Iceland 2014 – Day 5 – Journey to nowhere, Waterfalls and Reykjavik harbour

We had our sights set on a few spots in west Iceland this morning, in particular a cave which had a tour group leaving at 12am. But first we thought we would take a look at the gigantic dome like structure which can be seen from most of Reykjavik, The Perlan (Pearl), it’s base is apparently water cooling towers, but fashioned into a full structure, complete with what is apparently one of the best restaurants in the country on top. We had a little look around on the observation deck, then went on our way.

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After driving out of Reykjavik and under possibly the longest tunnel i’ve ever seen, we found ourselves in the the middle of nowhere, literally miles of roads with no cars, a backdrop of mountains, and just barren land or fields in every direction. We were aiming for Fljotsunga caves, however the directions provided both on the website, and on signposts lead us through a small forest, and a few miles of dirt roads, driving on which not only lead to one of those cartoon dust clouds behind our vehicle, but a small dust cloud creeping up through the inside of the vehicle as well – which was a first for me. After following the series of horrific directions, we were lead to a closed fence preceding what looked like a farm.
Ridiculous waste of time :/

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We retraced our tracks and went for some nearby waterfalls instead, safe in the knowledge that they wouldn’t betray us. Hraunfossar eventually welcomed us off the winding road, a beautiful collection of small waterfalls bleeding through volcanic rock and leading into a river. The water here was an amazing shade of green where the water hit the river, and as usual, the clarity was beautiful.

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We had a little hike around the area and really took in the scenery. A few minutes upstream was another waterfall, Barnafoss, or the ‘childrens waterfall’, so named because two children fell to their deaths there whilst walking over a stone archway, the mother had the arch destroyed to prevent future tragedies, and if i’m honest, probably a good call because those were some hella jagged rocks and very powerful current. The white water cascading downstream around a natural rock chicane had already shown off it’s strength by apparently pounding its way through a giant rock that had been in its path.

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With not much else planned for Western Iceland, and a deadline for our hire car to be returned, we headed back to Reykjavik, stopping in a small village along the way to find something to eat. Here we found a small hall owned by a family who apparently hadn’t even opened yet, they did however have some soup and bread and offered to sell us some, an offer we decided to take up as villages out in the barrens were far and few between. As we sat eating, the family themselves actually started eating too, was very strange yet somewhat comforting at the same time, it felt very private and intimate. Also the daughter was kind of hot.

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Finally back in Reykjavik after a 100km or so, we had a little stop in the hotel to refresh ourselves, it’s worth pointing out also that our hire car had been thoroughly trashed because of the dirt roads we had been riding on, the new Toyota Yaris now looking like an exhibition piece from the local rally team, with a thin layer dust not only on the outside, but in the crevices between the doors and the inside the doors as well (how the hell?).

Once again, our evening was a casual walk down to Reykjavik city centre, we had gotten somewhat confortable with the 20 minute or so walk from our hotel, and have the route down pretty well now, we decided to take a different route to get down to the harbour faster, as we had already traversed the eastern side a few times prior.

Back on the waterfront, it has become evident that EVE Fanfest 2014 is in full swing, today is officially the first day of the event and already the city feels more lively, and there are way more long haired nerds walking about. We passed by the EVE Universe Monument ‘Worlds within a world’ by the harbour, a respectably tall monument featuring a few hundred plaques at the base, these plaques are engraved with over half a million screennames of EVE online players, and is kind of impressive to look at and search through. While we were there taking photos, at least a dozen people came by and looked like they were searching for their own names on the monument.

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Dinner today was at the prestigious ‘Kopar’ on the harbour front, being our last proper meal in Iceland, we went big and went for the 9 course ‘Kopar adventure’, a meal of… Icelandic scallops, cod tongues, fried gherkins, Catfish with pistachios, Beef cheek bourguignon, Red fish, and then finished with deconstructed cheesecake, chocolate lava cake, and apple, pear and blue cheese crumble. Here are a few of the better photos. Also, while eating, a huge party of maybe 20 came in, and were all assumedly EVE online developers or executives, shame I don’t follow that game at all because im sure that would have been an easy autograph or picture of someone if i actually knew anyone.

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And so ends the bulk of my Iceland trip, tomorrow we are planning on taking a trip in the morning to the rocket church again to see what is inside it (my father is christian) and will probably take another walk around town, but our shuttle bus to the airport is at midday, at which point it’ll be off back to civilization and away from all of the waterfalls, on the plus side, i’ll actually be able to go outdoors without a coat, ski socks and hat.