Wednesday, August 24: After leaving Seljalandsfoss, we continue west on the Ring Road until we reach the unsurfaced Rt. 264, which we take north through the Rangarvellir valley. Our destination is the medieval turf-roofed farm at Keldur. On the way, we see a sign for horseback riding and follow the directions down a long private dirt track through fenced pastures. At the end we find a strange farmhouse that seems to have no entryway, and though we look around for humans, we don’t find a soul. Feeling defeated in our attempts to ride the Icelandic horses, we at least stop to visit with them and take some photos.
We continue bouncing down this dirt road, seeing Iceland’s usual grand views spread out before us.
We arrive at Keldur and park our car, walking past a picturesque stream and what looks like an ice house.
Keldur is the site of a unique cluster of turf farm buildings from bygone centuries. Most of the buildings date from the 19th century, although they include timber from older structures, some with decorative moldings. A sill in the hall, for instance, is carved with the date 1641. A tunnel which leads from the hall down to the brook has been excavated; it was probably built for defensive purposes in the 11th-13th century, a period of conflict and unrest in Iceland.
Keldur and its inhabitants make appearances in various Old Icelandic sagas, such as Njáls saga, Sturfunga Saga and the Saga of St Þorlákr. The farmhouse was inhabited until 1946, since when it has been part of the National Museum Historic Buildings Collection. The farmhouse contains domestic articles from the Keldur family.
After completing the loop that brings us back to the Ring Road, we stop to enjoy our last Icelandic gas station hot dogs.
The rest of our drive back to Reykjavik is uneventful except for one stop to wash off all the gravel and volcanic ash that coats the underbelly and wheels of our little red VW Polo rental car.
Wednesday, August 24: At the Hotel Vik, our room with its volcano pebble floor has a small terrace that we can see out the window. That terrace came at an additional cost, but we had no choice; it was the only room available in Vik when we booked our holiday. In an attempt to go out to this terrace, we have taken turns wrestling with the key in the lock to no avail; the door has been almost perpetually stuck. Mike did manage to get out there one or two times, mainly to put our beers outside to chill, and to retrieve them, but other times, we’ve been frustrated by that doggone lock. I suppose it doesn’t matter: the inaccessible terrace offers a questionable view of the back of a neighboring building and a sloping hill piled with a jumble of junk. It’s also been too cold and windy to sit out there.
This morning, as we prepare to check out of the hotel, we are finally able to unlock it and walk out for a moment. I wonder if all that struggle was worth it.
We take off for our final day in Iceland and our last leg of the Ring Road. We’re heading back to Reykjavik, but we plan to see several places along the way. We fly out early tomorrow morning, our too-short trip coming to an end. Below are some of the views as we leave Vik.
We happen upon the sight of a few turf-roofed buildings tucked up into a tuff rock formation, Drangurinn, and we quickly pull off to explore. According to a sign on the property, these are the old houses of Drangshlíð 2.
Drangurinn stands alone underneath Drangshlíð farm in the foothills of Eyjafjöll. A folktale tells of a strongman named Grettir Ásmundsson who was showing off and ripped the giant boulder right out of Hrútafell cliff, leaving a chasm which is now above Skarðshlíð. Under these rocks are caves and passages to which additional buildings have been added throughout the centuries. Most of them are still standing. These buildings are a good example of what is called ‘fornmannahús’ or ancient habitations, according to Katla Geopark: Drangurinn í Drangshlíð.
We are delighted to have stumbled across these old abodes.
Drangurinn in Drangshlíð
Drangurinn in Drangshlíð
Drangurinn in Drangshlíð
Drangurinn in Drangshlíð
As we continue our drive, we come to a pull-off where people are looking toward a glacier and a farm. We find from a sign at the parking lot that this is Þorvaldseyri, a farm that sits at the foot of the glacier-topped volcano Eyjafjallajökull; it was impacted by the volcano’s explosion in April 2010. The farm has been in the same family since 1906. Though mainly a milk and cattle farm, since 1960, it has become noted for grain crops, not usually found in the sub-Arctic. They also produce canola oil and electricity for the farm, which comes from its own hydro-generator and hot water at 66°C.
Following several small eruptions in March 2010 and after a brief pause, Eyjafjallajökull resumed erupting on 14 April 2010, this time from the top crater in the center of the glacier, causing jökulhlaup, or glacial outburst floods, to rush down the nearby rivers. Over 800 people had to be evacuated. This eruption was explosive, due to meltwater getting into the volcanic vent. This second eruption threw volcanic ash several kilometers up in the atmosphere, which led to air travel disruption in northwest Europe for six days from 15 April to 21 April 2010 and again, in May 2010. By August 2010, the volcano was considered dormant (Wikipedia: Eyjafjallajökull).
