Horses, Waterfalls, a Crater, Geysers, Hot Springs, & More… July 13, 2022
We woke up in Hella, Iceland and noticed a lot of horse supplies and horse signs in town. Being one who has loved horses since I was a little girl, I was compelled to investigate in an effort to see if there was a horse farm or horse riding in the area. Indeed, we found this to be the case through a quick search online. Looking at the map, we discovered that a horse farm school was only a short distance away, so we visited, took some photos, and enjoyed a nice little stroll with some peaceful views.
Venturing onward, we stopped in Selfoss and my husband with his good eye, noticed a book and coffee shop, so we browsed and ate at the appropriately named, Books and Coffee, where we enjoyed a scrumptious “Marriage Cake” (Icelandic rhubarb cake) and delicious Swiss mochas! We enjoyed eating on an outdoor deck with picnic tables behind this quaint shop. I couldn’t resist purchasing a delightful picture book, What Sheep Do In Iceland When Nobody’s Around by Brian Pilkington, who was born in England, but currently resides in Iceland. This book made me smile; my mom borrowed it and adored it as much.
Next, we stopped for a walk and soaked up views of the Kerid crater- a uniquely gorgeous site with deep blue water and clay earth surroundings, which provided a strong color surge to our eyes.
Faxi waterfall, Gullfloss waterfall, and the Great Geyser were our immediate stops to follow. At the Great Geyser gift shop, I picked up a “fire & ice” shirt and my husband found an Icelandic horse thimble for his grandma, as a fitting addition to her expansive collection. As we continued to journey on, we spotted a private club golf course (my husband enjoys the sport), so it was interesting to come across.
Having a full day, we were getting hungry and decided to use a camping stove to cook spinach tortellini with Italian sauce that included kalamata olives. We ate our meal al fresco (picnic table) at Pingvellir National Park. One huge advantage to traveling in a camper van and eating on the road with groceries on hand is the magnificent nature views. Restaurants charge high prices for the views we got to experience free of charge! We gained some amusement feeding seagulls too.
After leaving the park, we spotted another waterfall, golf course, and a geothermal water plant. Last, but certainly not least, and one of the best highlights of our trip was a long hike to the hot (warm and relaxing) springs near Olfusa; we also came across a gorgeous waterfall with no other people around- so serene! On the hike back, the natural spring water was exquisitely refreshing, as we cupped it quickly in our hands to drink. Tired and satisfied with our day, we headed back to the free campsite (our favorite campsite on the trip) in Strandaikirkja, getting to see the town’s lighthouse lit and running upon our return for the night. We were so grateful to one of the campsite owners, Georgie, for recommending the natural hot springs we visited; what a blessed day!