Iceland is known for its beautiful, yet unforgiving landscape. The alien-like terrain, natural wonders and glaciers attract lovers of the great outdoors from all over the world. One of the best things about the Icelandic outback, to me at least, was the lack of mosquitoes and deer flies. It’s the little things in life that should be appreciated. Of course they have their share of insects like wasps or midges (tiny black flies), but they lack the popular American bloodsuckers that bite your feet at night or attack your bare legs when you’re trying to sit by the bonfire minding your own business as you munch on s’mores. #allfliesmustdie
When it came to our venture, we wanted to go on our own private sightseeing adventure. A lot of tourists take “The Golden Circle Tour,” but that would have cost money, and we’d have to interact with other strangers in a an over-sized van that literally screams “tourists.” These were two things we wanted to avoid. We’re such socialites. We ended up visiting the Kerio volcanic crater, Strokkur Geyser, and the Gullfoss (Golden) waterfall.
But first, food break! We found a small restaurant call Hoflandsetrið in the town, Hveragerði. They made really good ham and pineapple sandwiches. We may or may not have randomly found this place due to my miscalculations when it came to where I thought Strokkur was… Seriously, that whole “I can’t GPS my way out of a paper bag” thing is real, people.
Our first stop was Kerio, which was essentially a giant glorified hole in the ground, but there was something very eerie about it. Also, we had to pay around $8 per person to see said hole. This was the only natural wonder we had to pay for but I think it was worth it.
According to scientists, they believe that Kerio was a cone volcano that erupted its magma reserve, which caused the cone to collapse and formed the hole. The pool of water is the same level as the water table and is not caused by rainfall. #damnnatureyouscary
We were able to journey into the crater itself, which was quite the challenge thanks to the rain and the mud.
There were several signs around the crater that said “Help us protect the nature,” or AKA “Don’t be an ass, keep off the grass.” We ran into some tourists inside the crater who were a tad obnoxious and relieved themselves in public. I think they were American. Ugh I hate our stereotype…
Our second stop was at Strokkur Geyser, which consisted of even more holes in the ground, but these holes contained active water!!! (Man, if I had a dime for every time I said that…I’d have two dimes!)
There were signs around the geysers and the runoff areas that said “Do not touch” because you’ll burn your hands off (unless your name is Daenerys Targaryan, Mother of Dragons). We saw people getting really daring when it came to the no touching rule. I’m pretty sure jellyfish have a higher intelligence than some of these tourists. #thatwillsting
Our last stop was The Gullfoss waterfall, which was the wettest of them all! The falls had carved a ravine that as geeky as it sounds, made me want to play Minecraft again. I know there are diamonds down there! I just need my iron pickax and a sword to fight off the spiders! #creepernocreeping
An interesting observation I made was that there was no official supervision when it came to viewing these three wonders. The only thing separating you from certain death or painful limb removal was a rope and good judgement (and one might be sturdier than the other).
We grabbed a bite to eat and I had the traditional lamb soup. It was very good! I didn’t…lamb-ent…my decision. #pun-ished
After we got back to the hotel, we settled in to watch the Opening Ceremony for the Olympics in Rio. After watching the abstract performance and observing the 10 Icelandic participants, we ended the day with environmental contemplation. I wonder if the seeds the athletes planted will sprout by the end of the games. #sowandgrow