On April 14, 2011, the Þorvaldseyri Visitor Centre was opened near here, one year after the start of the Eyjafjallajökull eruption. The dramatic 20-minute film is fabulous; it shows the spectacular eruption and the hectic times and incredible challenges met by the family at Þorvaldseyri, as they struggled to save their farm during the six-week-long eruption; it also shows what life is like living at the foot of an active volcano.
Driving further west along the Ring Road, we come to Seljalandsfoss, known for its slippery path that runs around the back of the waterfall. As this waterfall is near Reykjavik, it is quite crowded.
It’s hard to stay dry on this path behind the waterfall.
Not very surefooted, I’m wary of these rocky and very slippery walkways. I don’t take lightly the little sign showing a person falling, and when Mike wants me to pose in front of the waterfall, I opt to stand far from the edge.
view from Seljalandsfoss
After visiting the waterfall, we take a short drive down the dirt road to look for a place to use the natural facilities, as the porta-potties at Seljalandsfoss now have a huge line.
Back in the car again, we are heading to another medieval turf-roofed farm at Keldur. We’re also hoping to find a place where we can go horseback riding. I have wanted to do this our whole time in Iceland. This is our last day, so if we don’t do it this trip, we’ll simply have to come back!
Tuesday, August 23: At the western edge of Skógar, the beautiful 62m-high waterfall Skógafoss tumbles over moss-engulfed cliffs in a striking display. Because of the mist from the waterfall, on sunny days there is often a double or single rainbow. Today, we find a beautiful single rainbow at the waterfall’s base.
According to legend, the first Viking settler in the area, Þrasi Þórólfsson, buried a chest of gold in a cave behind the waterfall, where it would be hard to reach. When three local men attempted to retrieve the chest years later, they placed a hook in an iron ring on the side of the chest. They pulled hard, but the chest was so heavy the iron ring came loose and the mission was aborted. The ring was placed on the door of the church in Skógar and can now be found in the Skógar Folk Museum (from a placard at the waterfall).
We can’t resist climbing up the trekking trail on the eastern side of the waterfall. It’s a steep climb, but as we rise above the plain, we have some fabulous views to the south and southeast.
As we reach the crest of the cliffs, we find the Skógá River rushing over the sharp rocky edge.
From the top, we can see the Skógá River as it makes its way to the North Atlantic Ocean.
At the top, there is a line of people gingerly crossing over a steep stile. We’re at such a dizzying height here, that we have to hold tightly to keep from blowing away and toppling down the cliff.
We see from the top that the trail continues indefinitely, up and over increasingly higher mountains. Apparently the Skógar cliffs create a clear border between the coastal lowlands and the Highlands of Iceland. There are quite a few trekkers up here, hardy souls with camping gear on their backs.
This is one of the treks I would love to do someday. The route between Skógar and Þórsmörk goes through the pass Fimmvörðuháls, which winds between the glaciers Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull. This is one of the most popular walking routes in Iceland, despite being 22km (14 mi) long and involving 1,000m (3,300 ft) of climbing. The route from Skógar is particularly beautiful, as numerous waterfalls are passed along the way. The route is only accessible between mid-June and late-August. On the night of 16 May 1970, three travelers died in the mountain pass in a snowstorm (Wikipedia: Fimmvörðuháls).
I’ve seen photos of this hike and it looks absolutely magnificent! It’s on my bucket list for a return trip, but we’ll have to be suitably geared up to camp and carry our belongings on our back.
This famous route continues as the famous Laugavegur trekking route to the hot springs of Landmannalaugar. It is noted for the wide variety of landscapes on its 55 km (34 mi) path. The route is typically completed over 2–4 days with potential stops at various mountain huts (Wikipedia: Laugavegur).
At this waterfall above Skógafoss, numerous photographers are scrambling down the rocks with tripods in hand. It looks like a risky undertaking to climb down these precipitous banks! But they seem determined to get those photos at all costs.
As we walk back to the cliff edge, we stand in a long line again to climb over the steep and rickety stile. It was difficult enough to get over it as we climbed uphill, but it’s looking even more scary going downhill. This one narrow stile must be shared by uphill and downhill hikers, and it’s slow going. People seem a little apprehensive going over it. Admittedly, I’m a little nervous about it myself! While in line, we meet two young ladies who look exhausted. They say they’ve hiked 25km since 7 a.m. They are looking forward to setting up their tents in the campground at the base of Skógafoss.
