...as the holiday draws to a close.
08.10.2008 - 11.10.2008
Drove, via Godafoss (small but pretty and historical) Akureyri, a town of 16,000 people, seemed like the most extensive and busy metropolis in the world after the North-East coast. We visited several churches, all with their own unique charms, including one in a valley to the South of town with a turf roof (the church, not the valley). Finally got medicine for illnesses. Left. Drove 400 km, calling in at Blonduos (church like a volcano, interesting but small), and detouring to an invisible troll rock (or maybe we just couldn't find it), and Reykholt (Snorri's pool: world's first hot-tub) and Barnafoss / Hraunfossar (great waterfalls). Then to Borganes where we were accosted by the world's friendlies but most in your face Danes. They didn't even let us put our bags in the room before they started quizzing us on the common market, singing the praises of Iceland and recommending sights in Reykjavik (we went). Slept. Woke.
Visited Borg, a large rock and sight of Egil's saga, then went to the settlement centre (nice museum, some great little displays but very confusing staff and headphones system that spoils the pacing somewhat. I enjoyed it though, especially downstairs. Then we did the Golden Circle: Thingvellir, a lake and nature reserve on the mid Atlantic rift, interesting cliffs and gorges as a result, and the birthplace of democracy: the Althing and Law Rock. Historical. From there we drove down the WORST ROAD IN ICELAND to Laugervatn, and on to Geysir, the original geyser, now sadly broken, but made up for by its smaller cousin. It was fun. He bubbles. Finally, Gullfoss. Although I was sceptical, this was actually the best waterfall of the holiday, and possibly in Iceland (certainly the most famous). Ate many posh foods. Slept.
Awoke and drove South to the ghost centre at Stokesteri (spelling?) and listened to ghost stories while a boy in a hood made Laura scream and tweaked my nose. Brilliant, and a testement to the power of imagination and old warehouses. Then finished the real circle, driving North into Reykjavik, where we looked at the original manuscripts of the sagas, sorted out a discount on our car for an early return, and checked into our penultimate sleeping quarters - Reykjavik HI hostel, one of the best hostel's I've ever been to. Good work. Tomorrow is our final day, then home and back to the drawing board.