The best summary of this day wouldn't be complete without describing our lunch: our tour guide pulled a grill out of the back of his super Jeep and set up shop in the middle of absolute white nothingness in every direction, complete with ketchup, mustard, and canned fried onion. And while we all stood in the snow next to the Jeep eating our Icelandic hot dogs (which were delicious), he pulled a giant red accordion out of his trunk and started playing for us.
Now let me backtrack. The day was a mystery from start to finish, named the "surprise" day by our tour guides. We didn't know what we were going to do until we started doing it. First we arrived at the Ladeyjarhofn, roughly translating to "land island coast", which were black sand beaches facing the Westman Islands. There was a boat wreck on the shore that was made of now beautifully worn wood. We also found a piece of a humpback whale spine!! You can see a picture on my instagram (@SaraLynn_Photo), but it was LARGE.
We visited a handful of beautiful waterfalls throughout the day, but the other major event was going to a little spring in the middle of nowhere. After driving hours through snowy landscapes farther and farther away from the hotel, our tour guide pulls the super Jeep onto a side road, past a small church that looks long since used, and up to the edge of a hill.
"Are you ready?" he asked. "We will hike over one hill, and maybe another." But when we asked what was there, he smiled and refused to answer. After a short walk we found a small sheet metal house next to a small spring. Hot, steamy water followed a creek past the shelter which had a little underwater bath right next to it. You can see below the size of this little place, it was quaint and so warm! The bath was a stone rectangle with stairs down under the water, which the tour guide didn't hesitate to take off his shoes, roll up his pants and step into!
Upon returning to the Jeep, the hot dog and accordion shenanigans commenced. It was a memorable way to finish the tour. Two hours of driving back to the meeting point and another two hours of driving to our next hotel later, we are prepared to spend the night watching out for aurora borealis, aka... the northern lights.
See you guys tomorrow with another update. This time, we're expecting a storm.