This is the second part of a series of posts about our visit to Iceland in March. Click here for the first part.
After a much needed night of sleep at Guesthouse Helga in Reykjavik, we were ready to head out on our adventure. It had snowed overnight, and the suburbs of Reykjavik looked out of a Christmas movie. After shoveling the snow off the SUV (and maybe throwing a few snowballs), we started our drive towards Thingvellir (Þingvellir) National Park, which is about 40 minutes from Reykjavik.
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Driving through Iceland is way less stressful than driving through I4 (mandatory reference for my Florida readers).
We stopped at an N1 Gas Station, and after following every travel blog advice about making sure to have a Pin Number for the Credit Card, we still couldn’t figure out the menu at the pump since it was in Icelandic. With no time to learn the language, we ended up buying an N1 Prepaid Card that was more straightforward to use. We were lucky though because sometimes the gas stations are unmanned and in that case trying to figure out Icelandic would have been our only option.
Thingvellir National Park
Once we were out of Reykjavik there were almost no cars in sight. Only when we were approaching Thingvellir National Park, we started forming part of a line of cars and buses that were also heading there. There is no charge or entry fee to access the park or its parking. But if you are braver than me, you can book a snorkeling or scuba diving expedition in the Silfra fissure. The Silfra fissure is a crack between the North American and Eurasian continents, and saying that you snorkeled or dived between two continents sounds kind of cool.
Is it a Ninja? Nope, just me.
We probably spent 2 to 3 hours walking and hiking through the park, but there were some areas inaccessible because of the amount of snow. Don’t let that deter you from going. The park it’s not only pretty, but it is important in the history of Iceland. It’s also a World Heritage Site.
It also included (kind of obvious) a visit to location sites from Game of Thrones around the Myvatn area where they filmed a number of scenes, including scenes “beyond the wall.” We were able to see where the Wildling camp was, and also the cave where Jon Snow and Ygritte, well you know.
Myvatn Lake near the area where the Wildling camp in Game of Thrones was set up.
Should have googled “How to photograph in a cave full of steam?” before going to Iceland.
At the time we went to Myvtan there were also filming a scene from Fast and the Furious 8 in one of the frozen lakes. We had lunch, including the surprisingly delicious Geyser bread, which is baked in the ground near a hot spring. We ended the tour at The Myvatn Nature Baths, and it couldn’t have been more perfect.
A Steam Vent or Fumarole in the Myvtan area.
Myvatn Nature Baths.
After going to the Blue Lagoon, I expected the Myvatn Nature Baths to be similar. I’m glad I was wrong. It was nowhere as crowded as the Blue Lagoon, and the views were out of this world. For a moment I just stayed there thanking the Universe for giving me the opportunity to experience something like that. Myvatn is the embodiment of the “Island of Fire & Ice” slogan. You are taking a bath in a place that was only made possible because of the high volcanic activity in the area, at the same time that you are surrounded by snow and mountains covered in ice. Yes, the lockers are not as fancy as the ones in the Blue Lagoon nor is the service. But is that really why you go to Iceland?
P.S. In the third and final part of this series I will talk a little bit more about Akureyri, Vik, and our return to Reykjavik. For the first part of A March Adventure in Iceland Click Here. For the third part Click Here.
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