Day 2 continued. From the first parliament assembly field we drove to Fontana. Here we learned how geothermal heat is used to bake rye bread.’
The young woman who instructed us on the process was the granddaughter of the woman whose recipe is used at the Fontana cafe and pool. The dough is mixed and put in a metal pot. The pot is then wrapped in plastic wrap. She said they are trying to find a more environment friendly substance and have been working with a corn and oil substance, but for now the plastic works because it melts and seals the pot not allowing any water or sand to get into the bread.
She showed us how they mark the mounds over the pots with different items to tell whose pot is underneath as the whole town can come down and bake their bread along the edge of the lake.
The mound was dug to the side and she dug down to the pot about a foot down from the surface. The pot was flipped out of the hole with the shovel and hole made a bit deeper allowing the boiling water from the ground to fill the hole.
The new batch of bread was dropped into the hole and covered with dirt and a mound to better seal the heat in. It takes 24 hours for a pot to cook.
After the new pot was covered, the hot one was placed in the lake water to cool it down. Then the plastic and lid were removed to reveal the bread. Our baker said there is always a 50/50 chance the bread won’t be done or water or sand could leak in. But ours turned out perfect. We entered the cafe, where the bread was dumped out of the pot, cut, and we were able to sample. She admitted it had a cup of sugar in it making it more of a dessert bread than a sandwich bread. I thought if it had some ginger and molasses it would have been a tasty gingerbread!
After lunch at Fontana we wend on to Geysir, a hot springs and spouting geysers. It is a small equivalent to Old Faithful in Yellowstone Park.
From there we went to Gullfoss- a three tiered waterfall. Here we walked the trail from the parking lot to the rocks above the waterfall. It was beautiful, but there were so many tourists it was hard to take in all the beauty. And we only had a set amount of time because we had more places to go.
And those places will be revealed in part four.