Monday, August 29, 2016

Iceland Part VII: Reykjanes peninsula

Our last day was spent around the Reykjanes Peninsula where we had been staying for the past three nights. We had late afternoon flights, but wanted to stay within an hour's drive of the airport. The Reykjanes Peninsula has many different areas to see that many people don't get to.

We first spent a relaxing morning at our beautiful house talking with the home owners and taking pictures of the scenery. They recommended going to an "all you can eat" lobster soup and homemade bread place in Grindavik before starting our day. We drove that way and came upon a low key place named Bryggan on the water and holy moly it was just the best! We could have stayed there all day. It just seemed like it was your typical, no-fuss, Icelandic stop and we loved every minute of it.

In Grindavik

Lobster soup, homemade bread, & coffee

Boat in Grindavik
After we rolled ourselves out of there we drove to Gunnuhver Hot Springs. This is a large area of geothermal activity where mud pools and steam vents are the main attraction. There are two ramps leading to great views of the hot springs area where a distinct sulfur smell permeates the air.

Next we went to Midlina in Sandvik, which is the "Bridge Between Two Continents". The mid-Atlantic ridge is separating at a rate of 2-2.5 centimeters per year. This ridge, consisting of the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates, runs underneath the Reykjanes Peninsula and we were able to cross the bridge and straddle the ridge. Pretty cool!

We drove from Sandvik and continued around the rest of the peninsula marveling at the lava crusted fields that seemed to go on for miles. It was getting to be about that time we had to head to the airport and we were in a solemn state. We had such an amazing time here... life changing we would say. The exquisite natural beauty, the openness, the culture, and just the feeling of freeness makes Iceland a destination that we will be returning to very soon.