did you know that iceland runs almost entirely on renewable energies, every single day? true story. between geothermal, hydropower and a little wind, the electricity generated is more than enough to power the whole country. the hot water also takes care of showers, heating houses, swimming pools and even the roads in winter. they still import oil for running vehicles and boats… but with the rise of electric cars, who knows? they might be 100% renewable in a few years, which is nothing short of amazing.
on a roadtrip in the island, we stopped in deildartunguhver to see one of the springs where the hot water comes from. it’s just a humble crack in some rocks… and yet, boiling water gushes upwards from it at the astonishing rate of 180 liters per second — the highest flow of any hot sprint in europe. whoa!
they pipe this water in a nearby facility and deliver it to households in a 65km radius. the leftovers get dumped on a nearby river, the steam making everything rather cinematic :)
the sulphur does make the water smell a bit like overcooked eggs, which is funny when you open the hot water tap, but one quickly forgets it after jumping on the shower. it’s lovely not having to wait for water to heat up — it’s instantaneous and super hot.
the best part of so much hot water? i’ll tell you in another post! :)
having spent a couple of months going over daniela’s geology lessons in preparation for her national exams a few years ago, it all came rushing back to me in iceland. first, the black stones and sand that adorn residential gardens in reykjavik, and then later, out on the road.
the first lava field we drove by was a thrill of recognition, its spiky edges talking of semi-viscous, slow-moving a’a lava. then came the familiar slopes of old volcanos, the ropey waves of fluid pahoehoe lava, the neat geometrical columns formed by the quick cooling of basaltic lava…
all so familiar in theory, and yet, so foreign in practice.
in a different life, i think i could have been a geologist!
the april roadtrip was also an opportunity to explore german breakfast options — especially in hotels… who doesn’t love a good hotel breakfast?
turns out, they were remarkably consistent throughout the whole trip: a plate of cheese and cold cuts, a basket of bread, one boiled egg and some coffee… p. was in heaven, as he loves slathering bread with butter and then stacking layers of ham and cheese on top! :)
though i like a good espresso, i’ve also grown to enjoy this kind of watery coffee during our years here… i find it inexplicably comforting. plus, jacobs roasts theirs in the south of neukölln, and if the wind is right, you can smell it from our house! for months, we thought someone in the kiez had a really powerful cafetiera… :D