Journey into the heart of Thórsmörk

Huh? Journey to where?

Well, Thórsmörk is the name given to an area in Iceland which is essentially a huge valley/mountain ridge/nature reserve, located about 2.5 hrs from Reykjavik in the south. If you haven’t already made the connection, its named in reference to the god of thunder, Thor, presumably due to its epic-ness. Understandably, it’s quite a popular hiking area.

I booked a Super Jeep tour to explore a place I had dreamed about for a little while now, and was soooooooo excited. I had been gazing at aerial shots of its endless rivers, and images from its canyons showing vibrant green contrasted with black and dark browns.

As well as it being super fun riding in a super jeep, it also was obviously a practical measure. Many of the roads in Iceland that are off the main roads are incompatible with regular vehicles and some areas it is forbidden to drive into without a suitable vehicle, or at the very least, strongly advised against. This meant that the area was almost deserted and far less people were about, something I adore while exploring nature and the wilderness.

As the jeep made its way through endless valleys, with endless mountain ranges and volcanos, I felt my heart swell and had to pinch myself that this was real life. You see, the thing about Iceland is that it’s so beautiful and other-worldly (this is my favorite and most accurate phrase to describe this country), that you start to doubt how real the things you are seeing actually are. I took particular delight every time the jeep crossed one of the many rivers. It was kind of chaotic, and you got thrown around in your seat a bit, but the sensation of the jeep forging roughly through the water was quite comforting. 

Because this is what adventure felt like, and it was adventure my spirit craved. 

The jeep pulled off the road, and headed towards an area that was all just black and white and greys and what looked like a dirty glacier. And it was. The tour guide shortly informed us we could see the glacier part of the infamous and now dormant volcano Eyjafjallajökull (Ay-yah-fyad-layer-kuh-tel) – try pronouncing that in a hurry, or at all. I’m still working on that. 

Although we couldn’t get close enough to the glacier due to a river that as too unsafe to cross blocked our way, being so close to such a powerful and transient thing was very cool.

We next stopped off in Básar for a lunch and toilet break, and then decided to casually climb a small mountain. As you do. Nice view of the valley too.

Our last stop was the incredible, and much anticipated Stakkholtsgjá Canyon. 

Oh my freaking god. 

THIS place. 

I honestly thought I was walking through another world. A world that doesn’t exist in the world I knew. A place that could only be compared to the landscape fantasy films, or novels. A place I knew changed me the moment I stepped into it. I felt dwarfed by the sheer size of it and insignificant in its gloriousness. My time was limited but I wanted to stay here for hours, forever even.

We hiked all the way to a hidden waterfall in a cave, after forging a river that flowed through the canyon (didn’t fall over this time, for those who read my Glymur hike blog). After climbing around inside and exploring the cave for a bit, our guide called us back and gestured to head back to the jeep. I felt instantly almost heartbroken. How was I supposed to leave this place?

I reluctantly headed back out of the cave and through the canyon, soaking up its beauty one last time. Walking slower, taking more pictures, breathing in its cool, crisp air.

Once I reached the jeep, I climbed in sadly, and prepared myself for the trip back to Reykjavik.

You see, by journeying into the heart of Thórsmörk, I discovered I was in fact, journeying into my own. 


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