On our way back to Vik, we decide to stop once again at Dyrhólaey, since we didn’t get a proper view of it this morning. By this time it’s 5:00 pm, and the wind has whipped up to a ferocious frenzy. I push the car door open against the tempest and stumble down a couple of paths to take pictures, while Mike stays in the car with the heater on. I have never felt such a strong wind! It goes through my jacket, the layers underneath, my skin and even my bones! I fear it will lift me and carry me away over the black sand beach all the way to Reynisfjara, which I can see in the distance.
After getting my fill of views and sea squalls, I hop back in the car, which luckily Mike has kept cozily warm. Though we have both become sick during this trip, Mike is taking care of himself, while I continue to push myself, despite a bad cough and cold. Little do I know how much I’ll regret this later.
We return to Vik and the Hotel Puffin, where we have slightly cooled beers in our room. Mike had put them out on our “balcony” earlier, hoping that the cold winds would keep them chilled, but I guess the wind didn’t get to them. Then we go to dinner at Suður-Vík, a restaurant with wood floors and a friendly ambiance.
We share a salad with sun-dried tomatoes, olives and feta cheese and a delicious asparagus soup, although the soups don’t ever seem to be hot here.
Then we share a pizza with mushroom, paprika, olives, onion and sun-dried tomato. For dessert, we have a warm apple pie with Fossis ice cream. It’s all delicious.
Tomorrow, we will head back to Reykjavik. It will be our last full day in Iceland. Though we’re both miserably sick, I’m still not ready to go home!
Tuesday, August 23: By the time we leave the Sólheimajökull glacier tongue, it’s close to 2:00. There is still so much to see, and daylight hours are running out! We head west on the Ring Road until we come to the Skógar Folk Museum. The museum preserves the cultural heritage of the Vestur-Skaftafellssýsla region in the form of old buildings, tools and equipment used at land and sea, crafts, books, manuscripts and documents.
We stop in briefly at the Museum of Transport to get a map, and then we head out onto the grounds, where we find the Skógar Church & the Skal Farm.
On our way, we see the landscape of Skógar with the Turf Farm in the foreground.
Consecrated in 1998, the Skógar Church at the Folk Museum boasts a new exterior, but inside it uses remnants of older churches, in the style that predominated Iceland from the Middle Ages to the 19th century. The windows are from the Church of Gröf, 1898. Bells date from 1600 and 1742.
All church furnishings date from the 17th and 18th centuries. It preserves the original interior of the church of Kálholt, built in 1879. The altarpiece is from Ásólfsskáli Church (1768) and chandeliers from Steinar Church and Skógar Church (16th century). (Pamphlet – Skógar Folk Museum).
The Farmhouse from Skál, Síða, was built in 1919-20; it was reconstructed at Skógar Museum in 1989. The house was lived in until 1970.
Baðstofa, the communal room where the household slept, ate and worked, was built over the cattle shed to benefit from the warmth of the animals. The kitchen and parlor are in the front section of the house. The storehouse, from Gröf, Skaftártunga, dates from about 1870 (Pamphlet – Skógar Folk Museum).
I love how the house takes up so little space yet offers community and warmth in this cold climate.
Inside Skal Farm
In the tool shed
kitchen in Skal farmhouse
through the doorways
The House of Holt was built entirely of driftwood in 1878 by the Regional Commissioner. It was the first timber house in Vestur-Skaftafellssýsla. The wall panels in the west room are from the wreck of the hospital ship St. Paul, from 1899. The house was lived in until 1974 and rebuilt at Skógar in 1980 (Pamphlet – Skógar Folk Museum).
The Schoolhouse is from Litli-Hvammur, Mýrdalur, built in 1901. It was reconstructed at Skógar in 1999-2000.
satchels inside the Old Schoohouse
inside the Old Schoolhouse
map in the Old Schoolhouse
satchels on the walls of the Old Schoolhouse
In the Turf Farmhouse, the parlor dates from 1896, bedroom from 1838, pantry from about 1850, kitchen from about 1880, baðstofa (communal room where the household slept, ate and worked) from 1895, storehouse from 1830, cattle shed from about 1880, smithy from about 1950 (Pamphlet – Skógar Folk Museum).
