The sea is glowing.
Probably phosphorus. Along the road is again a lot of weird landscape that is meant to make tourists behave inadequately, drive with 40 km/h in a 90 km/h area, stop in the middle of the road or lose the road altogether so that locals could ridicule them. Luckily surroundings are soon decently wrapped in clouds.
The Ásbyrgi canyon is a hoof print of Sleipnir, the eight-legged horse of god Odin. Its hoof was 3.5 km long and 1.1 km wide. These were animals. Alternative facts advertised by geologists say that the place is a result of huge glacial flood resulted by a volcano eruption thousands of years ago that wiped away all soft soil from between the cliffs. Be as it was but when I turn onto parking lot and the natural phenomenon comes into view then my chin drops to car floor.
The information center will be open in seven minutes. There maps, books, great selection of CDs and more of geologists’ propaganda is on offer. I pick the longest trail that is marked with number 9 and lasts for 17 kilometers. Actually it is also possible to walk to Dettifoss from here but it would last two days and then I would have to get back somehow. And it will certainly start to rain.
The plan is to circle anti-clockwise but because of the situation with signs I go clockwise. Latter it appears that this is the better way. In the beginning is a low birch forest and then canyon where Jökulsá á Fjöllum (glacier river in the mountains) flows. The river is very wide and very far below me. It starts to rain soon (what did I say) and cloud wraps parts of the view in. This results in otherworldly landscape. The ground is covered with yellow, red, orange, green, purple and grey tones. How boring it could be here in summer. Rocks have been cut into squares and set as steps.
On ninth kilometer the trail turns away from the river and rain gets more energetic. Watery trail meanders through wet colorful turfs and disappears into fog. It lasts so quite some time until a giant hole appears in the fog. In the bottom of the hole is a yellow-green forest with lone red dots. This is the hoof print. A long time is spent with looking and wondering. Below are besides the forest also a lake, camping ground and some people whose shouts echo in the canyon. First people I see after leaving the information center.
With the forest down there is actually the thing that green conifer trees have been planted by humans who now politely want to get rid of them before they take over the place and start to significantly alter the landscape.
Going down takes still a while before descending with a rope and walking over a golf course. GPS says that I’ve walked almost 20 km and from the parking lot all cars are gone except for the information center’s vehicles.