This morning, for a first time these past 5 weeks, I wake up well rested. And I feel absolutely, totally, completely content. Because, this time, I've made it right. I've lived in the present. Not 'one day', not 'some day', nor 'maybe next time'. This time, I screwed the 'what if's, made a decision, took the plunge and went chasing my dream. And it feels empowering. And refreshing.
To further the sweet sensation of well-being, we have our usual energy boosting cup of skyr for breakfast, and head to the picturesque Krafla area. An opaque-blue stream along the road and steam plumes coming out of the ground welcome us as we approach the active volcanic region. Then we notice the oddly shaped cooling towers of the Leirbotn power station and stop to take some pictures.
the cooling towers of Leirbotn geothermal power station
pipelines, Krafla power plant
an outdoor shower by the road
the Hverir geothermal area
In the daylight, the place appears a bit less surreal, yet we still find it quite striking.
Hissing steam vents and boiling mud pots of various sizes adorn the otherworldly colored ground, and the smell of sulphur pervades the air. Unlike the icy winds at Krafla, here we have the perfect, calm and sunny weather and take our time to enjoy each and every peculiarity around.
high-pressure steam vent
parched sulphurous clay, abstract
The vivid colors spread also to the adjacent hill, Námafjall, where steam geysers dominate the landscape.
the Námafjall mountain
And beyond this hill, just by the Ring Road, lies the bluest, most beautiful blue on earth, or, at least, of all I've seen so far. It's an artificial milky-blue pond, remains of a former diatomite plant, where now the waste water from the Bjarnarflag geothermal station is dumped.
artificial pond, Bjarnarflag power plant
We spend some time by the water, feasting our eyes on its incredible color, and then drive back to Reykjahlíð to have lunch and stock on some groceries before heading west.