In these buildings, we can see how the people of Iceland lived in past times.
After the Turf Farm, we go into the Museum Building, opened in 1949. Its first permanent building was built in 1954-1955 and enlarged in 1989-1994. One man, Þórður Tómasson, collected the artifacts and the houses of the open-air museum over 75 years. Today, the museum has 15,000 regional folk craft artifacts exhibited in three museums and six historical buildings.
Bed-boards were first used in the 17th century. The board was placed at the side of the bed during the night. As beds were usually shared by more than one person, they were crowded, and the bed-board ensured that no one fell out of bed. In the communal living, sleeping and working room, there was no heating but body heat. During the day, the bed-board was removed and the bed was used as seating. Bed-boards were often carved with the owner’s initials, a date or a prayer, in ornamental “head lettering.”
In the museum’s Maritime Hall is the fishing boat Pétursey, built in 1855 and in use until 1946. The hull’s design conformed with conditions on the south coast: with no harbors or moorages, boats had to be launched straight out into the open waves of the ocean, beached on return.
On the north wall are various kinds of fishing gear, examples of how whalebone was used, and equipment for transporting the fish catch home from the shore.
In the south loft are large chests carved by renowned craftsman Ólafur Þórarinsson (1768-1840).
There are many displays of saddles, metalwork in brass and copper from riding gear.
The Natural History collection was donated by a private collector in Reykjavik and includes birds, eggs, insects, plants and rocks.
Since I was unable to get up close and personal to a puffin at Reynisfjara, I’m excited to find one here in the museum.
After our walk around this fantastic museum, we head to the waterfall Skógafoss, where we’ll find gold at the end of a rainbow. 🙂
Tuesday, August 23: After leaving the black sand beach and the puffin colony at Reynisfjara, and after stopping back in Vik so Mike can change his wet shoes, socks and jeans, we drive down Route 218 to visit Dyrhólaey, a rocky plateau with a huge stone sea arch.
A frigid and tempestuous wind nearly picks us up and carries us away when we get out of the car here. It’s not an atmosphere conducive to lingering.
We can’t stay long here anyway because I suddenly have the urge to pee and there isn’t a restroom to be found anywhere! It’s rather an emergency and I ask Mike to find me a hidden area where I can stop, but no place is hidden. Every possible stop is out in plain view. I tell him we’re going to have to go back up the road to look for a spot. It seems we are looking forever.
Finally, we find a dirt road and head down it. I can at least find a hiding place behind the big rock jutting up from the plain.
This is one of the big problems one encounters traveling in Iceland. Facilities are sparse. Though a gorgeous place to visit on holiday, the country is simply not equipped to handle the large numbers of tourists comfortably.
On this dirt road, we happen upon the cave Loftsalahellir, used for council meetings in saga times. However, we don’t climb up to it as we have a lot of other places we want to see today.
Some cows rumble by, mooing and heaving, as we make our way back to the Ring Road.
Back on the Ring Road, we continue west and pull off the main road to follow a 4.2km rutted dirt track (Route 221) to the Sólheimajökull glacier tongue. On the way, we spot a pretty rainbow over the desolate landscape.
We park in the crowded car park and begin our hike to the glacier tongue. We first wander through a mossy landscape and then pass groups of people gearing up to hike atop the glacier.
As we hike to the glacier, the fickle sky spits rain and then clears intermittently, offering a few rays of sunshine.
We see the glacier tongue ahead and though there are signs warning us not to go too close, we figure we’ll go as far as other people are going. Of course we won’t climb on the glacier itself because we haven’t signed up for a guided tour. I can’t help but wonder how the guides know with certainty about the safety of the glacier. It seems that the glaciers are alive, shifting and heaving, melting and changing. How can anyone know what is safe and what isn’t?
A beautiful canyon on the other side of the lagoon entices us, but there is no way to get to it. Sunlight paints the mossy mountainsides in glowing chartreuse.
We pass a guide instructing a group about safety measures as they gear up with helmets and other equipment.
If you look closely at the glacier in the photo below, you can see a couple groups of glacier walkers climbing the face.
I am always pretty cautious in places that having warning signs. The sign here reads: Warning: The glacier can be dangerous. Please do not go out onto the glacier without proper equipment and knowledge, preferably accompanied by a glacier guide.
I’m ready to stop right here, but we see other people going up to the glacier’s face and Mike wants to continue on. I follow hesitantly.
