Helen & Traff took Ike to Iceland in July 2020. On this day they drove around the Diamond Circle – North Iceland’s version of the Golden Circle.
They started from Húsavík which is usually known as the Whale Watching capital of Iceland but may become better known for the recent Netflix ‘Eurovision’ film. The bar next to their hotel has even changed its name to ‘Ja Ja Ding Dong’ which is a song in the film.
Ike, Helen & Traff drove east to Ásbyrgi – a horsehoe-shaped glacial canyon with almost vertical walls up to 100m tall and divided for almost half its length by a 25m high island. The satellite image below shows the horseshoe shape very clearly:
Icelandic legend tells us that the canyon was formed when the god Óðinn was riding his 8-legged horse, Sleipnir, and it put one of its hooves down. Obviously that’s a distinct possibility, but another theory is that the canyon was carved out by a huge post-glacial flood that happened at the end of the last ice age, around eight to ten thousand years ago. The adventurers hiked to the top of Eyjan (the Island) and took some pictures, and although they don’t do the place justice, it’s easy to see how peaceful it is and how spectacular are the views over the rest of the canyon. There are some amazing shots of the site here if you’re interested to see more.
Then south onto Dettifoss, which is the most powerful waterfall in Iceland and second most powerful in Europe. Five hundred cubic metres of water flow over the falls every second, causing so much spray that it is impossible to see the bottom of the 45m drop.
The last stop of the day was at Dimmuborgir, near Lake Myvatn. This is an area of lava rocks, cliffs and caves.
This might be the very spot for the Yule Lads to hide when they’re not busy delivering presents to Icelandic children at Christmas. As you can see Ike had a good look for them, but they keep themselves well hidden!
You can follow Ike’s Icelandic Adventure with Helen and Traff on this map: