Iceland 2016: Prepositions Abound

8 07 2016

Sunday, May 29, 2016

In and out. Up and down.  Under and through.  Around.  This is our day as we head out of the West Fjords and into northern Iceland.

But first, the glove.  Before leaving the hotel, David discovers that his glove is missing, somewhere on the path up to the waterfall from last night’s hike.  So Annalise and I decide to scamper up the hill and rescue it.  She scampers.  I trudge, stopping often to take in the view while surreptitiously taking a breather.  She is not fooled but graciously appears to take no notice.  Although we scan the ground carefully, we fail in our task and head back down.  It was worth a try.  At least we got in one more hike.

5-28-16 Hótel Laugarhóll hike (12)

I guess a fox got the glove…

Hólmavík is not far away, but due to our late start, it is almost noon.

5-29-16 Hólmavík (7)

So this is where the Smurfs live!

The Museum of Icelandic Sorcery & Witchcraft is open, even on a Sunday morning.  The building looks sketchy, but there is little else to do in this town, so we pay the entrance fee (2850 ISK…about $25 for the three of us) and go in.

5-29-16 Hólmavík (5)

 

A small museum, but interesting in its history of ancient lore, potions, and runes.  Looking back with our modern-day glasses, it’s laughable to think of the superstitions that people believed in, but understandable only in the context of the isolation, extreme geology and climate, and lack of education that the inhabitants of this area endured, even up through the 19th century.  Before leaving on this trip, I read a book by Halldór Laxness, the only Icelandic Nobel laureate, called Independent People, which gave me insight into life during these times.  Not for the faint of heart, mind, or strength.

5-29-16 Hólmavík

The harbor

 

 

 

5-29-16 Hólmavík (4)

After the museum, we pull out our food bags on a picnic table in a small park by the harbor.  I daresay I will not long remember a meal taken in a fast food restaurant, but I will never forget eating outside by a harbor, sitting on a grassy knoll on a small hill.

5-29-16 Hólmavík  (4)

 

Back in the car, we wind in and out of fjords, hugging the edge of the coast for the most part.  I never bore of the scenery and the road, though gravel at times, seems safe enough.

5-29-16 drive (4)

Typical driving conditions

We stop in Hvammsstangi to go through the Icelandic Seal Center.  We have some fun by the fish-drying racks outside.5-29-16 Hvammstangi (1)

5-29-16 Hvammstangi (7)

Dried fish, anyone?

 

The wool factory we went to three years ago was closed on this Sunday afternoon, so our entertainment options are limited.  We decide to take the long way around the Vatnsnes peninsula to see if we can spot some seals.

5-29-16 Vatnsnes peninsula (2)

Again, the scenery is spectacular, but the seals do not cooperate.  We round the peninsula without spotting a one.  We do spy a pretty awesome sheep-sorting pen.5-29-16 Vatnsnes peninsula sheep pen (3)

 

And Annalise gets to practice her  pseudo-yoga poses, so it isn’t a total wash.

We travel cautiously through one lane tunnels, watching for on-coming traffic and looking ahead for a pull-out.  Nothing like a one lane tunnel to raise your alertness level.

5-29-16 tunnel (2)

We end our day at the Guesthouse Hofsstaðir, where tomorrow’s breakfast will be one to remember.

5-29-16 Hofsstadir Guesthouse (14)

This is not our room.  But I wish it was.

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