We get as close as we can to the glacier without going on it. We can see various groups of people climbing the glacier and on top of the glacier. Obviously, we could have signed up for a glacier walk, but we didn’t. Now, seeing hikers atop this towering glacier, I feel relieved we didn’t try to do this.
me at Sólheimajökull
Mike at Sólheimajökull
Sólheimajökull melts into a lagoon bounded by piles of rocks and black sand. We wander around, enjoying solid ground underfoot. I’m happy enough to stay earthbound.
As the sun comes out and the skies turn blue with smatterings of clouds, we make our way back to the car park.
In the car park, we eat a cheese and turkey sandwich for our lunch, and then we continue west on the Ring Road. Our next stop will be the Skógar Folk Museum.
Tuesday, August 23: We have an expansive breakfast at the Puffin Hotel and then take a walk down to the black sand beach, where we can see Vik’s iconic cluster of basalt sea stacks, Reynisdrangur.
Legend says that the stacks originated when two trolls dragged a three-masted ship to land unsuccessfully and when daylight broke they became needles of rock (Wikipedia: Reynisdrangar). Other legends say they’re trolls that got caught out in the sun (Lonely Planet Iceland).
The large ridge at the western end of the beach is Reynisfjall ridge, and though it’s possible to climb up to the top, we don’t do it, as we have a lot to squeeze in today.
We drive up to a hill overlooking the town, where we find Vik’s 1930s church, Vikurkirkja, and wonderful views of the town and Reynisfjall.
A fishing company started operations here in 1876, despite the difficulty in docking a boat since Vik has no harbor. The fishing operations died out mostly with the originators, but people did sail from Vik intermittently, well into the 20th century. In 1884 the first goods were shipped to the beach at Vik, marking the start of commerce. It became a certified market town in 1887. Eventually the town became the main point of commerce for Vestur-Skaftafellssýsla County.
In 1905, the town had 80 residents and new jobs were created. For the first time, the town had registered residents that included a teacher, organist, photographer, three cobblers, doctor, priest, magistrate, foreman, goldsmith, saddler and postman. Clearly the first two decades of the 20th century were a period of great improvement for the county. The Surgeon General of Iceland said that progress was “tearing everything apart at the seams” in the county. The slaughter of sheep started in Vik, the first two electric generators were built in the county and a phone was installed in the town.
During the 1920s, the town seemed to be filling with people and there were 317 residents by 1925. Residents then started to decline and the town started to make its name in Icelandic society as a sparse village whose population did not increase in proportion with national increases. Autos became more popular and by 1930, there were about 15-16 cars in the county, creating jobs in transporting people and fixing automobiles. The depression brought unemployment and lean times, although the tide turned by 1941. In 1941, the one shipping vessel was replaced with automobiles, as most of the largest waterways had been bridged.
Vik’s population reached its maximum in 1974 with 384 residents. In recent years, the population has been just under 300 people who work in a variety of jobs in industry, agriculture, health care, tourism and more.
After leaving Vikurkirkja, we drive along the west side of Reynisfjall ridge, where we see sheep dotting the hillsides.
We park at the black sand beach at Reynisfjara, where we can see in the distance one of the south coast’s most recognizable natural formations, the rocky plateau and stone sea arch at Dyrhólaey.
We walk in the direction of the sea stacks, where people are wandering about in droves near the stack of basalt columns that look like a church organ.
In the grassy areas above the sea columns and around the caves carved out of the cliffs, we can see the puffin colonies for which Vik is famous. In the following pictures, you can barely make out the white puffin dots in the green moss.
We love watching the puffins with their bright orange feet and their wings flapping like the first flights of the Wright brothers. I adore the puffins!
Some parts of the beach are black sand, while other parts are volcanic rock or pebbles.
We get another view of the iconic sea stacks Reynisdrangur from the west side.
The waves are inconsistent, some of them bursting surprisingly high on the shore. Mike warns a woman to move before she gets her feet soaked by a rogue wave. Then, while he’s focusing on taking a picture, a sprightly wave sweeps over his feet, soaking his shoes and the bottoms of his jeans.
We make our way back to the parking lot; Mike is now annoyed that he’s gotten his feet wet at the beginning of our day. We’re luckily not far from Vik, so we’ll have to head back to our hotel for him to change his socks, shoes and pants.
We walk a little to the west on the beach to get a view of Dyrhólaey.
As we’re driving north on Route 215, we make a quick stop at the little church of Reyniskirkja.
It doesn’t take long to get back to Vik, where we go into the hotel for Mike to change.
