Some fun facts about Iceland – the countryside has many one-lane bridges you have to drive over. I thought was insane the first time I saw it but after a while it made sense. One, twelve people live in the whole damn country and two, you can see forever so if another car is coming towards you you both have miles to somehow figure out who’s going to cross the bridge first. We drove for hours and it mostly looked like this:
BTW, that bluish thing in front of us embracing the mountain is the glacier. The big one that takes up a massive portion of the island. Here, a map for help.
We got closer to it at one point. I thought it was stunningly beautiful.
Another fun fact – this is an extremely elf-conscious country. Lemme pull a sentence out of this recent article in The Atlantic. You don’t need context. Just read.
If a road is completely necessary, the elves will generally move out of the way, but if it is deemed superfluous, a possibility at Gálgahraun, “very bad things” might happen. “This elf church is connected by light energy to other churches, other places,” Jónsdóttir said. “So, if one of them is destroyed, it’s, uh, well, it’s not a good thing.”
There’s also the article reported by AP News.
So, as you can guess, lots of elf stuff everywhere. You need to respect the elves.
Y’ALL RESPECT THE ELVES NOW.
Okay, the geothermal bakery and spa. Now, I don’t know about you but when I hear “bakery” I think of at least one oven, usually multiple oven. Based on what I saw I think maybe the name “bakery” is a bit of a misnomer. I will show you.
On arrival to the bakery and spa we got to see an authentic building with grass / moss growing on the roof.
We asked to see the bakery and the kid behind the counter said, “Sure, let me grab the shovel.” None of us understood why he would need that, maybe to prop up the door? We had clearly seen the bakery from the parking lot.
Here’s the thing: that’s not the bakery. That’s a building that takes the boiling water out of the earth and makes electricity. The bakery was a pile of dirt on the edge of that lake back there. That’s it. Here’s how the “bakery” works – you put the ingredients in a big pot, the main ingredient being rye, one of the only two grains that grows in Iceland, wrap it up tight in plastic, bury it a foot or two into the lava sand where the water is boiling, come back in 24 hours and unbury your bread. Hence the need for the shovel.
The bread was delicious. They served us slices of the hot bread (really cake, the dough had two cups of sugar in it, let’s call it what it really was) and cold salted butter and we snarfed it down like we had never had food before.
I’m not even remotely kidding about the water being boiling two feet down. Standing on the edge of the lake you could see the hotness trying to escape like little teeny tiny geysers.
Mishi and I decided to try out the spa. The gentlemen opted out of this and on the website it said something about their roof deck being the ideal place for making memories. Here is the place for the making of memories.
Mishi and I left the menfolk there to spoon or whatever their memory-making required, I don’t presume to know their business, and we tried all the pools. First we tried the room with the boiling springs directly under the floor that was cool because you could hear and feel the boiling under your feet but profoundly uncool because you were engulfed in a mist of egg farts. We then progressed from pool to pool, increasing in heat with each one. It was pretty great.
The view of the lake was stark and lovely.
And everything was going great until the maintenance guy who was patrolling the area doing something with a leaf-blower/pool cleaning device and OH MY GOD HE’S PULLING THE ELECTRICAL CORD INTO THE POOL WE ARE IN WE’RE GONNA DIE AND LEAVE BACHELORS ON THE ROOF TO MAKE MEMORIES ALONE FOR THE REST OF THIS TRIP. Luckily a second after I noticed and braced for a tingly demise, the pool guy signaled for Mishi to put the cord further away, saving us from a tragic passing. Cricket caught the epic save on film.
There was one other hot tub place we visited while in Iceland. It was literally in the middle of nowhere. A bunch of pools next to some mountainous rocks with a piece of plumbing that you could shove some money into for the upkeep of these pools. And a great view of the glacier in the background. I was transfixed by the craggy rock directly behind us.
We saw reindeer on the way out to the hot pots! I would have been far more excited if we hadn’t been a million feet away from them but if African safaris have taught me anything you see what you see and that’s how it is.
To close this entry let’s talk Icelandic horses. Sweet, small, hairy, furry horses. I saw a few outside of a gas station and I had to get up close and make friends.
Next, possibly the best thing I saw on this trip, the glacier beach.