Earthquake

Today I experienced my first earthquake here in Iceland. I woke up from a loud sound when everything in the apartment moved. At first I wasn’t even sure it really happened or if I had just been dreaming. I had to ask Doddi if it was a dream or not 😉 He didn’t feel it at all, but he had read about it. Apparently it was somewhere around Bláfjöllum, which isn’t that fare from Reykjavik, and I think it measured a 4.6 or something.

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The Move

After weeks and weeks of looking we have now finally found an apartment! This was right on time since we had to leave the one we were in last weekend. Unfortunately we won’t get our new place until the 6th of September so until then we’re staying in an apartment owned by one of Doddi’s relatives. So it all worked out in the end 😉 Now we’re just waiting for the days to fly by 😉 I can’t wait to get to our new place, will be so nice to finally get to settle down a bit here. I’m also looking forward to starting our life here in Reykjavik for real!

  • Get an apartment – done!
  • Now all that’s missing is for me to find a job 😉

Garden of Eden

After leaving Hulda and Dúddi we continued on towards Reykjavik. We of course wanted to do a few stops on the way and that’s when I found it, my absolute favorite place in Iceland and I’ve named it “the Garden of Eden”. It’s such an amazing place, so beautiful in every way and so peaceful.  One of the reasons why it’s so amazing is because it’s not crowded with tourists 😉 Don’t think this place is in any of the tourist books, it’s like the Icelanders don’t want anyone to know about it and I understand why. Am so happy Doddi took me there. This is now our special place. I’m definitely going back someday soon!  

On our way there Doddi told me that he was going to take me to a very special place, but he didn’t want to say what kind of place it was and why it was special. When we parked I was still a bit confused, looking around me it didn’t look very special at all. But I got out of the car and walked a little and that’s when I saw it hidden, with a these mountains surrounding it, was the most beautiful valley I’ve ever seen. The colors where so intense and it all looked like something out of a fairytale. Walking down the steps to the bottom I almost expected to see fairies and other mythical creatures hiding in the vegetation.

Doddi and I walked around in this valley for hours and we even crossed the small river to go see a waterfall. Jumping around on the small rocks in the river it all felt a bit unreal. It’s not very common that you come to such a beautiful place in Iceland and find yourself all alone. It felt so great, being just the two of us there experiencing this magical place, our own Garden of Eden.

Svartikrókur og Sigölduleið

When we woke up at Landmannalaugar this last day of traveling, the camping place that previous night had been covered with tents all over was now close to empty. It’s kind of funny to see that most travelers only stay in one place for one night before they move on to the next one. We of course did the same, but we were just not as eager to get going this day as the rest, probably because this would be our last day on our great Jeep trip together. Like previous day the wind was blowing pretty strong, but looking out of our tent that morning the weather still looked okay even if there wasn’t much sun. But by the time we had finished our breakfast we could see very dark clouds closing in so we had to take down our tents in a hurry before the rain came and made everything wet. We thought we had made it just in time, but when we started driving the rain never came, or at least not where we were 😉

Our first stop for the day was Ljótipollur. Doddi and I stopped here last year as well on our way to Landmannalaugar, but then it was during the evening and now it all looked completely different in daylight. Even if the colors weren’t as intense as last time I still think this is a very beautiful place. After a short stop to take a few pictures we continued on.

Next stop was at a canyon we don’t know the name of to look at a lot of waterfalls bursting out from the cliffs. This was yet another amazing place, and weirdly enough we were completely alone there. Must be that no tourists knows about this place. If they did I’m sure there would be busloads of them like there are at most waterfalls in Iceland 😉 I’m very lucky to have a great guy like Doddi who knows so much about his country and can show us so many things and place that not many know about! If it wasn’t for Doddi’s knowledge I doubt that our trip would have been as great as it was!

The canyon with no name

Me by the unnamed canyon, the only foreigner around

The big waterfall leading the water into the canyon

Since I’m having problem with my toes it was sometimes a bit of a problem for me to walk around and get to different places to look at a view or something. So when we got to places like Sigöldufoss it was really nice because we could drive all the way up to it. All I needed to do to see the waterfall was to open my door and take one or two steps 😉 Even if the waterfall wasn’t very big it was still very nice and the “pools” next to it looked so inviting. We all just wanted to climb down there and take a nice bath. But of course the water is super cold so that kind of stopped us.

