Woke up around 10am - and it was still dark out. Had some breakfast (yogurt and a banana) and then Mundi made me try his nasty dried fish! It really wasnt that bad -- but it smelled bad. Like fish food. I guess its really expensive, too. I told him its not worth it. He should stick to yogurt and fruit instead. ;)
Showered, packed up, and we were out the door by 11.
First stop, Geysir hot springs. It was only a 5 minute drive and you could see the steam rising from the ground from a ways away.
The big tour busses from Reykjavik hadnt gotten there yet thanks goodness, but there were still some people around. We walked up to the main geysir and Mundi stood there with my phone up for a good 5 minutes just waiting to capture a picture of me and the eruption, haha. He did it! My face is hilarious :)
For once in my life, I listened and stayed on the path. On top of the boiling puddles coming up out of the ground every where, Mundi had some awful stories of people falling in and burning to death. Or one of a guy and his dog and the dog fell in and all he could do was step on his head to kill him because he was boiling alive. Yikes. Yea, okay, I'll stay on this path. :)
As we walked around to a few other smaller ones, the big one we were just at erupted again - much bigger this time - and I was quick enough to snap a couple cool pics of it from up above.
Before we left, I had to check out the shop. I've been bugging Mundi about getting some 66 degrees North gear while I'm here, and they had some. I tried on a few things - all the while he was standing there saying "Its all made in China, not Iceland!" and "We are losing daylight!" haha. After I had finally settled on a red jacket, he showed me the wool sweaters hand made by an Icelandic lady. Yea, okay. China is out, Iceland wool is in. :) Also got a troll holding a map of Iceland (trolls are all over here) and a Christmas tree ornament, too! Oh and a new ICelandic music CD Mundi wanted for the drive. Successful stop - even if it did waste an hour of our precious daylight!
Next stop on the Golden Circle tour was another five minutes away: Gulfoss Waterfall. The most beautiful waterfall I think I've ever seen. Even better than Niagra Falls. It was HUGE and it cascaded down. Oh it just took my breath away. Mundi couldnt stop laughing at me and my excitement. I think he get how much I really love waterfalls now. ;)
With the Golden circle tour complete, we hit the road for a few hour drive to Vik, the southernmost town in Iceland. (Gulfoss and Geysir are more north-west ish.) I really wanted to stop and feed/pet some wild horses, so when we saw some near the road, Mundi pulled over. I ran right up to them and tried petting them. Mundi fed them some grass...and one aggressive one decided he wanted my shirt instead. Not just my shirt, but my arm I guess. He bit me!! I got bit by a wild Icelandic horse! Ha - that one wasnt on the bucket list! ;)
Kept driving - rocking out to Iceland tunes - and eventually stopped at a little road side gas station for lunch. And that lunch was a cold hot dog smothered in mustard and some other kind of sauce. For the record, I dont eat dogs. I dont even remember the last time I had a hot dog. Years. YEARS. But apparently hot dogs are like an Icelandic thing so I had to. It actually wasn't bad, but the fact that it was cold and from a gas station really added to the value. ;)
While we were there, Mundi went in to the girls bathroom not once, not twice, but three times even after I was trying to explain to him that was the GIRLS bathroom and the guys was around the corner, haha. His English is really really good, but its still a second language. It's been pretty fun to correct him and teach him some words. (This morning he thought the heater was called an oven. Last night he legitamely argued with me over the English alphabet. He was just sure we had to letter Y's in our language.)
Kept the road trip going after lunch. The scenary was beautiful. Open fields, mountains in the distance, a glacier one way, ocean the other. It was amazing.
And soon, the real fun began. Waterfall upon waterfall upon waterfall. I bet we saw at leat 15 today. The first one was Seljalandsfoss and we could walk behind it. There were at least 6 other gorgeous ones right by it, but this one was the biggest one.
