After a well needed night’s sleep and a relaxed breakfast at the Galleri B&B in Laugarvatn including homemade smoked trout salad, jams, and brown bread supposedly baked for 24 hours buried in the ground at the local hot springs, we began the day’s drive under crisp blue skies strewn with dramatic clouds.
Our first stop, the Gullfoss waterfall, an impressive sight, more powerful than I had imagined not having seen any photos beforehand. There are two levels of viewing decks with the most remarkable vistas along the lower level that run parallel with the top of the falls. Most notable is the second cascade that pounds into a narrow canyon.
Route F335 to Lake Hagavatn
Further along route 35 we turned onto F335 to Lake Hagavatn, hoping to get a better view of the glacier. Unfortunately, low on gas we tired of the bumpy dirt road before finding any up close glacier views. We did, however, find lonely sheep wandering the empty landscape only too happy to pose for us.
Back on 35 we refueled our souls with a hearty bowl of lamb soup at the Gullfoss tourist center. Tender chunks of lamb, carrots and rutabaga in a rich stock. Just what you need to face the bitter wind.
Returning back towards Laugarvatn we stopped at Geysir. Supposedly the original geyser for which all other geysers are named. Erupting only a few times a day it is not as predictable as his nearby brother, Strokkur, who delights tourists with an eruption of steam and water on the average of every 8 minutes.
The pool of thermal water starts to heave in and out before suddenly blasting a column of water 40 to 50 feet into the air. Even when you know it is coming, it takes you by surprise.
After a hard day of sightseeing we relaxed in the thermal waters at the Fontana baths in Laugarvatn. A simple string of pools set along the picturesque lake and heated from the local volcanic spring. The baths are also equipped with three steam rooms and a sauna with a view of the lake.
August 26, 2012
For links to all the posts in this series see the Iceland page.