Sigöldufoss

The “pools” do look inviting, or what do you think?

After this short stop at Sigöldufoss our little group of four split up and Hulda (Doddi’s sister) and her boyfriend Dúddi continued their trip up north towards Akureyri, where they live, and we continued south towards our home in Reykjavik. Even if we had been in separate cars the whole time it was still a lot more fun to have them with us, then it would have been if it was just Doddi and I. So a HUGE thanks to Hulda and Dúddi for this great trip! Hope we’ll get to do more like it in the future 😉

Hulda and Dúddi

Landmannalaugar

Entering Landmannalaugar

We reached Landmannalaugar in the late afternoon. As usual the place was filled with tourists. I had really been looking forward to seeing it again. I still remembered how beautiful it had looked the first time I was there, last year. When we arrived this day there were a lot of clouds in the sky and I was a bit afraid we wouldn’t get to see the mountains turn gold during the golden hour.

Part of the camping area

Doddi barbecuing

Even if it was pretty early and there were a lot of people at Landmannalaugar we still decided to stay the night and so we started to put up our tens and light the barbecue. And just in time for the golden hour the clouds moved and the mountains really did turn into the most amazing golden color. I think everyone who owned a camera was standing on the small hill taking pictures, which was kind of funny to see. Of course Doddi and I were among those who were standing there for ages trying to get the perfect picture, and I thing Doddi did in the end. Many of the pictures he took are really amazing. Am sure one or two of them will end up on our wall someday soon 😉

Norðurnámur during the golden hour

Since it wasn’t raining this time Doddi and I decided to try out the hot pool. Even if there were many people in the pool it was still really nice and I never wanted to leave 😉 One of the reasons why it was so great was because we hadn’t gotten to shower or really wash up since we had left Reykjavik. None of the places we had camped the previous nights had showers, which is okay. But after a few days of driving on dusty mountain roads you do start to long for a wash, and so taking a hot bath in a natural hot pool was just what we needed 😉

Explorers

As mentioned in my last post, we drove to Grænavatn on our day three, where we then found a track which wasn’t on any of our maps and so we thought it would be fun to explore it. I don’t really know what to call this track, but even if it didn’t have a name it was still fun to drive it.

Hnúkavatn

At one place the track took us over the river Jökuldalakvísl in a very unusual way… Since the part crossing the river was made out of a lot of different old pipes which had been lade in the river to drive on. I think the track over the river was actually closed, but since it wasn’t that easy to turn around and drive all the way back, we decided to continue on driving. But as you can see you definitely need a real Icelandic Jeep to drive in places like this, so it’s a good thing we have one 😉

The track over Jökuldalakvísl

Once again we saw some amazing view and it happened so often on this trip that I got completely blown away by how beautiful Iceland really can be. The colors can be so intense and change from the darkest of black to the deepest green I’ve ever seen, and then everything in between. It really is mind blowing.

At Höllin looking at Kirkjufell

Kattahryggir

After our short lunch stop at Örk, we continued on driving. The goal that day was to reach Landmannalaugar where we were planning on spending the night. The route we drove this day was the most fun and interesting one we had traveled so far. It took us to the bottom of a small canyon where we had to follow the river. And since the fog had finally lifted we could once again see all the beauty of nature. It really was the nicest part of our long drive, and even if I don’t really like to drive in water this was something really special and a lot more fun than usual.

The river Lónakvísl

A fun drive in the canyon

Following the river in the canyon

We of course did a few short stops along the way, manly to look at waterfalls or lakes and so on. One of the stops was at Botnlangalón. Here we did stop for a few minutes and walked around a bit. But it was still very windy and so we made it a short walk 😉 The wind was actually very strong and it made small “tornados” in the sand which was pretty cool.

Botnlangalón

Close to Botnlangalón

On our way to Grænavatn

Grænavatn

After following the route Kattahryggir down to Grænavatn, we found a new trail that wasn’t on any of our maps and so we of curse had to check it out, but more about that in my next post so stay tuned 😉