An hour long trek along a busy highway, a bus to Hveragerði, a struggle with a gas station map, a three kilometer walk on a rural road, and three kilometer hike uphill while hopping over streams of boiling hot water next to bubbling earth brought me to one of the most relaxing and remote locations I have ever been lucky enough to visit.
Welcome to Reykjadalur, ‘Smoke Valley’, Iceland. Also known as one of the many places I have come across in the past week where I’d like to set up a tent next to for the rest of my life and give up my addiction to cheesy Monday night television for.
In the middle of the mountains is the crossing of two rivers - one boiling hot, and one ice cold - creating essentially the ideal temperature for bathing. Holly and I spent hours here today just soaking and chatting with an Icelandic man with a New York accent named Greg; he actually had an Icelandic name but knowing that we were both completely hopeless to explain the pronunciation to, he gave us the English version. He explained to us the ins and outs of the mountains, gave us a tour of the waterfalls and hot springs around the rivers, and drove us back to Reykjavik while we tried to explain to him what exactly “poutine” is.
To Greg, or whatever your actual unpronounceable name is, thank you so much for your incredible hospitality and kindness towards us easily lost and maybe not so hopeless foreigners. I hope you enjoy listening to the Iceland Symphony Orchestra perform the music from Star Wars at Harpa with your daughter later this year, that sounded lovely.
(Terrible iPhone photo with some naked people attached, more to follow later on)
(PS I saw the northern lights for the first time on the way home)