A June 2004 trip
to Reykjanes Peninsula by DrMaximus
Quote: Besides Easter Island in South America, the only other place that I had always dreamt of going to was Iceland. In June 2004, my friend and I were fortunate enough to chance upon an excellent airfare to Reykjavik, so we soon found ourselves all packed and ready to leave.
We finally had a hearty breakfast (800 ISK) at Hotel Keflavik, then headed out into the Reykjanes Peninsula towards the famous Blue Lagoon. The rest of the day was spent driving around the vast Reykjanes Peninsula, stopping at numerous locations and marvelling at the incredible geothermal activity going on under our feet. The Bridge between Two Continents was pretty interesting and definitely original! However, we particularly enjoyed Krisuvik and nearby Seltun which offered numerous hot springs and bubbling solfataras. Travellers who take route 41 from Keflavik Airport directly to Reykjavik would miss this wonderful attraction. It is definitely worth the detour, driving south along route 43, then east along route 42 to get to Krisuvik and Seltun. Route 42 then heads north towards Reykjavik, cutting through the amazing terrain of the Reykjanes Folkvangur as well as passing by the extra-terrestrial Lake Kleifarvatn with its black lava bank and eerily still waters.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 15, 2004
No picture can get you ready for the Blue Lagoon. When you remove your clothes (after a good shower) in the cold air and dip into the hot water, the refreshing feeling is overwhelming and therapeutic.
Further towards the coast, some time should be spent admiring the coastal volcanic formations such as lava plateaus and extrusive features. A beautiful photo or two can also be taken of the wild purple flowers that are strewn across all of Iceland.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 15, 2004
Try something: dip your cloth handkerchief into one of the sulphur flows and then feel it. You can get a good idea of how hot the water is, as well as really smell the sulphur. Get used to this: by the time you are through, you and your clothes will smell like sulphur.
Have you ever imagined what it's like to be standing in between two continental plates? Well, here you can. The bridge links the North American plate with the European plate and you can easily go under it to walk on the black volcanic sand that covers the entire area. Squat down and feel the fine sand--you will be amazed at how warm they feel, thanks, perhaps, to the lava flows kilometres down beneath your feet! Be sure to take a picture of you at the bridge with the sign showing two arrows, one pointing to North America and other towards Europe!
Attraction | "Krisuvik & Seltun geothermal area"
DO NOT MISS Krisuvik and Seltun because they represent the most interesting geothermal spots in all of Iceland. Here you can see greyish-black bubbling pools, solfataras, and shallow, truly smelly pools with thick bubbly liquid that go "blopp, bloop, booloop". You can do the handkerchief trick again as detailed in the Gunnuhver article.
It is amazing how on one side you have these bubbling sulphur pools, and just across the road you find rich green fields with crystal clear pools.
Legend has it that Kleifarvatn Lake has its own Loch Ness monster... maybe you can catch a glimpse of it on a fine day.
Reykjanes Peninsula, Iceland
Just a day before I left Canada, I popped by the local Chapters store and got myself a copy of Lonely Planet's Guide to Iceland (May 2004 Edition) which turned out to be one of the best investments I ever made in a book. The authors, Paul Harding and Joe Bindloss, made accurate and detailed descriptions of this marvellous island and all that it had to offer. I read the book in the bus to New York but did not manage to get past the Reykjanes Peninsula.