Posts Tagged With: hidden

Landbrotalaug Hot Pot: Hidden in Snaefellsnes, Iceland

I know I know. I’m way behind on so many posts and so many stories and so many pictures. I’m just going to jump around. One of Andrew’s parents’ friends (I know, irrelevant) is heading to Iceland in a few weeks so they asked us if we had any recommendations on where to go. My response— all the recommendations! Seriously, Iceland is up there as one of the best trips I’ve been on… I can’t wait to go back. Today’s story is about Landbrotalaug. This is a hot pot that is in a random field by a little pond behind an abandoned farm that I happened to find when googling “natural hot pots in Snaefellsnes.” Seriously, that’s how I find most of my cool spots… that and Atlas Obscura. If you haven’t checked out that website yet, do it. It’s awesome. Anyway, I digress.

First, geography. Snaefellsnes is the peninsula north of Reykjavik.  By car, it’s about 2 hours to the center of Snaefellsnes Peninsula. To the hot pot, it’s probably more like an hour. Rent a car if you go to Iceland. Don’t stay in Reykjavik. See the country. It’s beautiful. It’s remote. It’s beautifully remote.

Reykjavik to Snaefellsnes takes about 2 hours.

Reykjavik to Snaefellsnes takes about 2 hours.

So, the great thing about Landbrotalaug Hot Pot is that I found a website that has the GPS coordinates posted (GPS: N64°49.933 W22°19.110). The not so great thing is that I didn’t find those GPS points until after we got back to the states. Oh well, the thrill of the hunt made it totally worth it. Basically, if you are driving from Reykjavik towards Snaefellsnes, you will pass Eldborg Crater (on your left). There is literally one main road, so you won’t get lost. After you’ve passed the crater, you’ll see an abandoned farm house up on a hill (Skalg). There’s a road/driveway right before Skalg. Turn left onto that road. You’ll follow the road up and around, past the farm and back into the middle of a field. Once you get a few minutes back into the middle of nowhere, you will see a small sign indicating “Heit Laug Hot Spring”. If you’re lucky, you will be the only car there. Go ahead and park and walk on out to the small pond.

Hot Pot Sign

Hot Pot Sign

There are two “hot pots” at the pond. Both are on the other side of the pond, so you will either have to walk all the way around or across. One of the hot pots is fed by a pipe where warm water shoots down into a very shallow but larger pool. You could probably cram a bunch of people in there but you wouldn’t be very covered. If you look towards one end of the pond, you will see a few rocks that look like a makeshift walkway across the pond. If you follow the rocks with your eyes, you’ll see a makeshift rock wall. Behind that rock wall is the mother-load hot pot. It’s small and can just fit two people (maybe 3 if you push it). It’s deeper though and you will be in water up to your neck. It’s also the warmer of the two hot pots here.

Large and Shallow Hot Pot

Large and Shallow Hot Pot

Please take caution when crossing the pond. The rock walkway is slippery and moss covered, so you could easily slip and cut yourself. Walking around is probably smarter… but not as much fun :0). Enjoy the hot pot. We were lucky in that no one was there when we were hanging out. In fact, no one showed up until we were leaving. I also read somewhere that this is a great spot to watch the northern lights with a cold beer. We did not stick around for that (we arrived earlier in the day and had big plans for the day). More on our epic northern lights spotting locations later.

The rocks are dangerous!

The rocks are dangerous!

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Rock Wall Hiding the Hot Pot

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The Most Awesome Hot Pot

 

Enjoy the hotpot and the fact that you’re in the middle of nowhere behind an abandoned farm. Awesome. Don’t worry if you can’t find this hot pot or you don’t have time to go to Snaefellsnes, there are plenty more fish in the sea!

Until next time, a toast to cold beers, warm waters, and remote locations!

Categories: Iceland | Tags: , , , , , | 15 Comments

Village Above the Clouds

After a great and relaxing evening, we woke up at Puri Mangga in Lovina and had a delicious breakfast that consisted of fresh fruit plates, coffee, fruit juice, pineapple pancakes for Andrew, and the more traditional Mie Gorenge [Fried Noodles] for me.

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We then loaded up our stuff and headed towards the sky…. Village Above the Clouds, more specifically [also known as Desa Ata Sawan]. It’s located past Bedugul, in the center of Bali– up in the mountains, above the clouds, as it may be. Andrew found this spot and I am so glad that he did— it consists of a main hut that is just a sitting room with a view over an organic farm, three separate huts [we stayed in one of these], and then a kitchen building with two separate rooms above the main floor. It is tiny and a hidden gem- tucked away in the mountains, far away from the hustle and bustle. It is well worth the drive and I would highly recommend it to anyone and everyone [website here: A Village Above the Clouds]. On our drive there, we again saw gorgeous rice terraces and tobacco plants as well as…. a new item to check off the list- monkeys. Lots and lots of monkeys. More on them later.

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When we got to A Village Above the Clouds, we asked one of the employees if they had a map of the area so we could walk around and his response was, “oh you don’t need a map. Just go get lost and have a great time.” Ummm awesome. We were allowed to wonder through the terraced organic farm and surrounding areas. Ugh just gorgeous. There were all sorts of veggies and plants growing in all different stages. We saw integrated pest management [ a way of naturally dealing with pests rather than spraying] or perhaps it was just shade tolerant plants growing in between non-shade tolerant plants. Either way, I loved it. We saw some intricate bamboo watering systems that carried fresh water from the stream nearby and diverted it down into the farm rows. Bamboo, of course, was also used as growing trays for seedlings. In the mornings, from our hut, we could watch as farmers picked the fresh produce and took portions of it into our kitchen to place on the menu for the day or night. The menus for dinner at A Village Above the Cloud are pre-set but they let you see the menu earlier in the day so you can provide comments or choose not to eat there… it’s very “Americanized” in the sense that they didn’t serve anything too exotic while we were there and the first night it was actually Mexican-Themed [and delicious, by the way]. Our first afternoon here, was spent as mentioned above- exploring and walking and relaxing and deciding that the next day we would rent scooters and ride back into town: destination: Monkeys, Straberries, and Water Temples.

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Categories: Indonesia | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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