night! The dumpsters are literally heaving with anything you can think of!

Some doughnut-like pastry
More delights

You'll not have enough room in your backpack for all this food!

One night's finds

When the weather decided for us again, we hitchhiked to Blönduós and stayed with a couchsurfing host, Christina from Germany. I didn't know much about the north east of Iceland along the ring road and I was taken by surprise. The sunset that lasted over one hour (or at least that's how long I had enough patience to stare at it) was a marvel to behold. During the day I jumped on the rocks by the seaside and wrote things on the black sand right next to the place where the massive waves hit the shore.

Around 00.30

Now we are back in the capital of north. We hope to find some food in the skips for upcoming days far from civilization. Hiking paradise tomorrow!

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