We were up early this morning and embarked on our tour on an 8 seat van shortly after 8:00, thus ensuring that we were ahead of all the big tour busses massing at the dock.
Our first stop was at an overlook of the harbour at the head of the fjord. Then were off to Godafoss Falls – the falls of the Gods. Apparently when Iceland officially adopted Christianity this is where the pagan idols were tossed. It was a pretty site and we all took plenty of pictures.
Then we were off to several stops around Myvatn Lake. It is one of Iceland’s bigger lakes and because of several lava flows it is really irregular in shape and quite scenic in several places. On of those places was Dimmuborgir, which is a whole world onto itself with endless bizarre lava formations.The scientific explanation is that these strange formations are the sites of vent holes that the lava escaped under the lake and cooled rapidly and piled high. The local explanation is that this was a party site for the elves and after a particular long party the gods got mad and turned the trolls into stone. Indeed walking the paths through the formations one could pick out various faces and poses.One area is like a small amphitheater and is known as the Elves Church. At Christmas time each year there is a gathering of “ elves “, children would come and receive small gifts and have a barbeque.
We had lunch here and then we travelled to several smaller sites. Highlights of the stops were:
a natural bakery – the ground is so hot that pits are dug to bake bread some of which we tasted at lunch.
swimming caves – the caves lead to naturally hot water.There are separate male and female caves so no clothes are worn but apparently there are connecting caves.
there is a whole barren scape area with bubbling mud pits and steam vents and miles of pipes. The steam from the boiling hot water is utilized here for electricity and a large plant has been built. The water after being cooled is collected in a pool and is a local spa.
the Continental Divide. As we travelled we constantly crossed between Europe and North America. In some places the divide was broad but occasionally the divide was dramatic. On one site the divide was deep chasm that was about 5 feet apart. But the best for me was one site where the fissure was only a foot and a half wide and I had one foot in North America and the other in Europe,
This was a long but rewarding day and something I will always remember.
Tomorrow; REST – a sea day