Adventures in Iceland

Chapter 6 - Three days in a car

In the last chapter I wrote in detail our daily routine while being in a trek. In order to describe our daily routine in Iceland while we have a (rented) car, I write down this chapter in a similar way. Have I said already that being a tourist is hard work ?

September 14th: After completing the Landmannalaugar to Skogar trek our mood is high. We leave Iceland on the morning of the 18th, 4 days from today. It remains for us to explore the south-west end of the island. We start our day swimming in the public swimming pool. Then we go to the "center of town" where I have a meeting with somebody from the Icelandic tourist board, regarding a possible photo exhibition. After my "business meeting" we go to Kringlan shopping mall, to see and touch the products we missed during our trek. We call "Atak" rent-a-car in order to rent a car for the remaining time. As no tourist (almost) is in Iceland nowadays, the people in "Atak" are more than eager to make business with us. Moreover, as they are afraid that we will change our minds, they give us a VIP service, and come to fetch us from Kringlan. We get a rather big car and drive to the "Perlan", Reykjavik hot water distribution plant. It is situated on a hill overlooking the town, and has an indoors artificial garden made of artificial trees and bushes. There is even a mechanical simulation of a geothermal geyser...


We now want to buy as a souvenir some candles (see chapter 4 ). We drive to several supermarkets and find that some are already closed and in the others the candles are sold out. In the very last moment, 5 minutes before its closing time, we buy the 4 last candles in a supermarket downtown. This "operation candles" almost failed... We decide to cut down the expenses by sneaking in, without paying, to "our" camping in Reykjavik (They already got from us more than 150$, it's enough !)

September 15th: We wake up early in order to avoid inspection. We fold our tent under the rain... We buy some bread in the "Bakari" (bakery in Icelandic) and go to Thingvellir, the birth-place of the Icelandic nation. Here the Icelandic people gathered every summer and voted for their parliament. It is also the place where two big tectonic plates meet. Actually these plates are getting apart from each other, creating in this way a growing fissure in between. In the tourist information center we complain about the rain which is falling non-stop since the morning. They reply promptly: "So take your rain gear with you".

Thingvellir is also the place where two big tectonic plates meet.

We peak some nice mushrooms which we intend to cook. As it's raining persistently, we decide to "spoil ourselves" and sleep indoors. In Laugarvatn we see a nice zimmer (i.e., a B&B without breakfast). The apartment is fully equipped and they have a "hot pot" outside in the garden (i.e., a miniature pool which enables you to soak in hot water). As it's quite early, we hesitate whether to stop already. The landowner tells us that he will leave the door unlocked, and we can come in if we decide to take it... We also ask him whether the mushrooms we have are good to eat. No, he doesn't know, but says that we should ask the neighbors. The neighbors tell us that the village mushroom-expert works in the post office and we should ask her there. In the post office the expert tells us that the mushrooms should be OK, but she is not 100% sure about it. We should consult with her daughter who works in the bank, she says. In the bank, the daughter isn't sure either, and takes us to her house, to have a look in the mushrooms-guidebook. Only then we're convinced that the mushrooms are good to eat. As it's already quite late we decide to take the zimmer and cook the mushrooms. Then we walk around the village (they have hot water springs, of which some are exploited for heating). In the evening we enjoy soaking in the hot pot...

A church in Thingvellir.

September 16th: The rain stopped sometime during the night and we drive to Gullfoss, the second biggest waterfall in Iceland (after Dettifoss, see chapter 4 ). We see there the Prime Minister of Astonia, who is visiting there as well. Next stop is Geysir geothermal field. Every geyser in the field has a name. In the early 1900 the biggest geyser was Geysir, after which the international word geyser is made. Now Geysir is not active anymore, and Strokkur takes its place, spouting steam and hot water at 5 minutes intervals. We drive south to Selfoss where we find candles in "Utsala" ("sale" in Icelandic) in the huge supermarket. In the late afternoon we seek a place to pitch our tent at. We choose the small airfield... Then, after knowing where to go to sleep at night, we drive back to town and pass the evening in a coffee shop, writing this diary.

Next stop is Geysir geothermal field.

Gulfoss falls.

The geothermal fields of the south-west peninsula.

September 17th: We fold our tent as in the last time, under the rain. Our poor tent doesn't have a chance to dry... We drive through the geothermal fields of the south-west peninsula to the Blue Lagoon (Blaa Lonid in Icelandic). It is the site of a bathing spot, developed around a pool of runoff water from a geothermal power station. We soak in the hot water profoundly. In the evening we drive to Keflavik, the town next to the international airport. The last night in Iceland we pass in Pizza 67, the Icelandic version for a pizza chain (like Pizza Hut in the US). As it's raining at night we decide not to pitch the tent, and sleep in the car, in the parking lot of Keflavik airport...

First shot.

Half a second later.

A second later.

[ Next ] [ Previous ] [ Index ] [ Homepage ]

Last modified: Wed May 30th 17:05:00 IST 2001