Reykjavik, Hveragerði, Eyrarbakki
Arriving on the bus from Þorlakshöfn, we walked back to Anna's flat via
Hallgrímskirkja, buying some food on the way. By the time we'd showered
and gone shopping for maps and stamps and other stuff, the cafe kitchens
were shut, so we ended up cooking ourselves - couscous + corned beef +
sauce was surprisingly good. At 11pm, the cars were bumper to bumper
in the street outside - apparently cruising the
city centre is the trendy thing to do on a weekend night.
Monday 25th August
Jón Gunnar Árnason's Sun Craft
the "Viking ship" sculpture
Camilla went off to find a laundromat - which turned into a bit of an
epic - while I tried to ring the car rental company. Eventually the
car person turned up at the flat and once we'd found the car it was all
arranged in under ten minutes - we sat together in the car and filled
out one form, I was given the keys, and hey presto! I could return the
car by leaving it in the same area, with the keys under the mat - and
if I could ring to tell them exactly where it was, "that would be nice".
I had my Heimaey photos burnt to CD and Camilla rang home,
then we bought more food and went to the Kringlan shopping centre to get
a fuel cylinder for my stove. Camilla started off driving, but I soon
got my first experience of driving on the wrong (right) side of the road.
We had lunch by the Sun Craft ship sculpture (apparently the most
photographed sculpture in Reykjavik, but there weren't a lot of tourists
there), picked up our laundry, and we were finally out of Reykavik and
away on the ring road at 1pm - it was 18 degrees and a lovely day.
Our first stop was in Hveragerði, where we went through the town to the
Gufudalur geothermal area. The first big geysir we came to was dormant,
but as we were driving along one went off just beside the road, giving
us a perfect view of everything - the seething and sloshing water, the
bubble, the eruption, and the after-bursts - though all I managed to
photograph was one of the latter. We waited around for twenty minutes
hoping for another eruption, without luck - we'd obviously been lucky.
Our next stop was Selfoss, where we had coffee and cake and I sent off
a cyber-postcard from an Internet cafe. Then we went looking for the
Flói Nature Reserve.
Getting a bit lost, we drove across the mouth of the Ölfusá estuary and
back, and ended up visiting Eyrarbakki, a peaceful little town on the
coast. This has some attractive old houses, one of which, just known
as "the House at Eyrarbakki", was imported in kit form in 1765 and is
among the oldest buildings in Iceland. It now contains the Árnessyla
Folk Museum, and there's a Maritime Museum next door.
The off-shore skerries host many birds.
We then drove into the Flói Nature Reserve and walked out to the edge
of the estuary. We were wearing long trousers/skirt and unprepared for
the flat, grassy, and waterlogged terrain. The whooping swans could be
seen - and heard! - all the way across the estuary, but we didn't see
a lot of birds otherwise. On the way back to the main road we drove
past horses and sheep.
bridge over the Þjórsa
long shadows at 8.15pm
It was getting late, but plans to hot-foot it to Skógar without stopping
were thwarted by such superb evening light that we simply had to stop
and take photos: the church at Selfoss, a bridge over the Þjórsa, views
of the icecap, and more.
Next: Seljalandsfoss, Skógar, Skógafoss
Previous: Heimaey - museums, views
[Alternative spellings: Jon Gunnar Arnason, Hveragerdi, Floi, Thjorsa]