A Sunny Day In Reykjavík


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Gullfoss waterfall + Geysir

We got home from the summer cabin this afternoon. We didn’t make all the stops on the way home that we’d wanted to as we were tired and Ellie was getting fed up with being in the car. Oh well. We did however stop by Gullfoss (the “golden waterfalls”) and Geysir yesterday. They’re not my favourite places simply because they’re as touristy as places get in this country. Spectacular & well worth visiting, yes, but hidden treasures they are not.

I of course took eleventy bajillion pictures:

Gullfoss

Gullfoss

Gullfoss

Gullfoss

Wildflowers, Gullfoss

Tourist by Gullfoss

Gullfoss

Strokkur, Geysir

Strokkur (in the Geysir area).

Strokkur, Geysir

Hot!

Blue geothermal pool, Iceland

Geothermal pool – too hot for swimming!

Geothermal pool, Iceland

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Caves near Laugavatn

Traffic jam.

We’ve been at a cabin in the countryside this week. I say cabin, but this place is huge! Way bigger than our little apartment. Just wonderful. We’re by a lake called Apavatn. It’s quite close to Reykjavík, about an hour and half’s drive.

We’ve been super lazy here, relaxing as much as is possible with two small kids (i.e. not very much). I feel slightly guilty about how little we’ve done, but at the same time it’s been nice to have a break without feeling like we have to cram everything into our schedule.

Yesterday we took a little drive to some caves in the area.

The view from the bottom.

On the way up.

Caves!

What’s interesting about the caves is that 100 years ago, people lived in them:

Painting of the cave house as it was 100 years ago.

From 1910-11 they were inhabited by a young couple, Guðrún Kolbeinsdóttir and Indriði Guðmundsson, then just 17 and 22 years old. They sold food to travelers passing by. Within a year they had earned enough to move to Reykjavík, and left the caves.

A few years later, from 1918-21, another young couple moved in. During their time there Jón Þorvarðarson and Vigdís Helgadóttir had three children, two of which were born in the cave. Can you imagine? One of the children, Magnus Jónsson, is still alive today. He calls himself The Caveman. Of course.

Looks cozy, no?

Mimi was insistent that she was going to find some baby trolls in the cave.

Nowadays the house is gone. The caves are covered in moss, and graffiti carved into the soft sandstone.

The view from inside the cave:

Remember the horses that were on the road?

The view standing on top of the caves.

I think today we’re going to visit the Golden Circle: Geysir (the original geyser), Þingvellir (Thingvellir National Park) and the Gullfoss waterfalls, so I’m sure I’ll be posting more pictures soon.


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A sunny day in…Grundarfjörður!

My wonderful mother came to visit a few weeks ago. The girls were so happy to see their Grandma! Ellie hadn’t seen her since she was a newborn and I thought she’d be shy at first, but she wasn’t at all. I suspect she recognised her from Skype-ing.

Grandma’s here!

Just in case Mum wasn’t sure she was in Iceland, it immediately started snowing…in May.

Snow!

We went to a summer house in Grundarfjörður (on the Snæfellsnes peninsula) for a few days. The location was stunning, right under a mountain with nothing around except one little sheep farm maybe hundred metres below. The cabin had a hot tub and a little playground, so Mimi was thrilled. So was Grandma.

Nearly all of my photos are of the view from where we stayed. We traveled around the peninsula a fair bit but didn’t stop to take many photos as Ellie had been screaming in the car. If you’ve ever been trapped in a car with a screaming baby you’ll understand why we weren’t in any hurry to wake her up when she did sleep.

(Excuse the lens scratches. I need a new camera.)

Stop off at Borgarfjörður.

We’re here! (You can see how dry it’s been.)

The view from another angle.

Not sure about all this nature nonsense.

So happy to have a playground all to herself.

Evening on the porch.

Sunset.

The farm by the river by the sea.

The next day it started raining. This is Iceland, after all.

Down at the farm.

Rainbow!

SOON

The view from the restaurant we went to in beautiful Stykkishólmur.

“How fascinating, do continue…”

Car-screaming aside, it was a really nice trip and the kids did well. It’s been way too long since I’ve been out of Reykjavík, which is crazy because it’s just so beautiful here. One of the many nice things about having my mother visit is that it forces me to do all the fun things that I normally wouldn’t make time for. Note to self: GO OUT OF TOWN MORE OFTEN.

Sadly, we’ve had to say goodbye to my mum for now. There was some talk of coming back for Christmas, so fingers crossed it won’t be too long before we see her again!