Just a few minutes off the Ring Road and a 2 mile hike in you’ll find Reykjadalur, a natural hot spring fed creek, prime for a leisurely soak. The hike is gorgeous, up, up, up into the hills and then meandering through valley, the greenest of scenery, past bubbling mud pots and steaming holes in the ground ripe with the eggy sulfuric scent that would send some running; all the while the Icelandic sheep just stare, as if to say, “we’re annoyed, but don’t care enough to say something.”
For sure, this place is popular, but not like it should be, not like it would be here in the states. We arrive and stroll down the boardwalk pathway to the top of the stream, where, we correctly assume it’d be hottest. Past the Germans, the French, the locals, and of course other Americans; but it’s different than being at other sites surrounded by the same folks, there’s a camaraderie here that isn’t found with the folks using pervert lenses at the waterfalls.
We soak, trying different spots high up and down low on the stream, the natural temperature adjustment; to get up and move. This place is magical, deep green hills, sheep grazing, blue skies and the sun kissing us the whole time. No wonder the Icelandic folklore centers on elves, fairies, and trolls; why wouldn’t it, the magic of this country is palpable and this is only our first day.