Traveling Nancy

Traveling around the world as far as I can go.

June 13th in Iceland


Last night we had to call the Go Camper people a couple of times to figure out how to get the fridge to work.  It turns out that we had to run the camper for a couple of hours in order to recharge the battery.  Apparently we have to drive with the lights on all of the time.  For some reason that will keep the battery charged.  Then the switch in the back that turns on the heat and runs the fridge will work.  Strange.

We slept well last night.  It was pretty cold when we had to get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom.  But we really didn’t need to have the heat turned on in the Campervan.

After our morning showers …

…. a quick breakfast, filling my bag with gorp …

…and a longer attempt to get the stove to heat the water for tea …

… we were on our way for todays adventures.

On the way out of Þingvellir National Park we noticed a very cool gap in the rocks.  We stopped the car on the side of the road, turned on the flashers, and took a quick walk for photos.  Well that got us into a bit of trouble and a woman stopped us on our way back through Þingvellir National Park to tell us never to do that again.

I liked the small flowers near the rocks.

We thought that the gas take had been pretty drained from running the motor so we stopped at a gas pump to fill up.  I tried several times to figure out how to use my debit card and fill up the tank – to no avail.  After asking a young man who was parked nearby and the people who take care of the store (non of whom could help us), I finally asked a couple of road construction guys.  They showed us exactly what to do and then put a bit of gas in the tank.  So I asked them how to read the dashboard and we learned that we really were not low on gas at all.  By the way, this van runs on diesel.

What a great surprise it was to see a heard of horses being driven along the side of the road.  We stopped the van (along with others who were stopping – so much for listening to that woman) to take photos.  They were moving the horses from one place to another because a group of people were exploring Iceland on horseback and they were going to a new start place.

It was so much fun to get close to the horses.


I verified the facts that Fred had in his Iceland videos.

  • Icelandic horses are either the most or close to the most pure bread horses in the world.
  • If one leaves the Iceland, it is not allowed to ever be brought back.
  • They have 5 gaits.
  • They are not ridden until they are 4 years old.
  • They look like ponies but they are really horses.

We arrived at Geysir, sometimes known as The Great Geysir, which is a geyser in southwestern Iceland. It was the first geyser described in a printed source and the first known to modern Europeans. The English word geyser derives from Geysir. Before 1896, Geysir was almost dormant before an earthquake that year caused eruptions to begin again, occurring several times a day, lasting up to an hour and causing spouts of up to 60 metres in height. In 1910, it was active every 30 minutes; five years later the time between the eruptions was as much as six hours, and in 1916, the eruptions all but ceased.

There are little bubbling pots of steam coming up all around the area.

The small steaming building is where the resort bakes its bread.


The other geyser (our spelling) that is in the area is Strokkur.  It is one of Iceland’s most famous geysers, erupting once every 6–10 minutes.  Its usual height is 15–20 m, although it can sometimes erupt up to 40 m high.  Just before it erupts, a blue bubble forms at its base.  I tried many times to get a photo of the bubble, but was not able to get the pure blue bubble.  These are my photos.

I did get a photo of a bird that was singing a beautiful song.

The sign pasted on the stalls in the bathroom made us laugh.

We loved driving on a wonderful back road across plateau. I took a few photos along the way. The fields are lush with Lupins and I mean all over the place.

A good deal  of the road was on gravel.  There were trucks going by us watering the road.

Here is what the road looked like after it was watered.

One of the guys who was working on the road was fast asleep in his truck.

We came across this bird in the road.

Although the lighting was not the best for photographs, I loved the views.

As Elaine was driving (She has been doing all of the driving and says she likes doing it), we saw some people walking up a hill so we stopped to see what was happening.  What a treat to find out that there was a hot pot just a bit up the hill.  The water was very warm and the rocks in the pot were very slippery.

We spent a bit of time in the hot-pot visiting with John and Lynda who are from Brisbane, Australia.  The have been traveling all over the world (and I mean all over) in their motor home for the past 12 years.  It has been shipped from continent to continent.  The map on the side of the motor home shows all of the places they have been.

There are also license plates and stickers all over the motor home.

They invited us into their home and showed us their map of Iceland and their recommendations for us.  Then Elaine realized that we could give them at least 4 of the toilet paper rolls we had purchased at Bonus.  We sure didn’t need that many to store in our small space.

This is the photo of John and Lynda by their home.

