Friday, August 31, 2007

Iceland, The Director's Cut - Day 7

Akureyri was the biggest city we'd been in since Reykjavik, so after breakfast and checkout there was but one thing to do -- buy souvenirs! Oh, there also happened to be the largest souvenir store in Iceland down the road from the hotel.

Funny thing about Iceland is that everything is expensive. Because, you know, it's ICELAND. What I love though, is that the souvenirs, hand-made in Iceland, are cheaper outside of Iceland. Regardless, I picked up some stuff. Who doesn't need more shot glasses?

The tourist drag is actually pretty cool. A large blue Parisian cafe with castle-like turrets, and other cool buildings.

We were off, a few hundred clicks to go, and not a whole bunch in between.

Except a turf village from the late 1800's. Low-built homes and buildings, covered in grass. Some were moved to this spot to recreate the village, others were here originally. However, the museums of old farm implements didn't interest us, so we moved on.

A turf church warranted a brief stop, then a monument to a poet who moved to Canada, then a stop for ice cream, and another quick shot of another nifty church.

And then a series of craters, a small one, a larger one, and other than the view, less impressive than the ones we'd see a few days earlier. You see, we were doing the standard tour in reverse, so where this may have impressed us if we'd seen it first, it paled in comparison to the sights we'd seen already. Although it was more than a few stairs to make it to the top. Including one broken step that will undoubtedly cause a broken leg at some point.

Our destination was Borgarnes, a short jaunt from Reykjavik, but before we got there, a few more sights had to be seen. We drove to the most powerful hot spring in the world. It's an impressive description for a large rock shooting out steam and water, being tapped by a geothermal power company and sent off to the capitol. Although we were able to buy some hydroponic tomatoes.

And then - Reykholt. This was the home of Snorri Sturluson. Considered on of Iceland's greatest statesmen and poets, he lived in the 12th century, and served twice as lawspeaker. His old stomping grounds now house a hotel, library, churches, and research area. It's considered one of the most important historical spots in Iceland. Still there is Snorri's old thermal bath. A shallow pool with hot-spring water piped in via a stone channelway. He got there from his house via an underground tunnel, the same tunnel he was assassinated in.

We walked the grounds, took some pictures, and continued on. There was one last waterfall worth seeing, but the prospect of another 100km round trip lots its appeal as the sun began to set. Instead, we continued on to Borgarnes, found our hotel (which was conveniently located past the town), and settled in to watch a killer sunset over the golf course. Did I mention that there are a bunch of courses in Iceland? Shame that I don't golf.

1 comment:

Michael Albert said...

A great series of posts -- was wondering when you were going to get around to mentioning how expensive Iceland is!