So, my little hiatus turned out a little differently than planned.
My father, who was kind enough to lend me his cottage for a few days, was also generous enough to lend me his Land Cruiser. So driving up there I got thinking: wouldn’t it be nice if EPI could take a couple days off work and we could maybe do some touring, say to Landmannalaugar, to which I had never been?
So as soon as I arrived at the cottage, I phoned EPI with my brilliant idea. We decided that he would come up on Wednesday evening and on Thursday we’d drive up to Landmannalaugar [which was not too far away] for the day, then come back to the summer house and have a barbecue and soak in the hot tub and just generally be lazy. On Friday we would vacate the house [which we had to do] but instead of going straight home we’d spend a night at the nearby Hótel Rangá, where we had a gift certificate just begging to be used. If the weather was nice, we’d do a bit more touring on Friday and Saturday.
Long story short, it turned into the most amazing impromptu adventure. The tour up to Landmannalaugar was absolutely spellbinding – I took a bunch of photographs that I’m working on uploading and will elaborate a bit on that in a later post.
On the Friday we checked into the Hótel Rangá and were informed that, since EPI has been working a lot for them and they’re delighted with his services, they had decided to upgrade us to one of their suites [their South American suite to be exact – they have a different one for every continent] AND dinner in their most excellent restaurant was on them.
How awesome is that?!
People: that suite was gorgeous. GOR-GEOUS. By the time I’d spent 20 minutes in there I decided I never wanted to leave, ever. It was beautifully decorated, and with all the right touches: roses in a vase, fresh fruit in a bowl, candles, chocolates. And a balcony overlooking the Rangá river with a clear view of Eyjafjallajökull glacier.
Dinner, too, was fantastic – we chose the seasonal menu, which consisted of five dishes: poached arctic char, a mushroom “cappucino” [soooo good – delicious mushroom soup whipped up so that it was firm – must have contained a lot of cream – and served in a cup], smoked goose on rucola with blueberry coulis, then a filet of lamb absolutely perfectly cooked, and finally a forest-berry creme brulee, garnished with fresh berries. Yum.
This was my third time staying at Hótel Rangá and it has always been excellent … but this was hands-down the best. Twenty-two hours of absolute luxury.
After a buffet breakfast on Saturday morning we decided to do a little more touring in the area and drove through Fljótshlíð, where EPI spent summers on a farm as a teenager. [This was extremely common here until about 20 years ago – all Icelandic kids were “sent to the countryside” for the summer to help out at farms.] We ended up climbing a [small] mountain, then exploring Seljalandsfoss and Skógarfoss waterfalls [I’m sure a number of you will be familiar with those] – and took a short hike up the river that feeds Skógarfoss, which has one pretty waterfall after another as the river winds its way down from the highlands.
Back home now and still high on it all. Working on a backlog of emails, though. Pictures to come.
IT’S BEEN A PRETTY BENIGN DAY
Weather-wise. This summer it was cloudy and with a few sunny spells around noon – and this afternoon we had showers. There was very little wind, which is always nice. Right now we have 9°C [48F]. The sun came up at 6.23 this morning and set at 8.26.