Shared Joy is Twice the Joy, Shared Pain is Half the Pain

Hveragerdi

We planned Tuesday through Friday of our trip out pretty meticulously before we left home, but I managed to convince Mom to leave Saturday and Sunday open, so we could pick fun places to go based on suggestions. We decided Friday night to head into Hveragerdi for Saturday, and visit some of the geological features in the area. Definitely the best decision of the trip.

DSCN5722We started our day further South, and stopped by Seljalandsfoss, which is the waterfall I had decided I wanted to see. You’re able to walk behind it, although it is probably a lot easier to walk behind in the summer than the winter. The spray from the falls (which are about 60 meters high) created some fabulous ice sculptures on the rocks, hills, and pathways. Though the walk was very icy and probably incredibly dangerous, Mom and I made it to the back, where we got some incredible views of the countryside. I’d say this one is cooler than the more famous Selfoss.

From there, we headed to the town of Hveragerdi, which was probably the best stop of the trip. Easy to get to, brimming with geothermal heat features, and with some really tasty restaurants, I’m super glad we stopped there. Once we arrived, we checked in at Hotel Ork, which is a nice hotel with what looks like an amazing swimming pool, and incredibly helpful staff. They gave us a map and pointed out how to get to the mudpots, just north of town.DSCN5774

Seen to the right, they were steaming and bubbling, and the sound of the mud literally boiling was incredible. They apparently only opened up after an earthquake in the area in 2006, and they are in a strangely straight line. It was a bit disconcerting to be able to stand in certain places and see a line of steaming holes in the ground to your left and to your right. Nonetheless, it was pretty fascinating.

After the mudpots, we wandered back into town, heading to a restaurant called Kjot & Kunst.

DSCN5765

It was absolutely the best meal of our trip. You can see their oven in the bottom left of the picture – literally a bunch of rocks over a geothermal vent. They use the geothermal heat to heat the rocks and cook the food. I had a fantastic bowl of mushroom soup with earth-baked bread, followed by traditional-style breaded lamb chops. It was all so good! Mom had earth-baked chicken legs, which were also fantastic.

And then, of course, the hotel called us when the Northern Lights finally came out, adding a wonderful exclamation point to an awesome day.

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