Iceland: Basically Another Planet

Our fifth day in Iceland was one of my absolute favorites—full of the kind of otherworldly sights that make this country so captivating.

We were all a little concerned about the midges after being swarmed the day before at Lake Mývatn, but we agreed to attempt to follow our loose itinerary and just see how bad the flies actually were. I am so grateful that we did!

Lava Pillars of Dimmuborgir

Dimmuborgir is a stunning landscape of lava fields and rock formations. We hiked for quite a while with no complaints from the kids (and very few midges).

Mývatn Nature Baths

I’ve often heard the Mývatn Nature Baths referred to as northern Iceland’s version of the Blue Lagoon. They’re not nearly as famous, nor are they anywhere near as crowded. As much as I tried to tell the boys how neat an experience the baths were last year, the boys were not thrilled to hear that everyone is required to shower fully naked before putting on bathing suits and entering the baths. Last year, there were many more people there, and so we were directed to the secondary showers and locker room, which offered no privacy (no shower stalls or dividers–just showerhead after showerhead all along the wall) and meant that poor Addie was eye level with pretty much every woman’s genitals. But this year, we were directed to the primary shower area, which did have a few shower stalls with curtains, and the boys were delighted to head into those and escape any adolescent awkwardness.

Hverir Bubbling Mud Pots

Hverir, also known as the Námafjall Geothermal Area, is known for its fumaroles (an opening in or near a volcano, through which hot sulfurous gases emerge—think breathing in air heavy with the smell of rotten eggs) and boiling mud pots. It is yet another of Iceland’s truly stunning sights, and I only wish there were a way for me to include just a whiff of its stench in these photos.

Farmstay in Egilsstaðir

There’s nothing particularly special about this town in east Iceland, located on the banks of the Lagarfljót river, but we all loved our evening at this family farm. The family hosts visitors in their guesthouse, one bedroom of which has a small easel, loads of blank canvasses and plenty of paint. Visitors from all over the world have painted pieces which now hang on the walls of the guesthouse–and Henry’s favorite shirt now permanently features some blue paint from this evening. I was more interested in the animals on the farm, which included 14 horses. The white one shown below really seemed to know how to work it for the camera. The family dog enjoyed herding our car along the driveway (and also trying to sneak into the guesthouse for some extra cuddles).

Melanie

Hey there! I’m Melanie. Originally from Brooklyn, home is now Charleston, SC--or wherever my three kids and husband are. Our family gap year will take us around the world, touching down on six continents over 12 months.
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    A belated Happy Birthday to you, Melanie!! These posts from Iceland have been wonderful. Wondering where you are now, and hoping all is going well with the whole gang! Love, Millie

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