Thursday, April 16, 2009

Iceland - Day 2

The sun came up this morning about 5:45. Now it is 10 pm and still not completely dark outside. The time in-between has been filled with a fascinating day.

William couldn't get in touch with Marias, the Icelandic man he has been coordinating with, so we decided to see something of the island today. So with William driving and Jimmie navigating we set off . . . and almost immediately missed our turn. No problem, they just picked another route that quickly turned to gravel road and the most amazing drive. The first turn around for a photo was a curiosity. "What is that hanging in those sheds to dry?" Turned out to be thousands upon thousands of fish. We later learned that these fish are shipped to Nigeria for soup. Ugh! Following that there were incredible vistas with snow-capped mountains, black sand beaches, and deep brown rock sculptured by years of snow and ice. They were the kind of panoramic views that a camera cannot possibly catch but you try anyway.

At Seltún we learned a new Icelandic word - Hætta! That's Danger! The warning was about Steam Explosions. The area was filled with pools of grey, murky mud pots boiling in the ground before me and steam vents spraying sulphur steam into the air. By the time we reached Þorlàkshöfn it was well into the afternoon and we were seriously in need of lunch. But how to find a restaurant? Houses and businesses all look pretty much alike and after doing a complete circuit of the town we had not located anything open that looked like it would serve a meal, so we stopped at a bakery. What a wonderful choice. The Kökugerðdin had a wonderful minced meat and cheese sandwich big enough for Jimmie and me to share, plus pastries galore.

Today we saw the sea, and the mountains, and I actually got to make a snowball. We also drove through some of the harshest, most rugged terrain I had ever encountered. My respect for the original Viking settlers went up tremendously for they had to have been very hardy souls to carve out a settlement on this island.

Late in the afternoon we got back to civilization and the town of Reykjavik where we were scheduled to move tomorrow. But when we stopped to check on our hotel there we discovered that they did not have a reservation for us afterall. We aren´t sure what happened, but it is just as well since none of us particularly liked the place. It's only redeeming feature was that it would have been closer to the brethren for the series of lessons we have planned. But we will remain at the B & B instead and probably be much happier here.

And tonight we met Marias and his wife Gyða. We all went to a restaurant for American style hamburgers which were very good, but not exactly the American I'm used to.

So today was a good day. And tomorrow the day will be 6 1/2 minutes longer.

- Linda

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