Lynda has also been doing a blog.  Her blog address is

As Elaine was driving I saw a sculpture of a troll out of the corner  of my eye so I asked Elaine to turn around. The sculpture wasn’t so great, but there was a sign about great food and views.  Well they weren’t serving food but the place was great.  The man who owned it was wondering why the falls near his place were called Trollafossar so he did some research and he wrote a book about the legend.  Iceland is filled with troll legends.  Here are the views and the troll rock which they repaired and the falls.


Google maps helped us to get to Reykholt which is the home of Snorri Sturluson, an Icelandic Medieval Historian.  As soon as we parked the camper, a man pulled his Outback and trailer into the spot in front of us.  He got out and started to talk with us.  It turns out that he thought our camper was an ice-cream truck and he wanted to buy some ice-cream.  Anyway, we spent quite a bit of time with him.  His name is Gier and he is the pastor of the Lutheran Church.  This is a photo of the old church.

We had a great conversation with him and then  he took us to visit the display about Snorri Sturluson.  We heard many, many stories and legends about Iceland.

Then he took us into the church which was simply elegant.  It had a slate flooring, wonderful natural lighting, and windows which added to the entire ambience of the church.  It was so beautiful that it moved Elaine to tears.  These photos barely capture the feeling.

We learned that June 17th is going to be National Independence Day in Iceland.  They are celebrating their independence from Denmark in 1944.  The pastor from the church in Reykholt told us that everybody in the surrounding communities will ride their horses to the church.  They will have a church service and then party (food, dance, joy).  I wish we could be there to see that but there are many other places to go and things to do.

On the way to camp tonight we stopped at Deildartunguhver. It is  Europe’s most powerful hot spring. It provides 180 l/sec of 100°C hot water.
Most of the water used for central heating in the towns of Borgarnes and Akranes is taken from Deildartunguhver. The hot water pipeline to Akranes is 64 km long, the longest in Iceland and the water is about 78 – 80 degrees when it reaches Akranes. If you take a shower anywhere within a 65 km radius of the spring, you have already bathed in the hot water from this powerful spring!

The web had a much better photo than the one I took.

They had fresh tomatoes for sale that were grown in the green house on the grounds.  We did not have any Krona but Elaine had some U.S. dollars so we got 2 bags of tomatoes.

We decided to stop tonight at Kolviðarnes where we are camped near the hotel.  The group of people at the hotel are doing a group horseback ride (2 days of 4 hours each) on the nearby beach.  I am jealous of them and the ones who are exploring Iceland on the horses that we saw earlier today.

I love these Icelandic horses.

Tonight we learned from a man in our campground that the lupins in Iceland have been increasing in great numbers during the last 30 years. They do not know why and some people would like to get rid of them.

We have parked the camper much closer to the bathroom than last night.   As much fun as it is to do this blog, I think I better  to head to the bathroom and then crawl into my sleeping bag.  I can’t  believe it is almost 2;00 am and it is still totally light outside.



Author: Nancy Panitch

Traveling has been a passion of Nancy Panitch's life and she loves seeing how people in other cultures live. Her travels have taken her to many places within the United States, Asia, Europe, South America, and Africa. Being around people inspires her and she has much gratitude for the kindred Souls that are joining together with her in body, mind, and heart. She moved from Chicago to Portland, Oregon in 1982. It was one of the best decisions of her life. While in Portland she stays very, VERY busy. She volunteers (Inter-Religious Action Network, Human Rights Council, & ushering for various theaters); attends a Unitarian Universalist church; goes hiking with groups (Cascade Prime Timers & Trails Club of Oregon) and also with individual friends. Book groups, movie group, and bridge groups occupy her time as well. Her quiet activities include yoga, knitting, Sudoku, and reading. She enjoys all of these activities, but making time to see her wonderful 4 grandchildren takes priority over it all. She is happy to share this blog and hopes to encourage others to travel.

4 thoughts on “June 13th in Iceland

  1. All very cool! What was that anti photo woman’s problem?


  2. You are right Nancy,I couldn’t do it,but am glad you can.Love seeing the pic and your notes of interest.


  3. This trip looks very exciting, and I told Dave about it. He asked if I wanted to go to Iceland. He said he would like to go, and also wanted to rent a camper van. We may have to hit you up for ideas someday. Have fun! 


  4. Loved seeing the horses, no riders on them, no bits in their mouths, peacefully grazing. I wonder why they can never return if they are taken off the island? I enjoy traveling with both of you!


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