Boiling soil

Hiking in Hengill geothermic area in Iceland

It’s a country made of ice & fire. This rough nature which forged Icelanders personnality, struggling every winter for their survival, today bring them a resource of inexhaustible energy. Imagine, 70 % of Iceland primary energies comes from geothermal (and for the rest, there are dams). Not need to dig deeply, soil boils and cracks under our feet. Weather is pretty bad today, so we’re just gonna make a family day out around Reykjavik. Making a home exchange allows us to take time to explore places forgotten by tourists. Today, we’re completely alone despite only being a few km from Thingvellir. No travel guide mentions Nesjavellir and Hengill area but we already came here during our first trip in Iceland and know it deserves to come back.

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Mysterious island

A day in Heimaey & ascent of its active volcano

I hope you aren’t already jaded by our Icelandic trip travel diary. We loved this country, and I would like to take you with me to share our favorite places. During our stay in Reykjavik, we followed weather forecast every day and worship Vedur, Icelandic meteorological office website. I know, I rambles about it, but Vestmannaeyjar islands where top on our wish list & we wanted to find the ideal day to set sail on.  On the first sunny windless day, we rushed to book tickets on the ferry. We wanted to take the car with us to make the most of this day and places are rare in July.

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Unprocessed

Háifoss, Iceland’s second highest waterfall

After discovering Gjain enchanting valley in the single company of a shy stone troll, we continue our way on the volcanic plateau. Only 10 km further is Haifoss, Iceland’s second highest waterfall.  This time, we are pleased to have a 4 WD. Although there is no ford to cross, gravel road is bad and it took us more than half an hour to make this short journey – it’s inadvisable to normal cars. (more…)

Fairy tales exist

Hidden valley of Gjain, our Icelandic crush

130 km away of Reykjavík, along Thjorsa River, lies adorable Gjain remotevalley, the most enchanting place we saw in Iceland, fortunately still unknown.  Before arriving at Gjáin we cross desolated lava fields where only grow few mosses, an inhospitable and grandiose world created by Hekla eruption in 1104. It’s hard to imagine these lands were previously among the most fertile of Iceland. We park the car and approach the fault edge. We discover a small verdant valley, like an oasis in this lunar vastness. Descending down, we feel like penetrating a fairy world, as a lively fairy tale scenery. We wouldn’t be surprised to see a unicorn coming to greet us.

“Games of thrones” creators made no mistake about it and used Gjain as decor for a few scenes of the 4th season. I haven’t seen yet this series but maybe will you recognize some parts of the scenery?  (more…)

At Kirkjufell’s foot

Enjoying the end of the day in Snaefellnes

After breathing the fresh sea air, approached birds’ nests in the cliffs and tasted extra fresh scallops  during the sushi tour, afternoon was already well under way but we didn’t wanted to leave Snaefellsnes peninsula so soon. One of the major benefits of a travel in Iceland around summer solstice, is that the days almost have no end and nothing can prevents us to start a walk at 20:00 if we want. And it was beautiful that day, my face began to turn crimson. (more…)