Day Eight: The Peaceful Reconquest of Iceland

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Day Eight: Thursday 15th August
Journey: Seyðisfjörður, Iceland to Myvatn, Iceland

Lyonel excited to see Iceland for the first time!

Lyonel excited to see Iceland for the first time!

We had been out on the open sea for the majority of the last two days and par some short sightings of Norway and the Faroe Islands, everything we saw was in fact sea and clouds. Then, early on Thursday morning we did finally saw something. Something so much bigger than the Faroe Islands. This was…Iceland !

I can tell you this was exciting. Linnea had been to Iceland a couple of times but myself, nada! To see these gigantic, treeless fjords opening for the first time was definitely something. A feeling of achievement maybe?

See a short video of Lyonel’s first glimpse of Iceland.

The view of the fjords was gorgeous as we neared Seyðisfjörður.

The view of the fjords was gorgeous as we neared Seyðisfjörður.

In any cases, we quickly reached Seydisfjordur, ran past the Icelandic police and their drug dogs and entered the next shuttle bus to the regional center of Egilstaddir where we ate some amazing looking (and tasting) sandwiches (Icelandic word of the day : Samlokka). Then it was time for some more travel by bus where we saw some of the most unusual landscapes ever …

After a couple of hours, we were deposited in the Middle of Nowhere (just look at the picture if you still don’t believe me). This Middle of Nowhere was on Linnea’s list of awesome stuff to do in Iceland due to its main attraction: Geothermal baths from Hell !

This doesn’t need much explanation as you probably all know what Icelandic geo-something baths are: Naturally-occurring warm water splashing from the ground and tapped by locals in order to make it into a thermal power station or to use for bathing. This sounded like a good idea to me. At first.

The desolate landscape from Seyðisfjörður to Myvatn.

The desolate landscape from Seyðisfjörður to Myvatn.

Indeed, while covering the two kilometers separating us from the Middle of the Nowhere to the Middle of Nowhere’s Nature Bath (In fact, Myvatn Nature Bath) one thing began to become more and more apparent: The foul smell of rotten eggs! Because of the presence of some chemical stuff in the ground (Sulfur maybe?), Icelandic warm water smells, well, like rotten eggs. The smell, which was nothing but a slight “fumet” when we got out of the bus soon became hard to fathom as we drew closer and closer to the Baths. In all honesty, I had doubts about my capacity to withstand such a totalitarian olfactory assault. Even Lofoten’s Cod Liver Oil and Törrfisk couldn’t compare with the hellbound smell of Icelandic Nature Baths!

But then I went in the water. It was warm, cozy and nifty as hell! The whole baths aren’t very deep so you can almost always sit or lay somewhere and just let your body relax and enjoy the pristine, Sulfurous warm baths! After a while, the smell isn’t so hard to tolerate and overall it was quite a nice experience!

Here we are swimming in the smelly, but warm, water at the Myvatn Nature Baths!

Here we are swimming in the smelly, but warm, water at the Myvatn Nature Baths!

After such a nice moment not caring about anything, it was time to go back to the grindstone. A couple kilometers had to be crossed in order to reach the hamlet’s center and there find a decent (or semi-decent even, we weren’t exactly difficult on this trip) place to spend the night. Much back-breaking later, we finally arrived to Myvatn information center and later on, to Hlid camping where we took a sleeping bag-accommodation which was by then already full of Italians, Israelis and Frenchmen.

We then made food and went to bed.

 

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