Finding the Real Iceland

It’s been too long since I updated my blog, but I have been doing an excellent job of updating my personal and blog Facebook pagesTwitter, Instagram (esmith7273) and Untappd. I’m going to pick up here were I left off in the last post, which was after my first two days in Iceland.

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Views from Perlan

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The Saga Museum

The second two days in Iceland were as amazing as the first two. Before leaving Reykjavik, I had the opportunity to visit the building known as Perlan, which is located on a hill just south of downtown. It’s observation deck provided views over the city’s colorful roofs and beautiful harbor. It also house the excellent Saga Museum, which told, in gruesome detail much of Iceland’s tumultuous history.

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The Settlement Museum, Borgarnes

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Pasta and Fresh Shrimp

Leaving Reykjavik, I headed north toward the evening’s destination, the quaint little town of Borgarnes. Once there, I made it a point to head on over to the excellent Settlement Museum, one I had heard quite a bit about, and for good reason, as both sections of it were exceptional. I also had an excellent meal in the attached restaurant, which had come highly recommended. The history of the Icelandic Sagas is fascinating, and something I intended to do a couple longer posts about later.

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Borgarnes at Dusk (945pm in April)

I was charmed by Borgarnes. I had a nice long stroll around the city on the cold but pleasant evening.

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Loving Icelandic skies

The next morning, I hit the road for the part of my time in Iceland I had most looked forward to, driving around the Snaefellanes Peninsula. I saw the 60 mile long peninsula referred to as “Iceland in miniature”, as in the small space area contained many of the things that Iceland is known for.

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On top of Helgafell

I drove up and over the mountains (icy and a tad harrowing in such a small car) so that I could start the drive on the peninsula’s north side. My first stop was just outside of Stykkishólmur, to climb Helgafell, a mountain said to have mysterious powers. It is said that if you hike up the mountain with out speaking or looking back that you will be granted 3 wishes, which you are to pick at the top, and never tell anyone. I did as I was supposed to, and was also treated to fantastic views from the top.

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Stykkisholmur Harbour

Afterwards, I drove into Stykkishólmur itself, and climbed to the top of Súgandisey, a large volcanic rock near the mouth of the harbor from more outstanding views of the city and Breiðafjörður, the bay that runs along the peninsula’s north side.

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Inside the museum at the Bjarnarhöfn

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Shark meat in the ‘drying barn’

I carried on west to the Bjarnarhöfn, a working farm where much of Iceland’s infamous fermented shark is prepared for market. I’d tried hákarl, as it’s called a few days previous in Reykjavik, and had been wanted to see this site in hopes it might explain why they eat something my palate (and brain) had such a tough time coming to turns with. The woman running the museum was a delight, as was it’s vast collection of varying artifacts, and the drying barn was interesting, but it didn’t do anything to change my opinion of the ammonia-smelling meat.

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Majestic Snæfellsjökull

I carried on around the rest of the peninsula, always with Snæfellsjökull, the dramatic peak that dominates the peninsula’s western tip. I passed through more pretty small towns and saw some drop dead gorgeous views, but I’m going to need to save some of the day’s excitement for the post-trip daily recaps (that hopefully don’t take me 9 months to write like the one from the New Zealand trip did).

 

Again the reminder to follow all of my social media sites as I’m actually doing quite well in keeping those updated.

6 Responses to “Finding the Real Iceland”

  1. Kris Koeller says:

    Looks like a great trip!

  2. ellevvvlist says:

    Erik these photos are incredible! I am so proud of you for getting out there and traveling so much lately. You are truly living your dreams. Good on ya buddy!

    And yea…. did you try the shark??

  3. So did you try any shark meat? 🙂

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