Sunday, August 28, 2011

We woke up this morning to rain on the tent, which never makes me happy!! Thankfully, it didn’t last long and almost as we were done packing up the tent, it had finished! Yeah!! We made breakfast in the cooking tent at the campsite, which was a welcome bonus.

We headed off to see some more of the sights around the lake…Starting with Dimmuborgir, which means “black castles”. This area has huge pillars of volcanic rock, some as high as 20 meters tall. They’ve done an excellent job of renewing the vegetation, so there are trees and grasses growing around the pillars. There was a cool hole in the wall as well as the most know structure called Kirkjan (the church). This one is a three-pillared cave that is supposed to be reminiscent of a gothic cathedral. It was cool and the walk was lovely – we didn’t even get lost in the maze of rock!

Then it was off to Hverfell, a 1000 meter wide crater that was formed from an eruption 2500 years ago! We followed the path up to the rim of the crater. It kind of looked like a big football stadium on the inside. We didn’t walk all the way around the rim because it was quite windy…and after a while a rock is a rock! The views of the lake from up top were excellent, however!

Another site was the hot underground spring of Grjotagja. Underneath a crack in the rock is a steaming pool. Our travel book here says not to go in it because it is way too hot…but as to Icelandic safety – they don’t say anything at the site about it being too hot. I think their view on safety here is that if people are dumb enough to do it, then they deserve it! It is kind of refreshing to not have signs and warnings everywhere!

We then stopped off for some ice cream in a restaurant called the “Cowshed Café”. The restaurant shares a wall with the cows, so as we sat at the table we could see into the cow stalls (through glass, of course!). We had the most expensive ice cream I have ever had in my life – I can’t even say the price – but it was good. Icelandic ice cream is supposed to be special or something, so I’ll chalk it up to “an experience”! 

Then we headed off in the car to Husavik because the whale watching is supposed to be excellent from here because it is located in a bay. We found a company that is supposed to be good, but they told us that the morning boat saw 3 whales and a dolphin! Hard to justify that when it costs almost 90$ and the weather was crappy! I felt bad because I know Darren really wanted to go see whales, but at that price, with those numbers, it just didn’t make any sense! It was going to be especially hard for me to swallow after whale watching with mom and dad last year in Victoria where we saw over 100 whales! It is a bad time of year to see whales and puffins! Too bad.

We decided to head off to Akureyri where we had an action-packed evening. Because it was Sunday night, there wasn’t a lot going on in terms of shops being open or anything. However, while Darren had a nap in the car I did a little poking around and I found the movie theatre, free internet at a book store, and the church! So after an awesome dinner of Sheppard’s pie (à la Allison!), we headed off to see Larry Crowne with Julia Roberts and Tom Hanks at the movie theatre – we were two of 6 people in the theatre! It was fun. Then, there was an ‘open Church service’ at the church here that I dragged Darren to. Unfortunately, there was no speaking…just the Church being open. I wanted to go to a service in Icelandic just for the experience, but no such luck! We then hung out in the book/coffee shop for a couple of hours checking up on e-mails and all that good stuff!



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