Iceland (2006) ~ 04. Hveragerdi (Hveragerði)
My friend Thorunn took me to her hometown Hveragerdi (Hveragerði) in the south of Iceland, 45km east of Reykjavik.
I hiked the surrounding mountains at the outskirts of the town to get a view of how small Hveragerdi was with only 1200 residents (year 2006).
Thorunns father offered me a short jeep ride on the edge of the town, we followed the road pictured above.
In Iceland you really feel the importance of 4x4 jeeps, just going a bit out of Hveragerdi and we had to fjord this river! This was my first (but not the last) river crossing in Iceland.
Icelandic nature never stopped to amaze me, the beauty is not only at the major sights but actually existss everywhere. Simple, breath taking, beautiful scenery everywhere you are, everywhere you look...
The surrounding area is part of the Hengill central volcano, and is geothermally active. The town is known for its greenhouses, which are heated by hot water from the volcanic hot springs which are also famous.
I was lucky to visit "Eden", a roadside restaurant-greenhouse where you could have a meal or take your time exploring its sprawling greenhouse which featured all kinds of plant species, some of them foreign to Iceland. Lucky to visit back then because sadly, the whole place was burnt down in 2011. Read some reports they were planning to re-open it in a more modern version in 2015 but I guess it never happened.
Walking around Hveragerdi you could see many of these beautiful green houses.
Thorunn and her family were extremely hospitable and lovely people. They were so kind to me and I learned many things spending a bit of time with an Icelandic family. Nobody smoked, nobody drunk alcohol. In order to get by in Iceland both of the parents need to work. Thorunn has been working since 12 years old and her sister was working in the local "Bonus" supermarket. The winter is quite hard with the snow, the cold and the darkness. They were concerned about my upcoming trek and gave me many warm clothes. After the trek I came back to their house and they drove me to many places showing me around. The last day before I leave their place (when we took the photo as well) they gave me an amazing present, a knitted woolen sweater, they have been knitting it during the time I was away in my trek! I still have it, its so warm you can wear it only during days of freezing cold. The day of my departure they drove me to the next town so I could hitchhike... big thank you to Thorunn and her family for their hospitality and help!
*All photos taken with a Canon Powershot S1 IS, 3.2 megapixels, my 1st digital camera.
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