As we got ready to leave Victoria we had to make a couple of stops. One at Mom and Dad’s just to say goodbye and to borrow their key to the old house.Continue reading “More Goodbyes”
Our friends asked if we wanted to go camping with them. We agreed to go because we have never been before and it sounded fun.
The first place they took us was the Girdwood Forest Fair. There people with flowers in their hair, people all dressed up and even pirates singing. We thought this place was pretty cool. As you follow the trails through the forest you will find all kind of booths. There was really a lot of people though.
Then we stopped for a nice brew at Girdwood Brewery.
We found a nice place to camp by a pond. The camper was really comfortable and scenery was nice.
I got to play with the twins. That was lot of fun. They are really cute.
The next morning we packed up after breakfast. This camping stuff is fun. I hope they invite us again.
We will say Good-Bye for now and hope to see you soon.
Well this is our last day before we head home to Alaska. We enjoyed a couple of breweries, met a new friend, Donbird, went looking at the boats and had one last meal with our friends the Crewdsons.
We know this adventure is coming to an end but are sure we will have many more great times with the Crewdsons.
We decided to just hang out in Reykjavik today because we hadn’t really checked the town or the breweries out yet.
Our first stop was the Bryggjan Brugghus Bistro & Brewery. We met Arturo Santoni a Brewmaster from Argentina who gave us a tour of the most beautiful brewery we’ve ever seen. We then enjoyed a flight of the their beers which we really enjoyed. Sorry guys we couldn’t bring any back because the liquor store we stopped out didn’t carry any. We will check at duty free on our way out though. Arturo even gave us a sample of his red ale with cherries and coriander. That was our favorite. When we told him that he gave me a cap.
To Fred I think these people started with a little more than 5000 pounds since they have only been open for two years.
Then we looked at some of the boats and the ducks with one duckling in the harbor.
We then stopped at the Sun Voyager to take a couple of photos.
Then we were off to meet Alyson Hartwig the brewer at RVK Brewing Company. Alyson is an American from Colorado. They are not open to the public yet but if you contact them you can go for a tour. We really enjoyed her beers. I think she will really make a name for this place in the future, so be watching for her.
We did find some interesting buildings today.
We then went to eat at Le Bistro. We ate here our first night but couldn’t remember the name or where it was. At that time I had some wonderful mussels and David had a very nice lamb shank. They had an Icelandic sampler that we wanted to try. We had the goat’s cheese, carmalized onions and dried apricots baked in a filo pastry served with beetroot and a French vinaigrette. This was very nice. Then we had the Icelandic sampler which was black pudding made with lamb, pickled herring, smoked salmon, dried cod, smoked lamb, dark rye bread, rotten shark and a shot of Brennivin.
Kæstur hákarl or Rotten Shark is a national dish of Iceland consisting of a Greenland shark or other sleeper shark which has been cured with a particular fermentation process and hung to dry for four to five months. Kæstur hákarl has a strong ammonia-rich smell and fishy taste. Kæstur hákarl is readily available in Icelandic stores and is eaten year-round, but is also served as part of a þorramatur, a selection of traditional Icelandic food served at þorrablót in midwinter.
I was also told that the reason the shark has to fermented is because it is full of toxins. The ammonia smell is because it looses its urine through its skin. The closer the skin the worse the smell. We didn’t think it was as bad as everyone said but the waitress told us this is because it was not from close to the skin.
We highly recommend this restaurant if you ever get to Iceland.
Our last day was a nice relaxing day. Now time to start getting packed for our trip back to Alaska.
Another rainy day but that won’t stop us. We are off on another road trip. First stop is to find the brewery, but first we had to take pictures of this cool car, an Opel. It has been parked on the road that we park on and thought some of our friends, Fred and Dan, might like to see it.
We went through the tunnel once again. We stopped at this beautiful river by Fossatun. Fossatún is a settlement located on the banks of the river Grímsá in Borgarfjörður along route 50, just 90 km from Reykjavík. The area is known for its beautiful surroundings and there are many marked hiking paths to enjoy the sites. There is supposed to be a beautiful waterfall a short hike but the bugs were terrible, so we didn’t go. You can’t miss the place because of the huge troll face along side the entrance.
As we were standing on the bridge taking photos of the river a tractor came by pulling a trailer full of sheep. I hope they were moving them to another field but I think they may have been going to the slaughter house. I think they knew what was going on because of all the baaing.
We found the brewery but it didn’t open for another hour so we found a small road that looped around. We decided to take that and found Deildartunguhver Hot Springs. This was well worth the side trip.
Situated on a beautiful farm, Deildartunguhver is the largest and most powerful hot spring in Europe with a flow rate of 180 litres (50 gallons) of water per second at a piping hot 97°C (200°F). The scalding water bubbles out of an algae covered rocky outcrop creating a steamy source of power.
Most of the water heating homes and businesses in the towns of Borgarnes and Akranes comes from Deildartunguhver. It travels through a 64 kilometre (40 mi) pipeline, the longest of its kind in Iceland. So, if you take a shower anywhere within a 65 km radius of Deildartunguhver, you have already bathed in the hot water from this powerful spring!
