Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Spring Break Iceland - Part Four

Wow, today was a day of unintentional adventures. And by that, I mean that nothing we wanted to do went right, but we ended up having fun anyway. We first woke up (meaning Jon woke me up) to snow falling in Gullfoss, so we planned to take another dip in the "hot pot" aka hot tub with the snow falling around us after breakfast. However, it stopped snowing just after we finished eating, so we decided to trek back. We stopped on the road outside of the Geysir to see it blow one more time, only to see it launch a really wimpy spray, not the high mega blast we saw yesterday. Ho hum.

Off to Thingvelir, a national park with 2 stars in Frommers (meaning Highly Recommended!) and to do some geocaching. We had to take an alternate route to Thingvelir because the more convenient road was blocked off due to the snow. So we went around, hoping to find this awesome geocache located in a lava tube. We get to the turn off and DENIED. The road, which looked perfectly clear from where we were, was deemed too hazardous to drive. Sigh. Despite Jon's pleading that maybe we could drive on it anyway, I vetoed that plan and we moved along. The next geocache had been found by many a person, and we had already looked at the picture hint, but when we got to the place and found the right rock....nothing there. The rock was made of dried lava, so it hurt to actually move the rocks around to search. We gave up.

When we got to Thingvelir, it turned out to be completely lame. First, a snow storm started over the area, so any walking we did was uncomfortable. Then, the coolest thing to see is the "Law Rock" where some olden dudes would recite laws. Snore. Fest. The only neat thing was the signs trying to prevent people from throwing money in the streams, which is too bad, because, as you can see, it makes it very pretty.


So, having struck out so far, we journeyed on to our next cache which was in a hot spring randomly in the countryside that we could bathe in. Awesome...well, it probably is. We didn't find it. First it took us over an hour to find the right road to turn into. The person who left the geocache gave bad instructions. In the process, we nearly died when Jon was flying down a completely clear hill, only to find that the other side of the hill was icy and slushy, and led to a ravine. Jon started saying "shit, shit, shit, shit" and instead of my life passing before my eyes, I thought, "the last thing I'll hear my husband say is 'shit'" Four small heart attacks later we were fine, Jon promised to be careful on future hills, and we journeyed on in search of the elusive hot spring cache. OH! There's the road - yay! OH! There's a snowy path to the parking area! OH! That's the sound of our car bottoming out on snow rendering it completely stuck. Fantastic. A girl on a horse rode by to offer that a nearby stable might have a rope or something, but not too soon after, a guy in a truck stopped and pulled us out. Icelanders are friendly! We parked elsewhere and started hiking to the cache. Guess what - the cache is up a fucking mountain covered in knee-deep snow. We made it about 2 miles up the trail and about 1500 feet before another snowstorm blew in. Out of breath, covered in snow, and thinking of nothing but the book "Into Thin Air", we opted to turn back. Stupid geocache.

We made our way towards Reykjavik, stopping at this awesome cave that we want to hit tomorrow. We got to our hotel to find no "free parking" as Frommer's had advertised, and in fact, the "Superior Double Room" that we booked last night was already taken by someone. How could we have booked it then? Who knows. We ended up with an apology and a smaller room with an AMAZING view. See below.


We had some great Italian tonight, so stuffed and tired, we are calling it an early night! Overall we did not hot tub, did not see Geysir mightily spray, did not get close to one geocache, did not find another, barely found the right road, almost died on a hill, got caught in a snowstorm on a mountain, didn't get our desired room. But, we got some amazing views from the mountain, got a great room with a view, and are falling asleep happy :-)

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