Day 10 & 11: Taking it easy after 3,000kms
After being cut-off from almost everything and everyone in the Westfjords, it was time to head back to a bit more ‘crowded’ areas to explore that last bit of the Ring Road between Blönduós and Selfoss.
Still a lot to see, and a lot to do on this last piece of road, but after driving for about 3,000kms in 10 days we wanted to take it a bit slower for our final moments in Iceland. We decided to skip our planned visit to Gullfoss and Seljalandsfoss and take a little detour to ‘Þingvellir’-national park instead.
Day 10: Easy does it & ‘Þingvellir’ National Park
As we woke up in Patreksfjörður, we knew we had another 4-5h drive ahead of us before reaching our cosy wooden cabin – with hot tub, aaaah! – in Selfoss, so we tried to start our journey as early as possible. As we experienced some bad weather along the way that slowed us down, we decided to skip our scheduled trip to Gullfoss & Seljalandsfoss and head for the ‘Þingvellir’-national park.
The park itself has a rich history. Political, historical but also geological, as it is the only place on earth where two tectonic plates are located ‘overground’. The area is part of a fissure zone running through Iceland, being situated on the tectonic plate boundaries of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Time to play the ‘now I’m in Europe, now I’m in America’-jumping game!
After a good hike in the park, we decided to call it a day, as we were knackered by the long drive from the Westfjords. Maybe the hot tub in our cottage had something to do with that as well ..
Day 11: Geysir & the Laugarvatn ‘Fontana’ Spa
Time to get up early to head out for our last full day in the ‘Ring Road’-area. There was still one typical Icelandic phenomenon we haven’t got the chance to see until then: GEYSERS! You know, a pit of geothermical boiling water that suddenly goes PSJOEWWWWWWWWW! Very cool, and very high on our to do list.
Selfoss was only a half an hour drive away from ‘Geysir’, a Hot Spring Area with boiling mud pits, exploding geysers and the lively Strokkur which spouts water over 30 meters into the air every few minutes. Very cool to see in real life!
But, if I may give you a bit of advice: try to go as early as possible. We arrived around 9:30 in the morning, and after one hour and a half, the area was flooded with noisy tourists. Don’t get me wrong, we know we just came back from the most remote area in whole of Iceland and weren’t used to be in a ‘crowed’ area anymore, but some people just don’t know how to respect others & nature ..
People were touching the rocks, throwing stuff in the boiling water, leaving the indicated paths .. Heck, even some people tried to get next to Strokkur to take the perfect picture. Hello? Boiling water over here .. We kind of had it with these kind of tourists, and decided to get away from it all, and head for the Laugarvatn Spa! Finally some real Icelandic peace & quiet again!
I wasn’t allowed to take a lot of pictures – click here to see how the complex looks like – in the spa for obvious reasons, but I was able to have my picture taken in the lake itself, cooling down from one of the sauna’s. It.was.COLD! Not freezing, but around 7 degrees – I looked it up, haha – which made it kind of bearable for five minutes or so.
After relaxing for six hours, we noticed the weather changing for the worse, so we decided to get back to our cottage before the weather got too bad. Just in time apparently, as all hell broke lose once we arrived safely. Heavy winds, violent showers, thunder & lightning, .. The wind even shook our cottage! Very cool, but very frightening as well .. You know what locals about Icelandic weather, don’t you?
Not the well-known ‘If you don’t like the weather, just wait 5 minutes’ but the genuine ‘In Iceland, the weather is the biggest character you deal with every day’.
More info about our room-for-the-night:
- Address: Gljúfurbústaðir Holiday Homes, Gljúfur, 801 Hveragerði
- Price per night: 141 euro (cards allowed) and booked via Booking.com
- Accommodations: Cottage with two bedrooms, free wifi, fully equipped kitchen & very big living space with television & dvd-player upstairs, big living space downstairs as well, big bathroom with shower and toilet, free parking. Hot tub included!