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27 September 2013 @ 12:44 am
Time to Hit the Road! - Day 7 in Iceland  
Sunday morning, bright and early, I went down to the car rental place and both got the car insured with pretty much every insurance option offered and got switched into the most wee little Volkswagon you have ever seen, all under the supervision of a much more competent car rental dude. Yay!

I hit the road only about 45 minutes later than planned and shortly was in Borgarnes, where there is a Settlement Center museum. They had an exhibit on the settling of the region and another on Egil's Saga, but it was really just an audio tour of an often hokey series of dioramas, so that was a little disappointing. The most interesting part was a great big (8'x6'?) 3-D map of Iceland where you pushed buttons and little lights lit up showing the location of various early farms. Other than that... yeah, any traveler with a good knowledge of the history of Iceland could probably skip the $18 admission and not really miss much.

I had planned on stopping in Borg to see the Rock in the Marshes and the runestone, but I didn't have really good directions and by the time I realized I'd missed the turn, I thought I did not have enough time to go back and still make my afternoon appointment, so I pressed on to Reykholt and Snorrastofa, a museum dedicated to Snorri Sturlson. Unfortunately, this museum was full of disappointments as well, in part because it was largely pictures and text with only very few artifacts but mostly because they had wifi and this was where I discovered that, despite an appointment I had confirmed repeatedly, the guide who was to meet me at Eirikstadir (one of the places I had MOST wanted to see and so made special arrangements to visit) had bailed on me with like three hours notice. So sad and upsetting. :( At this point, it was too late to go back to Borg, but I completely would have had enough time to backtrack if I had known earlier that the dude was going to flake out on me. I tried calling him to let him know that I was already en route, but he didn't answer the call or the email I sent. (He never did bother to follow up further, even later on, so I was quite miffed.)  I tried to stifle my disappointment and to just enjoy the stop at Reykholt, but there was not much to see, other than Snorri's bathing pool, the oldest man-made feature in Iceland. The pool is fed by a hot spring just up the hill and the little door behind the pool is a modern cover to a passageway that led to the pool from the fortified house that used to top the hill.

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I had some lunch and then just tried to relax and enjoy the drive to Akureyri.The weather was overcast, but the scenery en route was lovely. Something about the "sharp" mountains on the right in particular did it for me. :)

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I got to the hostel earlier than I had planned, so spent a (very short) while wandering all three blocks of the Akureyri downtown and purchasing some postcards and stamps. Holy moley were postcards pricey! I seriously trimmed my mailing list and only bought one sheet of postcard stamps, since the stamps alone were almost $25 for ten!


It turned out that, other than the scenery, dinner was the highlight for the day. I went to a local restaurant and and splurged on WHALE. It ended up tasting like a very slightly fishy but super tender steak. The salad bar was also a welcome treat, as crunchy veggies had been in short supply.

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After dinner, I wandered back to the hostel and chatted with some fellows down in the pub. I had a half pint of Gull, one of the local beers, that just convinced me that I really don't like lagers, regardless of where int he world I might be. The Germans were were hanging out with were not terribly social, oddly enough, but I got on well with one of the other guys, a Brit who was working in the local geothermal plant. Eventually, we decided to go for an ice cream at a place purported to have the best ice cream in Iceland. It was made from milk instead of cream and was unusually solid for a soft-serve extruded ice cream. It was tasty and perhaps the best ice cream in Iceland, but Babcock Hall ice cream would really give it a run for its money, but then, I'm a spoiled Dairy State girl. :P After the bedtime treat, I washed up and hit the hay early so as to be ready for a full day of adventuring on Monday.
 
 
 
Ulfhildryuri_shoujo on September 29th, 2013 03:42 am (UTC)
Ah! Whale is so weird. You're right though, fishy beef is the best way to describe it. :)