The weekend started with Indian food at Ute's for her birthday on Friday night. A day in the countryside in the snow with Tanja Saturday daytime, afternoon tea with the family, then beers in the undertakers room at the celtic cross with ute, Tanja, Theresa, and her current crop of visitors. Then dancing with tanja at some of our favourite spots, including meeting up with Palli, eventually getting home at 6 on sunday morning.
But was it over? Not by a long shot! That was merely the halfway!
Up again at 9, cooking bacon and eggs for breakfast. Ute and Jean-Michel were coming over for brekky, then we were all going off to Snæfelsnes for the day to sit in hotpots and go exploring.
Well, that lazy frenchman stayed in bed, but that was his loss :)
First stop, a very secret hotpot that a guy at Ute's work had remembered from when he was a boy. His directions were a little quirky, so we had a few adventures on the way. "Go to the top of the mountain, and look south, and it's at the edge of the lava" (only with slight differences each time it was repeated)
We started off climbing Syðri Rauðamelur, which is a very beautiful little mountain, and completely off the tourist circuit. The area here is spectacularly red, black and green. A very icelandic class of colours, and all with snowy mountains for a backdrop. It was October after all, and last time Ute had been out here, there'd been snow on the ground as well.
From the top of the hill, we looked and looked and decided that this thing we could see at the edge of the lava must be it.
It actually turned out to be a garbage dump. But we got to see a really awesome looking quarry that we stumbled upon accidentally while heading over to the hotpot/dump.
While we were walking back out to the car again (we had called and gotten some revised directions and were headed over to Ytri Rauðamelur, the next mountain along) it started to rain a bit. Not a lot, and a bit of a sun shower. Then just as I was catching up to the girls, this massive, super bright rainbow just sprang into existance and stood there glowing at us.
Incredible contrast, with the red gravel, green mosses, snowy mountains and clouds, sunshine and this monstrous, achingly bright rainbow hanging in front of us.
Things like that can't last however, and after only a few minutes it had run away and hid, so we continued onwards with our journey.
An unexpected gate resulted in another phone call, and some more confusing directions, but it seemed we were at the right mountain this time. Out of the car, and time to start exploring. "look south, and on your left, at the edge of the lava, you can see it"
We followed the road up for a bit, through two gates. (You can actually drive all the way to the hotpot it turns out) and then the girls went off east, to look over that edge of the lava, and I climbed a few highpoints hoping to spot it. Still with no luck, and with the three of us spread out across the lavafield, I decided I was going to climb this damn mountain, I'd have to be able to see it from there.
Of course, as soon as I'd struggle halfway up the scree Ute started calling and waving that she'd found it. I decided to make my struggle worthwhile and went to the top of Ytri Rauðamelur, and took a photo to show just how good the directions were. And of course, it was super fun going down. The volcanic gravel was perfectly even as snow, and coarse enough to be loosely packed, so you could just run straight down it. Black powder, up my shins.
And finally into the hotpot. More of a warm pot really, and consequently full of a lot more vegetation than a true hot hot pot. But still, completely secluded, a temperature that you could really stay in for a long time without cooking, and we'd found it! After sitting there for a while, we felt it was time for a change. Here's an idea, let's go sit in another hot pot!
Of course, no two hot pots are alike, so this was actually a splendid idea. Feelingn deliciously warm and relaxed, we headed back to the car, and off to another hotpot, only a couple of km away. This is one that Matthew and Karine had told us about, and Ute and Tanja had been there the week before, so no adventures getting there this time, which was a welcome change.
This hotpot is hot, crystal clear, and very cosy. Tradition says that if there's another car parked in the parking area for this one, you don't even think about joining them. And here was me with two lovely young ladies :) Jean-Michel should have set his alarm clock :)
More relaxing, watching the sun start to fade away, and finally time to go home. (Tanja and I couldn't resist trying to pack more into the weekend, and went to see "Clean" at the filmfest, which was superb, and capped of an amazing weekend.)
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