Wednesday, August 24, 2011

We woke up earlier than normal today because we wanted to make breakfast in the geyser! We found that little one up above the park limit, so we brought our chocolate milk, water, oatmeal, and eggs up there to cook!! I accidently dropped the eggs just as we arrived, which broke three of them (duh!), but the other three went into my mesh dishbag and into the 100-degree water to cook. Darren tried to scramble the other three eggs in his cup, but it was too well insulated, so that didn’t work. The chocolate milk got so hot it started to boil, which made excellent hot chocolate, and the water got warm enough to make oatmeal as well! It was a pretty awesome way to make breakfast this morning!!

We returned to cam around 9:30 or so and after packing up our tent headed off to Skalholt, Iceland’s first Christian bishopric. For over 700 years, it was the theological powerhouse of the country because the farm’s owner, Gissur the White was a holy-man who lead the pro-Christians in 1000 AD. His son, Isleifur, was educated in Germany and was the first properly trained priest in Iceland, as well as became the first Bishop here in 1056. Eventually, the religious power-house was moved to Reykjavik and Skalholt was forgotten. In 1953 the wooden church that exists today was being built, and during construction, the foundations of many cathedrals that had burned down over the years were found.

Then, we continued on towards Stong, where there is located the Viking longhouse remnants. Stong was the farm of warrior-farmer Gaukur Trandilsson. Because this farm is at the base of Mt. Hekla, which is still one of the country’s most active volcanoes, this farm, as well as others in the valley were abandoned when the volcano erupted in 1104. It is neat to see how far back the Icelandic people can reconstruct their history through the use of volcano records and saga’s. A lot of their history isn’t an “educated guess” at all, but rather a detailed record of events! Kind of cool.

We decided to walk the 8km hike (one way) around a couple of mountain/hill things to see Iceland’s second highest waterfall, Halifoss. Unfortunately, the wind was unbelievable!! I don’t think I’ve ever experienced the continuous roaring of wind like this before! Wayyyyy worse than Lethbridge, that’s for sure!  It wasn’t super cold, but walking against these gale-force winds made it seem as though I was walking with tharabands on my ankles! We did make it to the falls, however! They are definitely beautiful, and it was great that there were no other tourists present! No one else is as crazy as we are, I suppose. It was also fun to walk over the hills with all the sheep! There are sheep just randomly roaming everywhere! Kinda funny to see them run away…I didn’t know sheep ran…anyway!

Both of us were definitely tired after our 16km hike in the wind! We drove with the idea of making it to Vic for this evening, but when we reached Hvolsvollur, we decided to stop for the night. Our criteria are a camp site and a pool…which exist in almost every little town we pass. This town has only 800 people in it! It was a lovely pool, with three hot tubs and a lane pool! We both did laundry and are now off to sleep! Yeah!

Night!

-Allison

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