Since we are all burned out, we opted for a ‘quiet’ drive around the peninsula near Keflavik airport, Reykjanes. Though Iceland is famous for its moonscapes, this isolated bit of land hammers it home more than anywhere else. Lava fields sprawl for miles and miles, and black sands get underneath your feet.
First stop on the road was the Bridge Between Two Continents, another chasm between the North American and Eurasian plates, which are moving apart at a rate of 2cm per year.
Much volcano, very tectonic, wow.
A bridge means you can walk from one plate to the other, and you can take some good pics of yourself holding up the bridge, but I couldn’t really be bothered because I’d held up a rainbow the day before and propping up the Icelandic beauty is hard work…
Next stop was the Gunnuhver hot springs, where the stench was on another level, even by Icelandic standards. I couldn’t make it any closer than the car park, and had to pace up and down in the cold whilst I waited for my family to come back. For real, it was that bad.
Smells like Catkin’s breath on a bad day. This was as close as I dared go.
The route is full of hot sulphur springs, and we went to another one – Krysuvik. This time we came across an interesting bunch of people – a lady in a lovely white dress, surrounded by men with duffel coats on. Ross used his expertise and eavesdropped, working out they were filming some sort of music video. Dad tried to talk to its star about how she must have been cold, so I had to go and make him look less weird for talking to young women by joining in. If the star is out there and reading this, hit me up, I’d like to apologise…
Hanging around all that sulphur must have been annoying, too.
Last stop on the loop was Lake Kleifarvatn, a beautiful lake that’s said to have a Loch Ness-type worm monster inhabiting its depths.
I felt it would be a perfect Top Gear filming location, but don’t tell them about it, because they’ll probably come along and ruin it. I know my Youtube username is TopGearFanForever, but I made that account when I was 14, so don’t be fooled…
We returned to our hygge home for a spell, and then did something a bit different in the evening. We went to a show at the Harpa, Iceland’s premier music venue, called “How to Be an Icelander in 60 minutes”, where a bald Icelander gave us 15 lessons in how to act, look, and feel like a native. We found ourselves being the only Brits in the audience once again, but thankfully he didn’t pick on us. Too many Americans to entertain, I think. I would recommend it to all other visitors, but I’m not sure it was worth the £37 we paid for one hour’s worth of nationality-based comedy.
Now, the Northern Lights, which have been constantly evading me this week. Apparently, there was a great display on Tuesday, but we had given up and gone to bed as the sky seemed thick with clouds. Here’s what we missed, if only we hadn’t gone to sleep at 10pm:
Oh, bloody hell, we could literally have stood in the garden.
Last night, we went to the lighthouse again, but found it intolerable as hundreds of tourists turned up with their full beam headlights on – and would not turn them off again, even though the forecast was a 6. We stayed for about an hour then sodded off again, but thankfully I don’t think we missed anything.
So, for tonight, we head out into the countryside again – this time on the advice of a local I found on Lonely Planet Pathfinders. It’s a dark, secluded side road in the country on the way to Reykjavik’s landfill sights, but apparently it’s stunning, so off we go into the unknown once again. I do hope Aurora pays me a visit this time.