Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Tour of Iceland - Part I

I joined an OAT tour to Iceland with Tom, Janice, and Janet from Oct 5 - 15. The tour focused on the East, north, and south coast, starting from Reykjavik.  "vik" means Bay.  Later we went to Davik in the north where we did whale watching.  We did lodging in four cities:

Reykjavik, Stykkisholmur (on the Snaefellsnes peninsula), Akurevri (the second largest region) in the north, Selfoss in the south, and finally returned to Reykjavik.
The day we arrived Reykjavik was windy and rainy.  But Tom, Janet and I followed our tour guide John Spencer to take a bus tour toward downtown in the rain.  A few picture I took showed rain drops covering the view.
The new performing art center at the water front: Harpa concert house:
 Old settlement house:
 Square in front of the city hall where the "pot and pans" revolution took place:
 City Hall:
The second day we drove along the coast north bound to the Snaefellsnes peninsula, and pass the agricultural land of the country:

 The first time I heard "Texas marshmallow" used to describe the hay stacks in the field:
A wonderful rainbow accompanied our bus for a while!
The first fall we stopped by to see is the Lava Fall:
They say if you want to understand Icelanders, we first have to learn their Sagas.  Iceland is famous for its Sagas.   Snorri Sturluson, born in 1179 and died in 1240 was an Icelandic historian, poet, and politician. He was elected twice as law speaker at the Icelandic parliament.  He was believed to be the author of the Egil Saga.  We visited where Snorri used to live and the (thermo) pool he used to sit by and ponder:

A museum of Snorri.  A statue of Snorri is shown on the right.

A Hobbit house and two lambs are also seen on the ground:

All day long, we saw broad sky and wide land, fields and farms, Texas marshmallows, horses, sheep, lonely, lonely ranches.....but hardly any people!

Egil, a main saga character is deeply entrenched inside the psyche of Icelandic men - A murderer and a poet, strong on the outside but fragile on the inside.
We had a picnic outside the little museum.  Tom and Janet took a walk of the little town, while I went to take a picture of the above sculpture overlooking the bay where supposedly Egil and his nanny jumped into to escape.
We were able to see some more scenery of the peninsula, and paid a visit to a shark processing farm in Bjarnarhofn,  before checking in our hotel in Stykkisholmur.

Shark meat being cured.

Fresh sharp meat is poisonous with high urea and ammonia, and had to be buried in ice for a period of time.  The cured shark meat is consumed with vodka or rye bread.  It is more tolerable to me when consumed with rye bread.

Our hotel in Stykkisholmur sits on a hill facing an interesting church and the bay:

~~~~To be continued~~~

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