Hitchhikers Make Doc about Natural Pools in Iceland Skip to content

Hitchhikers Make Doc about Natural Pools in Iceland

Two friends, Harpa Fönn Sigurjónsdóttir and Helga Sveinsdóttir, traveled around the country as hitchhikers last summer with the goal of bathing in as many natural hot springs as possible. They are now making a documentary about their trip.

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The Laugafell pool at Sprengisandur, the friends’ favorite natural pool. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

“Preparation for the project began around last Christmas when we stumbled across the book Heitar laugar á Íslandi [“Hot pools in Iceland”]. We have both traveled a lot abroad but until now we had neglected traveling around our own country, Iceland,” Sigurjónsdóttir told Fréttabladid.

“We wanted to travel around the country by hitchhiking and decided to combine the two things: become hitchhikers and visit as many of the country’s natural pools while we were at it,” she added.

The friends brought a video camera and this fall they plan to release a documentary about their journey—it is currently in post production as stated on their blog.

They hitchhiked from Reykjavík to Seydisfjördur in the east, traveled from there to the highland and visited Kárahnjúkar, Askja, Mývatnssveit and Sprengisandur, among other destinations.

Sigurjónsdóttir said they had not always been successful in hitching a ride between places. “It was surprisingly easy to get a ride along the Ring Road but it was much more difficult in the highland; of course fewer people travel in that area. But we were in fact surprised about how often Icelanders stopped to pick up hitchhikers.”

Sigurjónsdóttir said there are many beautiful natural hot pools hidden around the country but they were also disappointed. “It happened twice that we arrived at dried-up pools and others were simply too warm for bathing. Most of them were extremely comfortable, though, and Kaldbakslaug was sort of like a big pond where we could have a good swim.”

When asked what pool she found the most beautiful, Sigurjónsdóttir answered without hesitating. “The pool at Laugafell was the most beautiful without a doubt. We managed to persuade the Dutch couple who had picked us up to enter the pool with us and they certainly didn’t regret it.”

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