Deildartunguhver, Hraunfossar & Barnafoss Waterfalls, & Reykjavik
Well, tragically, this was our last full day in Iceland as we were due to fly out the following day. I tried really hard not to let the heaviness I felt about leaving this extraordinary country ruin our last day of sightseeing, but I have to admit that a few tears slipped at the thought. In our short two weeks in Iceland, we grew incredibly attached to the country not just because of the insane scenery, but because of the simple and beautiful way they live life there. We were stripped and unplugged from everyday amenities, for the most part, which was so nice! We live in such an overly stimulated world. Iceland allowed us to just focus on connecting with each other, the culture, mother nature, and building memories with the people we got to interact with. Being in such a remote place gave us time to just think and process, and gave a sense of calmness and clarity to our life, even if just for a short while. It was refreshing and just what we needed, and for that, I will forever be grateful to Iceland and hold this precious island close to my heart.
With that being said, we had some awesome sights to see this day, so let me tell you about them! First up was the Deildartunguhver hot spring located about 30 minutes east of Borgarnes. While you can’t swim in this hot spring, at least not in this area due to it being piping hot and the water being harvested by man, it’s still an interesting area to check out. It is not a large area, so it will be a short visit where you can take in the steam and bubbling 212 degree fahrenheit water! Definitely worth the stop to see Europe’s mightiest hot springs!
We continued on our way to Hraunfossar & Barnafoss waterfalls, which was another 20 minutes east. This is a really peaceful area and it wasn’t too overrun by tourists. There was just something relaxing about the milky, blue waters flowing down the Hvita River set against the rocks and greenery. We had beautiful, sunny weather out at the falls so it made the colors of the landscape and waters pop. There are easy trails that direct you to viewing decks for each waterfall. Hraunfossar, which means Lava Falls in Icelandic, is a wide-set slew of small waterfalls that flow from the lava-carved land above. While a lot of the waterfalls you will see in Iceland are known for their height or sheer power, Hraunfossar’s small streams are delicate and alluring. I really enjoyed the variety that these falls offered, and we spent time just trying to mentally soak them up.
Next, we headed back to where it all started, Reykjavik, the country’s lovely capital. We couldn’t resist hopping out the car to take some pictures of the most beautiful, Icelandic horses that we spotted along the way. It was drizzling and cloudy when we arrived in Reykjavik, but this didn’t stop us from venturing out to explore more of the city on our last night. Thankfully, our hostel, Reykjavik Hostel Village, was only a few blocks from the downtown area so we pulled on our waterproof jackets and hoodies and set out on foot. We visited 12 Tonar Music Store to browse their vinyl record collection and posters of Björk, Iceland’s most well-known singer/songwriter. We stopped for coffee and dessert at Te & Kaffi within the Eymundsson Book Store where we browsed the numerous photo books filled with famous Icelandic sights to see which ones we could check off our list. We read that we HAD to try a hotdog “with everything on it” from Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur hotdog stand, so we did as we were told! Ben quickly scarfed down two of them! We visited a fun Christmas store open year-long and had tons of laughs getting silly photo-ops in the numerous tourist shops filled with Icelandic gear. We strolled back to our car and headed to Perlan, a landmark building in Reykjavik composed of cylinder-shaped buildings and a glass-domed structure sitting on top with a viewing deck that gives you amazing panoramas. After taking in our last sights of the lively city, we called it a night. It was a great way to end our last full day!