Apparently trolls are a thing here in Iceland. Just like the troll that hides out under the bridge in the fable of the three billy goats gruff, you have good trolls, mischievous trolls and trolls that will try to kill and eat you. And the best part of all; some of them have magic!
I’m talking about trolls in all shapes and sizes. If you can imagine them, I’m sure you will find them here in Iceland. As the story goes; Icelandic trolls are part of ancient scandinavian mythology. The trolls are human like in form but have incredible strength. What is even crazier is that many of Iceland’s superstitious citizens actually believe this heritage exists. According to some polls most Icelanders believe in or at least refuse to deny the existence of elves and trolls. Talk about superstition!
A really cool spot that we were able to enjoy some of the mythic culture of Iceland was at the Troll Garden in Fossatún. Located on the west side of Iceland this area offers accommodations to suit all budgets (from hotels and guesthouses to camping) and a restaurant that overlooks lava formed waterfalls. This special area was created by the owner and storyteller, Steinar Berg, who was inspired to write a fascinating children’s book entitled “The Last Troll”. The book is now available in four different languages and will soon be released in Japanese and Spanish. Deciding to bring his Icelandic folk tales to life, Mr. Berg, created walking paths with sculpted trolls so that guest could interact with his famous troll characters.
We drove the Snaefellsnes peninsula pretty much in the blink of an eye, passing through the National Park found right at the tip. It was cold, rainy and windy, all reasons why we decided not to stay and set up camp. The highway was also mostly dirt road making our progress slow and precarious. You can imagine our excitement when we migrated back toward the mainland finding civilization and landing in Borgarbyggð.
The small village of Fossatún was about 18 kilometers past Borgarbyggð. Fossatún was so small that there wasn’t even public transportation to get around. The village was pretty much empty apart from us, but that was to be expected as we were exploring Iceland during low tourist season. The great thing about hiking trails is that they never close, day or night, winter or summer. We spent a good few hours walking amidst the foothills and troll figures. Information plaques and signs made it very interesting to learn about some of these stories that we had never heard. We also enjoyed playing the troll games. My family are the type of people that are never too old to play familiar childhood games, like hop scotch and walking along a wooden beam. After enjoying some of this strange culture we walked to the lava falls just across the street before continuing our travels onward back to Reykjavik.
One thing we did miss out on when we were in the area was Deildartunguhver, a thermal spring that provides hot water for the central heating of Borgarnes and Akranes towns. This hot spring is said to be the most powerful in Europe. We were however, not too concerned over missing out on Deildartunguhver, as we had plans of heading to Thingvellir National Park in the next few days and checking out those thermal springs and geysers.
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