Monday, August 22: The final section of our 5.5km loop hike at Vatnajökull National Park takes us around the traditional turf-roofed farmhouse of Sel.
The farm Sel in Skaftafell was built in 1912 and is a good example of the farms in this area until the middle of 1900. Until 1974, the area was very isolated because of the glacier rivers on both sides. Therefore the inhabitants had to provide themselves with whatever was needed.
These houses, for example, are built from driftwood collected from the coast. The last residents in Sel were Ólöf Sigurðardóttir and her husband Runolfur Bjarnason, in 1946. The farm is now under protection of the National Museum of Iceland.
From the vantage point at Sel, we can see the huge Skeiðarársandur stretching endlessly to the ocean.
I love this photo of an Icelandic horse standing on a slope with the sandur sprawled out behind and beneath him.
We go into the farmhouse where we find beds and a stove. They’re no longer used today, but we can see how these hardy souls once lived.
bedroom in Sel
beds in Sel
Woodstove in Sel
We continue to follow the loop at Vatnajökull National Park, heading downhill all the way.
We cross a bridge over the river we had seen at the beginning of the hike and then get on the well-traveled trail.
Though it was tough climbing uphill at the beginning of the hike, I’m more wary heading downhill. It’s very steep and gravelly, and since I’ve taken many a tumble on steep slopes covered in gravel, I proceed with caution. Some areas luckily have rubber erosion matting, which helps me to keep my grip on the ground.
Below is a map of the national park.
I’m so happy to reach our car in the parking lot so I can finally sit down. I’m exhausted. Now we have a long drive ahead to Vik, where we’ll spend the night.
The Ring Road in this part of the country passes through some bizarre landscapes. There is a vast desert-like plain of black volcanic sand with tufts of grasses, the Mýrdalssandur, where material from the Mýrdalsjökull glacier has been deposited. Water from that glacier flows out to sea through this plain.
We also pass through an otherworldly landscape of rocks covered in a mossy brownish-green fuzz. We get out to take a picture, and the wind is so strong it nearly lifts us up and carries us out to sea!
mossy stones east of Vik
the moss – up close and personal
We pass through more endless sandy stretches with black rocks strewn haphazardly about. Finally, after what seems like a drive to the furthest isolated reaches of the world, we arrive at the very nondescript Hotel Puffin, right in the center of Vik. The wind is howling in this place!
Hotel Puffin is quite expensive and when we booked, the only room available was one with a terrace. Though we had thoughts of sitting on a terrace having a glass of wine an overlooking a nice scene, we were on the first floor and overlooked a trashy looking building and a garbage bin. No matter how we tried, we couldn’t get the terrace door open, so we finally gave up, knowing that it was too blustery and cold to use it anyway.
The rooms have an interesting volcanic pebble floor, which we haven’t seen in hotels elsewhere in Iceland.
After a bit of a rest, we head to dinner at Ströndin Bistro & Bar, which sits on the main road behind the N1 petrol station. The place is packed. Our waiter is Antonio, who hails from Germany but lived in New Zealand for 10 years; he now lives here in Vik. He is very helpful, trying to juggle a table of 10 and us; he seats us at the only empty table – for four – and asks if we would mind sharing a table with another couple; soon he brings a Swiss couple, Julie, a secretary for a law office, and Sebastian, a chemist. They speak French, as well as perfect English. They tell us that though some Swiss speak German, and they have studied German for 11 years, they still can’t speak it with other Swiss people. Because of the mountains separating communities, it’s easy to drive 100km and not be able to speak or understand the German spoken in the next town.
We so enjoy talking with these two. We ask them their thoughts about Brexit and they think it is the beginning of the EU’s dissolution. If Germany leaves, they say, it will fall apart. Poor countries like France, Spain, Greece, and Portugal are pulling the rich northern countries down. The Swiss voted down a referendum for more vacation time and the French didn’t understand it, they tell us. I love hearing the perspectives of people living in Europe just months before our looming election in November.
Our time here is the highlight of our day, a bit of warmth and social time to top off a long, cold and blustery day. I enjoy a wonderful dinner of Plokkfiskur með rúgbrauði, Icelandic Cod stew with potatoes and onions, served with rye bread and butter. Mike has Pönnusteikt Fagradalsbleikja með salati, bakaðri kartöflu og dillsinneps sósu, pan-fried Arctic char, served with baked potato, fresh salad and dill-mustard sauce.
Total steps today: 19,388 (8.22 miles). Only two full days left in Iceland, sadly.