Next element: Earth! Let’s start where we left off last post, with the misty fjord we were heading into. Seydisfjordur, to be more precise. This pictoresque village in the far east of Island is tucked away between mountains. When we arrived it was heavily foggy, but the next day things cleared up and we decided to do a 5 hour hike in the mountains surrounding it!
The mountain was covered in purple flowers; another reason you should visit Iceland in June: it’s spring all over.
The hike we did (called the waterfall-hike) was gorgeous. Views of the valley were amazing and ofcourse, a lot of waterfalls (more on that in the “water” post :p)
Near the end of the hike, we passed through an arae full of ruins, which was very mysterious. It looked like old abandoned farms. We wondered what happened to them when we saw one with a HUGE boulder on top of it. In Iceland the volcanic activity has often destroyed farms in the past, and you can see ruins like this everywhere!
In the afternoon we reached the village again and had a nice Viking beer with fish and chips :)
Like I said, spring is AMAZING in Iceland, the purple flowers are everywhere. They are not indigenous, and I heard some people are actually against these flowers taking over the landscape, but they do no harm, and to be honest they look gorgeous!
I really adored them. Another thing you will also often see in Iceland are these:
Little piles of rocks. They are called “cairns” and they are scattered around the whole of Iceland. Some of them are really old (like, 9th century old) and were made by people as marking stones or waymarkers. The ones I’m standing in between have a story: There once was a farm on this spot, but it was destroyed by – what else- a volcanic eruption. Since then, people put stone piles there for good luck and travels. The area is now huuuuge and has hundreds of small cairns. And so, we also put some stones there!
And in Reykjavik as well :D Yes, they are everywhere! We spent two days in Reykjavik and had a great time, it actually was their national holiday (the “Koningsdag” of Iceland) and there were many festivities, and all the musea were free (yay!).
the church in the middle of the city is amazing, the design is almost ominous.
We also explored the harbour!
From the harbour, you could see the mountains of Snaefelsness in the background, the peninsula we would visit at the end of our trip!
But we went south-east first, following the Ring Road counter-clockwise. And that meant we ended up in Þingvellir park the first day we set out (pronounce the Þ as th :p). Here, the rift between America and Europe is highly visible as a literal crack between continents!
It’s a beautiful place, and some episodes of the popular Netflix series Game of Thrones were shot here!
Our Ring Road passed many beautiful valleys and gorges, most of them I will show in the “Water” post (because they usually had even more astonishing waterfalls in them), but here is a sneak peak of one of those gorges:
Wooooow!!!! I loved it so much! The colors were amazing, the greens of the ground mixed with oranges and blacks of volcanic stone, mountains in the back, gorges that have been created by rivers over the course of thousands of years… Iceland makes you feel small.
The shapes in the mountains are amazing, so eroded and layered, all of them different.
All those tiny black silhouettes are Ward by the way :)
In between those magnificent landscapes you would find these little houses or huts covered in grass; they are traditional turf houses, some dating back to the 10th century, and they were built that way for maximum insulation against the fickle Icelandic weather.
And this might be the most famous mountain in Iceland, Kirkjefell (Church Mountain)!
It’s funny because when you are there, you instantly understand how this mountain was shapes by the winds. The wind is strong here, scraping this mountain, and strange circular clouds constantly shaped around its top. It is – again – a very magical place.
By that time I had transcended into an Icelandic person :p I bought a hand-made wool sweater ( a “Lopapeysa”) made by Gudlaug Steingrimsdottir! It is so nice and warm, smells like sheep, and has bits if straw in it… I LOVE IT
At one point we were staying in an old fishing lodge, and while it was raining outside, I was cozy inside in my lopapeysa reading Icelandic Noir books XD
The lodge used to be a fishing lodge and people would stay there to catch salmons! The guestbook went back to the early ‘ 70 ies!
The Earth was just as amazing and the Wind and Ice, how about…. the Water? Next time!