Last day of Iceland Tour

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August 31st 2019
Published: August 31st 2019
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Our trip ends today. We continue traveling around the Ring Road back to Reykjavik with some interesting stops along the way. Technically we are in West Iceland traveling back to Southwest Iceland.

First stop is Grabrok, a volcano with a nice crater that has a walk up it. Grábrók is a 170 meter high crater that rises northeast of Hreðavatn. From these craters Stora Grábrók , Grábrókarfell (Redbrok) and Litlu-Grábrók (Smábrók), Grábrókar lava flowed about 3400 years ago. The average thickness in boreholes is 20 m. The lava blocked the North River and pushed it up the eastern slopes of the valley. Beautiful springs emerge from the lava in several places. The largest springs are in the so-called Paradise or Paradise Ponds . The craters and the Grábrókar lava have been a protected natural habitat since 1962. It is a popular walk up Grábrók, an easy walk and there is a walkway with man-made steps.

This was a fun hike that didn't take long and gave a good view.

Next stop: Glanni waterfall. The Glanni waterfall is a stunning waterfall in Nordura river. The locals believe it to be the dwelling place of elves and trolls. The waterfall is small but beautiful with at least three side-by-side drops, that each has multiple tiers. The word Glanni means light or shining. The waterfall has this name because of the bright white color of the water as it hits the rocks below.

Next stop: Deildartunguhver Thermal Spring.

Deildartunguhver is a hot spring in Reykholtsdalur, Iceland. It is characterized by a very high flow rate for a hot spring (180 liters/second) and water emerges at 97 °C. It is the highest-flow hot spring in Europe.

Some of the water is used for heating, being piped 34 kilometers to Borgarnes and 64 kilometers to Akranes.

Struthiopteris fallax (Lange) S. Molino, Gabriel y Galán & Wasowicz

A fern called Struthiopteris fallax, grows in Deildartunguhver. This fern is the only endemic fern in Iceland, and it does not grow anywhere else in the world.

Next stop: Hraunfossar cascade and Barnafoss waterfall.

Hraunfossar (Borgarfjörður, western Iceland) is a series of waterfalls formed by rivulets streaming over a distance of about 900 metres out of the Hallmundarhraun, a lava field which flowed from an eruption of one of the volcanoes lying under the glacier Langjökull. The waterfalls pour into the Hvítá river from ledges of less porous rock in the lava. The name comes from the Icelandic word for lava (hraun) and the word for waterfalls (fossar). The Hraunfossar are situated near Húsafell and Reykholt and the Víðgelmir lava tube is close by.

Literally a stone's throw upstream from Hraunfossar, there is another waterfall called Barnafoss. Its name, the waterfall of the children, comes from an accident which is said to have taken place here in former times. There was a natural bridge over the waterfall and two children from a nearby farm fell to their deaths crossing the river on the bridge. Afterwards, the grief-struck mother had the bridge destroyed.

Next stop: all about Snorri Sturluson. Snorri Sturluson (Icelandic: ; 1179 – 23 September 1241) was an Icelandic historian, poet, and politician. He was elected twice as lawspeaker to the Icelandic parliament, the Althing. He was the author of the Prose Edda or Younger Edda, which consists of Gylfaginning ("the fooling of Gylfi"), a narrative of Norse mythology, the Skáldskaparmál, a book of poetic language, and the Háttatal, a list of verse forms. He was also the author of the Heimskringla, a history of the Norwegian kings that begins with legendary material in Ynglinga saga and moves through to early medieval Scandinavian history. For stylistic and methodological reasons, Snorri is often taken to be the author of Egil's saga.

Snorri Sturluson's writings provide information and indications concerning persons and events influencing the peoples inhabiting North Europe during periods for which relevant information is scarce: thus, for example, he can be used to illuminate relations between England and Scandinavia during the 10th and 11th centuries. Snorri is considered a figure of enduring importance in this regard, Halvdan Koht describing his work as "surpassing anything else that the Middle Ages have left us of historical literature". He also provided an early account of the discovery of Vinland.

To an extent, the legacy of Snorri Sturluson also played a role in politics long after his death. His writings could be used in support of the claims of later Norwegian kings concerning the venerability and extent of their rule. Later, Heimskringla factored in establishing a national identity during the Norwegian romantic nationalism in mid-19th century.

The touristy area we visited has supposedly the oldest hot tub ever which is filled naturally with hot water. Snorri had a secret passageway that went from his house to this warm pool. There are some excavations here and 2 churches. The town is called Reykholt which was at one time one of the intellectual centers of the island and had for many years one of the most important schools of the country.

Final stop: "Sturlureykir Horse Farm

Sturlureykir horsefarm is a local horsebreeding farm with about 60 horses. Every year is 3 to 5 foal born and we try to breed good breedinghorses, ridinghorses and a competition horses.

We have offered ridingtours for more than 30 years and the reason is simple, we love our work, our horses and to give a personal service.

Sturlureykir is a family runned farm and have been in the same family for over 150 years. At Sturlureykir is the first geothermal in Europe. You are welcome to visit our farm, have a rest, take a coffee or ride one of our horses. You will enjoy it."

The Icelandic horses are a pure breed that has not mixed with any other types of horses for 1000 years. No other horses are allowed to be brought to Iceland. The horses here are quite friendly. The family uses a hot spring for their water and heat and they make rye bread by putting the dough in milk cartons and cooking it for 25 hours in an area heated by the hot spring. The bread was delicious.

From here we continued to Reykjavik and Sindri dropped people off at their hotels.

My impressions: I love Iceland. This is a dramatic place: volcanoes, glaciers, lovely small towns, lots of farmland, rivers, waterfalls, fishing communities. Clean, low crime, friendly people, great food. I recommend visiting Iceland and doing the Ring Road because the countryside is so different from Reykjavik and there's so much to see.

Our group was so nice. We had: Perry & Robin from Australia, Kimberly from Australia, the woman whose name I can't pronounce or remember from Australia (she is originally from Sri Lanka), Chen currently studying in Scotland, Mayko currently studying in Paris, Pamela, Cathy & Wayne from Toronto, Linda & Kevin from New York City, Ann & Mike from Ohio, Marisa & Juan from Ecuador, Greta from Italy, and Nat & Cecilia from Singapore, and our wonderful guide Sindri. I really enjoyed traveling with this group and I have a bunch of new Facebook friends.

Additional photos below
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Note bridgeNote bridge
Note bridge

There was a different one that people would cross to visit each other on opposite sides of the river. The children fell off a bridge and drowned.

31st August 2019

Great trip!
Sue - thanks for all of the information and wonderful photos! It looks like a 3 week adventure in all the unusual places. Looking forward to your next trip!
9th September 2019

What a great trip!
Susan, It was so nice to meet you. You have done an excellent job capturing your week in Iceland! You have a lot of great information for anyone thinking of doing a trip to Iceland. Once I get caught up from our trip I want to check out your blog of Croatia, and probably Greenland too! We had 3 sunny days after Sindri dropped us off in Borgarnes! We spent a day on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, a day at Landmannalaugar and a final day and a half back in Reykjavik. Can't wait to see what your next trip will be!
10th September 2019

Sunshine in Iceland!
3 days???? Figures. And Cecilia & Nat went to see the Northern Lights Sunday eve and they said it was spectacular. Glad the rest of your trip went well.

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