In the spirit of my newfound spontaneity, what did I do after returning from my 24-hour Snæfellsnes trip and sleeping eight hours? Turned around and left the city again, but this time just for a day trip. Steffi and her friend Emil were planning a day trip to Þjórsárdalur, a lush valley speckled with waterfalls in The Middle of Nowhere, South Iceland. Steffi invited Hanna and me to come along, so around noon Emil fetched us one by one and we headed out. We road-tripped in true Icelandic fashion: with no strict itinerary, stopping wherever we felt like it along the way. Emil (the lone True Icelander among us) was extremely patient with our constant touristic ooohhing and aaaahhhhing, and although we left the sun in the city, it never rained and was not windy and cold, which for Iceland means the weather was beautiful.
Seltún geothermal area
Litla Hraun Fangelsi
Okay, so we didn’t actually stop at Iceland’s largest prison, but we did see it from the road and admire the lovely surroundings. Not a bad view to have as a prisoner, eh? Emil works in the film industry, so he was constantly pointing out locations that have been used for various films. Our final destination, Þjórsárdalur, has been used as a location for Game of Thrones, which I have never seen, but I know it is a Big Deal, so I mention it for those of you who might be intrigued and impressed by this fact. —
Þjórsárdalur is located down a long, windy, one-lane bumpy gravel road that almost gave Steffi a heart attack when we met cars coming the opposite direction. When you arrive at the parking area, all you see is nothingness, but then all of a sudden, a big beautiful valley appears out of nowhere like something out of Middle Earth or, yes, Game of Thrones, filled with waterfalls and striking rock formations. We descending into the valley and spent the next hour or two exploring. We had to wade across the river four times, which was a bit challenging for the less coordinated among us (not to mention chilly), but it was more than worth it.
I can always string more words together, but I think I’ll just leave it at that. The photos speak for themselves.