Rainy, windy day today as we completed our circumnavigation of Iceland. Our guest house tonight is in Porlakshofn. This is an interesting word, as the first letter is not in our alphabet. In Icelandic it looks like a strange “p” but it’s pronounced “th” like in “the”.
We had lunch pretty late.
After lunch views:
As we approached Reykjavik, we entered our final tunnel. This one was only 5 kilometers long, and it had two lanes:
This is our guest house in Porlakscofn. Since we had eaten lunch so late, we didn’t feel like dinner, so we walked to a nearby restaurant for dessert. On the way, we captured this rainbow, which was the perfect end to our trip.
Looking ahead to tomorrow’s breakfast, Jay asked the restaurant if we could buy 4 eggs for breakfast. They had local, farm-fresh eggs and since they were small, they GAVE us 6 eggs!
We’re remaining in Grundarfjordur again tonight, so today was a trip around the Snaefellsnes Peninsula.
Here are morning sights. We started so early that even the sea gulls were still sleeping!
I think this is our first breakfast on the road:
Continuing westward on the peninsula, we had more interesting views…The ship’s shore excursion missed this Maritime Museum, which I really loved:
The reconstructed turf house was last lived in 1942, and we were even able to go inside to see how the kitchen and bedroom would have looked like.
There was a replica fish house where the catch of the day would have been hung to dry. And there was an 8-oared boat built in 1826.
Outside, Jay found a set of lifting stones. You may recall that this was how it was determined if you were fit to work on a fishing boat. If you qualified, you were paid more for the heavier rocks you could handle.
The following is a place (Djupalonssandiur) Terri and I visited from the cruise ship. I knew Jay would love it and he was sick for that shore excursion.
We searched for the perfect “beach pearls”. You can tell I’m more discriminating than Jay.
The rusted bits are pieces of a trawler shipwrecked in 1947. The winter storms have broken it apart and washed pieces way inland.
More lifting stones and a very cold ocean:
After lunch sights:
We stopped to see the Black Church, which Terri and I had seen on the cruise’s shore excursion. It was closed, so we just walked around outside and through the cemetery.
From the Black Church we could see Bjarnarfoss in the distance so we had to go closer to explore it:
We have not been following Icelandic tradition of taking hot baths so we went to this carbonated geothermal pool:
More sights returning to town…
We had dinner at Grundarfoss, just a little east of town. By now, the Icelandic winds were roaring and we didn’t make the hike up to the waterfall…
The next two blogs may be delayed as Day 10 takes us back past Reykjavík, where we need to repack for the flight home on Day 11.
Life is such an adventure!
It was still rainy this morning, and the “gravel” road out to the street was really only dirt because this is a new development. The van slid backwards in the mud, and we got stuck. The construction workers across the way were on coffee break and we couldn’t reach the landlady by phone, so we started walking to town.
Fortunately, we met a lady taking her daughter to soccer practice and she spoke very good English. She called the tow truck for us and waited with us until he came so she could explain our situation to him in Icelandic. Here’s the documentation of our first two hours this morning:
After the rescue, we realized that we had left our food in that nice, large refrigerator back at the room. No way were we going back to risk getting stuck a second time… That would be just too embarrassing!
With all the excitement, I still didn’t get any outside photos of the town, but we finally set off (still in the rain) for Grundarfjordur.
Morning shots… Notice the roadside portapotties are chained down so you can’t steal them!
And the old photo above shows that Henry Ford was here! The bridge, called “Cat’s Arch”, was originally a road for horse-drawn carts and since 1930 it’s been used for motorized travel until the modern road was built.
More of the morning… This church was built in 1880, but it replaced earlier churches on the same spot. The oldest was built in 1002!
We’ve really been lucky with the weather, but here’s proof that it DOES rain in Iceland during the summer:
Today’s lunch stop:
Finally, the sun began to return:
We reached Grundarfjordur around 4 pm:
This is another port our cruise visited, but Jay was sick and missed the shore excursion, so we’ll plan to recreate it for him. There’s not time tonight, so after checking in at the guest house, we just drove along the north side of the peninsula.
We had dinner at the church below, before returning to the Old Post Office Guest House! The wide waterfall at the right below is very near our town, and it’s called Kinkjufellasfoss.
We’ll check out the rest of the peninsula tomorrow.
We deviated a little from the Ring Road again as we headed from Husavik to Hvammstangi (another town I can’t pronounce).
Here are sights between Husavik and Akureyi.
We stopped in Akureyi, which was one of the stops on our cruise. It sure looked strange to see a large ship where our pretty little ship had docked. Visited a few shops, including a nice knit store. Here we found relatives of Aunty Wooly from the Ball n Skein in Cambria!
More views along the way.
Lunch at the next town. Notice Jay’s new knit puffin hat? He got that at the knit shop in Akureyi.
These deviations from the Ring Road add interesting attractions, but they also make for long days!
Today was a day of tunnels! There’s a sign here that means (roughly) a one lane road with areas to pull over to let oncoming cars pass! Some of these one-lane tunnels were a little scary!
Once the tunnels were finished, we had pretty dreary weather:
Let me explain the wrapping of the haybales… The hay (or grass?) is rolled, rather than baled into rectangles. Then it’s wrapped in plastic to keep for use during the winter. The standard plastic wrap is white, but there are alternate colors. We were told pink is for “girls” and blue is for “boys”. Apparently, part of the proceeds from the pink wraps goes to breast cancer, and the proceeds from the blue ones goes to a men’s charity. In this part of the country, we’ve also seen green, yellow and black and I don’t know what those mean.
Then, a quick do-it-yourself carwash…
We booked a one bedroom condo for tonight – wow! A real refrigerator, a real stove, and lots of space. It’s rainy and foggy, so not many outside photos of this town. But here are views from the front of the condo, and inside, including dinner.
Today we stayed in Husavik.
However, we had an early morning upset — AT&T cut off our e-mail. It’s very frustrating to try to fix something like that from overseas — especially when the “chat” function isn’t working because it’s the middle of the night at home.