The only sunny day that we had in our two week stay in Iceland lasted well into the night. These pictures were all taken in the late evening from Sölvanes farm. We sat out until almost midnight and watched the sun skimming across the horizon to the north. The light was quite special: pearly and misty one minute, then sharp with soft contrasts when the sun reappeared and you could see the sheep drifting across the hillsides.
It took us nearly a week of travelling before we got to a genuine rural hot pot: Fosslaug in Skagafjörður. Our hosts at Sölvanes (Elin and Magnus) kindly gave us a map and description otherwise we would not have found it.
They told us that the hot pot was built using traditional materials of rock and sod to regulate the flow of hot water from the spring and cold water from the Svarta river. It is quite unspoilt and ‘in nature’ so for us it was ideal. You can sit in the hot water (it was 40 degrees +) with the wild river rushing past you and the falls pounding down only 50 metres away – quite an experience! There’s a great panoramic picture of the falls in my Iceland Landscapes.
Here’s a small set of pictures taken on my phone: you can see the hot water bubbling up and Kate enjoying a dip. There’s also a Google Earth picture (with coordinates) of our walk so if you’re ever in north-west Iceland you can find where we went!
On Friday we drove up to north-west Iceland through beautiful sunshine to stay at a lovely hill farm called Sölvanes. It is located high up in a valley with an expansive outlook to the north down Svartadalur and direct to the Arctic.
Here’s a couple of panoramas: the first one taken driving up to the north coast in the most lovely sunshine we have had in our whole time in Iceland. The second shows our local large waterfall: Reykjafoss. We walked past it on the way to the Foss Laug which is the local ‘hot pot’ for bathing. This weblink on Icelandic Hot Pots would classify it as rustic or near natural …
I used DoubleTake to stitch together the seven to nine individual images for each picture.
We have had plenty of weather since we arrived – strong winds, cold and rain (but it is Iceland Dad – as Jeannie said) – and then some spells of sun to get out into quickly. Some of the architecture is stunning: you can Google Harpa Concert Hall yourself to see what I mean. We treated ourselves to a wonderful concert there by soprano Diana Damrau and harpist Xavier de Maistre. Then we walked back along the harbour front past the Sun Voyager and up to our small apartment. Hallgrímskirkja is also iconic and graces most of Reykjavik’s publicity.
We are up-country now doing the sights as you can see from the pictures. The quirkiest has to be the tower of canned Icelandic Air that was for sale at a tourist trap. I picked one up (yes it was really light) and almost opened the ring pull – and that would have set me back R100 …