Mundi had mentioned some kind of hidden off the path hot springs down some road that he'd never been to. My kind of adventure! After turning on to a wrong road (or dirt path, really), I turned my data on and got us back to the highway and down to the right turn. We drove until we couldnt make it any further (the road pretty much just ended) and then we got out and hiked through a canyon along the river - neither of us really having any idea where we were going, haha. I loved every second of it - even though it was so windy I could hardly stand up in it when the big gusts came!
After an interesting river crossing and an easy hike, we found the naturally filled pool...but neither of us were too pumped about getting in that. It wasn't really that warm, and we were already cold. The hike was still beautiful, and we saw several more waterfalls, so I wasnt bummed at all. It was such a fun adventure. :)
Next stop - you guessed it - another waterfall. Skogafoss. It was amazing, too, and I wanted to walk right up to it, but we were getting soaked from 50 feet away! Mundi said he would keep going up to it (he keeps saying, "This is your trip!"), but when I looked at him and saw how wet his coat was, I gave in, haha. I was cold and wet, too so it was okay. (Gulfoss still takes the cake for waterfalls today.)
From there we kept driving to the town of Vik - the southernmost town on the beach in Iceland. Drove right past a glacier on the way there! Im much less excited about glaciers since Ive actually gotten here. I mean they're cool and all, but it's like a giant mountain of ice. I didn't even notice the first one we saw this morning - it just looked as gray as the sky - you couldnt tell where it started or stopped and the sky began. Oh and it's already cold - I dont need ice to add to that, haha! I think I would rather see more watefalls and do some hikes, etc.
I looked in my Lonely Planet book and read some reviews on TripAdvisor on the drive, and eventually settled on a nice hotel near the beach. Got it cheap on hotelstonight.com - it wasnt much more than the sketchy looking hostel in town, so I was all for it. Fancy room, nice bathroom, and ceailing to floor windows that overlook the ocean. Well, I think they do anyways, it was already dark when we got here. Not much daylight this time of year...
Took a quick power nap and then drove in to Vik and down to the beach. It was cold and pitch black and windy - the ocean was really roaring. I couldnt figure out why Mundi wasn't following me down to the water when he finally said he was kind of scared of the ocean. It was kind of scary - dark and windy and waves roaring around you that you couldnt really see... A little creepy, haha. "A very unique experience" according to Mundi. We didnt stay too long.
Drove back to town and ate an awesome meal at Halldorskaffi - 2nd highest rated restaurant in Vik. Number 1 wasnt open. It was a tiny little restaurant and all local homemade foods. I had tomato soup, homemade bread, baked salmon, and local potatoes. Yum, yum, yum. And Mundi? He had a hamburger and french fries. So American of him ;)
Drove around the tiny tiny town if Vik after dinner - I mean up and down every street - trying to find some dang swimming pool. Never found it, and there are only like 5 streets to drive down. I enjoyed listening to Mundi entertain me with his bird impersonations. Hes a bird watcher and good at making all the sounds, haha. Like really good. And hilarious. :)
Got back to the room and facetimed with my mom, watched some tv, looked around on the internet... I typed this while Mundi had his third cup of coffee for the day and read a book of poems. (He's much more artsy than me!)
We both had a really good laugh when I was trying to use his Mac book and kept trying to touch the screen. Its not touch screen. In my defense I had just switched to that from my iPad - which IS touch screen. But he literally about fell out of the chair laughing as I did that not once but twice, haha.
Anyways, going to get some sleep tonight hopefully. My name is on the list downstairs for the northern lights wake up call, but its pretty cloudy so I'm not too hopefull.
Tomorrow is black sand beaches and hikes and maybe a glacier and whatever else we can find to get in to. Hopefully no more horse bites though...
Back to Keflavik tomorrow night for dinner at Mundis parents house for his grandpas birthday (yea, I got the invite, haha). Cant wait to try some Icelandic Lamb!
That's all for now. More Icelandic Adventures with Mundi to come tomorrow! :)