The 2 flags are back on the road, this time exploring the land of vikings – Iceland!
Let’s start from the beginning. It’s Wednesday 7 am and our alarm rings, even though everyone is already awake from the excitement. We are taking the bus from Tallinn to Riga, since there are no direct flights from here. So, first thing in the morning, we’re jumping into a cab to the bus station. 4 hours in the road accompanied with 2nd part of Planet Earth II documentary, where we learned everything about the animals habiting among us in the cities and in the grasslands. Did you know that sandgrouses travel 120 miles per day to bring water to their chicks by soaking their breast feathers in South Africa, and in Australia bowerbirds collect glamorous human objects to impress females while in Ethiopia hyenas are being fed from hands by men in the middle of the city? We didn’t know as well until we spent all the time reaching the airport watching this kind of stuff.
Nothing interesting happens in airports, and this time wasn’t different. So few was going on that the guards decided to warn Daniele about the lighter he had in the already wrapped backpack. Despite looking around every time a personal announcement was made and our flight being delayed for 1 hour, everything went smoothly and we traveled faster than time, since we arrived just 30 minutes later the departure, despite the 4h flight (we have 3 hours difference with Iceland!).
We went grabbing our camping van we had booked in October, and headed to the cheapest camping near Reykjavik. Here, we took a ‘refreshing’ shower, we filled our precious 10L water cube and we just got ready to sleep. Without any organization, the van at first looked quite uncomfortable and definitely cold. This was the time we didn’t have idea yet of the parking heater and of how to better organize the space in the car.
Alarm set at 7, instant oatmeal from Tallinn in pole position and we retired in our two sleeping bags!
We woke up around 8, because why not to ignore alarm?, and we enjoyed a bit of sun while we prepared our chocolate oatmeal. During our breakfast we paid our camping (3400+300ISK), because apparently in Iceland they trust you a lot, and then we headed East, direction: Thingvellir national park.
We reached Thingvellir in less than 2h, we paid the parking and we followed the decent number of tourists that makes it quite easy to spot where the attractions are. The highlights of Thingvellir were the oldest (is it?) parliament – which consists of a couple of rocks – a very tiny church and what looked to us as a majestic waterfall. So few we knew at that time…(just keep reading) anyway, the park itself was very nice and the sunny (despite wind) weather helped to enjoy it, so walking through canyons, rivers and rocks was definitely enjoyable.
After we exhausted the park’s attractions, we headed to the next objective: The Geysir. No, not a geyser, actually Geysir. The name itself ‘geyser’ comes from this blue water hot spring that used to spray water quite high, although now the original Geysir is not active anymore and instead tourists rely on its smaller brother Strokkur. We managed to notice to be almost arrived when we started seeing steam clouds around. Apparently the area is full of hot springs with water as hot as 100C, hence all the area is sorrounded by clouds of steam.
We did not go straight to the geyser once parked, and instead we illegally followed the in-construction path that in the future will be a hiking path to a viewing platform. Despite being in construction, it is still possible to reach the top of the hill, surrounded by violet flowers and from where you can see Strokkur spraying water in the air every few minutes. We shot a couple of pictures from the top of the hill, and then we headed down to admire the actual natural phenomenon from close distance. The geyser itself is impressive, but even more stunning is the deep blue color of the water and the depth of the spring!
Once we watched, filmed, recorded, shot and all the possible actions in front of Strokkur, we jumped back on the car and drove not more than 7km North, where we parked again. A short walk from here, in an area which apparently is flat and desert, a majestic force of nature lies: Gullfoss. This waterfall is just impossible to describe, it is huge and majestic, and apparently carries more water than Niagara falls. The weather cleaned up and the sun was shining, and almost a full rainbow was visible among the sprays of water rising from the river. We got hypnotized by Gullfoss and we shot a decent amount of pictures, before convincing ourselves that it was time to head South and to find a camping spot. For the next day, another waterfall was planned, Skogafoss, so we decided to get as close as possible to it before going to sleep. The drive took a bit longer than 2h and 3 Nutella sandwiches, and we reached the camping at 23, we took a hot shower and we went to bed. Without giving much details (yet), check day 3 to see what was the view we had during our next breakfast 🙂