Mud and Mom PowersSeptember 28 in Iceland
Friday started off pretty slowly due to the light drizzle and the fact that approximately 8,364 trucks drove through what sounded like the front lawn the night before. Once we got moving, our first stop was Kolugljúfur, a hidden gem of a canyon! A dirt (read: mud) road led out to a tiny bridge and some semblance of a parking lot, and from there we just started exploring with help from the "don't go here, you'll fall and die" signs. On the south side of the bridge was the cascading little waterfall called Kolufossar, leading down into the canyon. The Kolu in both of the names refers to a salmon-loving giantess or troll, depending on the source, who used the canyon as her own personal fishing hole. Let us tell you, she made quite the pick. Cool green water, steep volcanic cliffs, all covered by moss... absolutely incredible.
Next stop was Hvítserkur, a rock formation on the east side of the Vatnsnes Peninsula. It seems that everyone has a story about this formation, but as always, the legend version is the best... Apparently there was a troll who lived in the Westfjords who heard bells ringing at Þingeyrakirkja and being a good pagan troll, walked over to tear them down. Like many a ill-meaning troll around here, he was turned to stone at sunrise before any bells were torn down. Best story. Next, many believe the rock formation is a dragon bending down to drink from the sea. And finally, the less appealing reason for the actual name... Hvítserkur means "white shirt" and let's just say that birds do the painting.
Now it was failed to be mentioned, but these stops were quite a distance apart, the roads were all dirt, and it had begun to rain with a pretty violent fervor. This was no ordinary rain, it was accompanied by 35 km/h winds, which negated all of the cleaning properties of rain. By the time we got back to our apartment, our car was bumper to bumper, undercarriage to roof racks, COVERED in mud! Unfortunately, we didn't snap a picture at its worst, but the attached gives an idea where it was headed... Not wanting to brave the elements much longer, we tucked in with a nice lamb and potato dinner and ended our day on a particularly tasty note.
Saturday began with a long country road south, down to Deildartunguhver, the most powerful hot spring on Europe. Every second, 180 liters of 100°C water is produced by this thing! To 'muricanize it, that's the equivalent of 507 Bud Light cans at boiling temperature every single second. It is such an absurd volume that there are 2 pipelines that carry the hot water 34 and 64km, respectively, to provide heat and hot water to homes. A little stinky and thoroughly impressed, we made our way to a waterfall duo to the east.
Next up was Hraunfossar, or lava waterfalls. This impossible to effectively photograph collection of falls is the result of glacial runoff pouring onto a lava field and finding it's way to Hvíta, the White River. The river is named for the aforementioned milky white color of the mineral filled summertime glacial runoff. The falls are impossible to describe, so trying is genuinely useless...
A 5 minute walk from the Hraunfossar viewing platform is Barnafoss, the waterfall with the most tragic name. Barna- means children's, so its east to see where this is going... According legend, 2 boys were told to stay home while their parents went to Christmas Eve Mass (an inordinate amount of legends here include something about Christmas Eve Mass...). The boys of course grew bored, snuck out, attempted to cross the natural bridge over the falls, and somehow slipped into the falls and drowned. The mother traced their steps to the falls and put it together from there. She then put a spell on the bridge, since any ol' mom can whip one of those up here, which brought the bridge down in an earthquake. Don't mess with mama.
Having a shortened adventure ability the closer to the end of the trip we get, we found our way to tonight's Airbnb. Let's just say, we're pretty blown away. It's a small old barn that has been converted into a Scandinavian modern little 2 bedroom apartment. Absolutely adorable, and the perfect place to get a good night's sleep before heading into a full day on Snæfellsnes peninsula!Read more