Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Outdoor adventures

Today we got a late start on our day, but I was glad to have slept in. We had a quick breakfast and scheduled to rent a car later to drive out of the city for the day. Meanwhile, we went to see the Harpa Concert Hall where we had to pick up our Pride Opening Ceremony tickets for Thursday. We saw this cool Viking ship sculpture on the way.

The concert hall itself is beautiful. You can see it here in the background.

And here is the glass up close. It shines in the light and some of the panels are differently colored/iridescent so they reflect the light a little differently.

The inside is just as fun! It looks like a big M. C. Escher drawing. And it's right by the docks.

After that we packed up some snacks and piled into the large red van that was the only rental car available to seat all 6 of us. :) About 50 min later we were at our first destination, a volcanic crater called Kerið. We were able to hike around the whole thing on some (somewhat dubiously safe) paths. I found on their website that it's about 6,500 years old and approximately 270 m long, 170 m wide and 55 m deep. Cool!

Look at the tiny people!

Me and the ol' crater! :D

When we stopped at a gas station to use their restrooms, there was a field behind it where I met this guy!
I think he was friendly because he thought we had food! We didn't, and he quickly lost interest... :(

Don't leave!

Then we went to see the natural geyser, Strokkur, which erupts about every 8-10 minutes. Everyone stands around it holding their cameras! It's surrounded by a large field of hot spring waters that bubble up and steam in every crevice the ground allows. There are lots of tiny signs around that say the water temps are 80-100 degrees Celsius and not to stick your hands in. Which is good, because the water looks very inviting and steamy! :-/  Want to touch!

Then we drove to the large waterfall, Gullfoss. (We spent a lot of time in the car to get places, lol.) It was fairly wet and cold there. The light was good enough to see the glacier, Langjökull, past the mountains, but not good enough to get a good photo. :) The light was also not good enough to create a rainbow in the mist of the waterfall. Boo.

After some discussion we decided to try to find a smaller, less visited waterfall called Faxa. We only had the verbal directions the lady at the tourist center gave us. It was starting to get dark and we didn't have the best map... so we got a little lost. We eventually stumbled across a nice man at a rafting company that was able to point us in the right directions. Oh, what would we do without the kindness of strangers!
Ah HAH! And it was worth all that because waterfalls are fun! Though you really shouldn't go chasing them...

Even though it was now too dark for photos, we still decided to visit the national park, Thingvellir (or Þingvellir). We walked around the waterfall and the old Viking parliament rock and read the information boards by the light of our cell phones.

When we got back in town, I really wasn't that hungry and was just planning on going to bed, but then this happened:

That late night waffle truck will get you every time!!! P.S. It's topped with caramel sauce and whipped cream and it was delicious.

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