They have a hot tub and huge greenhouse. It cost about $40 to go to the very fancy hot pool. They sell tomatoes for 300 Krona or $2.84 that were grown in their greenhouse.
Now it was time to head back to the brewery. On the way we crossed this very narrow bridge. It was really cool to drive across.
We made it back to Stedji Brewery which is not hard to find due to the big beer bottle at the entrance. We went in the tap-room and there was only one other couple in there. They were from Kentucky and they had rented a camper to travel around in for 2 weeks. They were coming to an end of their trip. Then another couple came in from Dallas, Texas of all places. They were leaving when we were on July 4th. They both got good deals with WOW airlines, so it might be worth checking into.
Anyway back to the brewery. The are located on a farm named Stedji, Anvil, this is where the name came from for the brewery. We had a flight of 5 beers which were all very nice. Then one of the owners came out and said you have to try this one. We brew it with whale testicles which are smoked in sheep dung. David and I, of course, said bring it on. We loved it. He brought out another one which was not smoked, though good we preferred the first one. Don’t worry we are bringing back a couple of bottles of the first one to share with the Midnight Sun Beer Tasting Society. I think my 50 pounds of beer is growing.
Here are a couple more tractors for Fred and Dan to check out. Fred maybe you can get Sam to pull the one. The other one looks like you should race it.
We decided to take some back roads on the way back to Reydjavik, so we headed to Geitland Nature Reserve. I am not sure why they call it a nature reserve because it is really barren, but the glacier is there. We did take a wrong turn but it did look like the main road. I found out where the huge buses go now, to the glacier. We drove to where they start but couldn’t go any farther. If you look close at the one photo that just looks like snow go uphill you will see one of the buses stopped. David went in the shop to check where we were. He pointed on the map to the road we were on the guy says, “Your not lost, you know exactly where you are.”
I decided to let the Flat Ole Hippies go play in the snow. I figure it is all rocks so it will be easy going. Then I stepped off a larger rock on the gravel and my toes went into the mud. No big deal I will wash them off in the small puddle over there. Then the whole top of my foot was covered in mud. I decide that was not a good idea and just kept my foot muddy.
Our next stop was Pringvellir, where we walked up to Öxarárfoss waterfall along the fault lines. The waterfall was stunning. You could see this wonderful green color in part of it.
I did get my feed washed at the waterfall because I found a place I could get in. I wanted David to join me for a footy picture but he said no, so we found another place. Of course, his idea did make for a better photo.
Now it was time to head back home. We could see it looked like it was trying to break up over Reykjavik.
Next stop was downtown to find some food. Driving in circles trying to find a place to park we realized it is Saturday night. We drove past this huge screen outside where people were watching the World Cup. We actually drove past it several times as we were making our circle. I guess it wasn’t actually a circle because we kept hitting one ways that were going the wrong way. We finally found a spot by the harbor.
Not far from where we parked we could see a place that looked more our style than the fancy ones around. It was call Reykjavik Fish Restaurant. The fish was great.
With our bellies full we headed back to the apartment and to bed thinking about our next adventure.
We set off with our friends this morning heading for the Golden Circle again. It was rainy and very foggy.
David and Cindy actually knew where they were going because we ended up at the Geyser.
After we checked that out we went into the shop and we got to drive a tractor around the store. That was pretty cool.
Next stop was Gullfoss Waterfall. It was huge and fast. It was the most amazing waterfall we had ever seen.
Our next stop was very disappointing to us. It was Fontana Geothermal Baths and we were not allowed in. They said we would fall apart if we went in the warm water. They even said our colors would run. We did get to look at it though.
To make up for it though we got some nice beer at the brewery.
After that we were all pretty beat because we started off early this morning. We can’t wait to see where they take us tomorrow.
Well we started off today turning right and heading out in the right direction. We got a lot earlier start today. The fog was really bad most of the way out. We couldn’t see any of the scenery it was so bad. We made it to the Geysers a little before 10. David wasn’t that impressed by it. I think it was better last time I was there, maybe because it was winter.
A favorite stop along the Golden Circle is the highly active Geysir Hot Spring Area with boiling mud pits, exploding geysers and the lively Strokkur which spouts water 30 metres (100 ft) into the air every few minutes. The newly opened Geysir Center offers exhibits and informative presentations year round. Geysir Hot Spring Area is one of the most popular tourist stops in Iceland.
The geothermal field is believed to have a surface area of approximately 3 km². Most of the springs are aligned along a 100m wide strip of land running in the same direction as the tectonic lines in the area, from south to southwest. The strip is 500m long and culminates near what once was the seat of the lords of Haukadalur.
The area became active more than 1000 years ago and comprises more than a dozen hot water blow holes. Although the geyser is less active these days, it did lend its name to hot springs all over the world. It was the first geyser described in a printed source and the first known to modern Europeans.
We found this tractor inside the visitor center and store. I had to take a picture of it for Fred and Dan, my son in law. They both like the old tractors.
After grabbing an ice cream cone, which I had been wanting for days, we headed off to the Gullfoss Waterfall. When we arrived there was the best tourist bus I had ever seen.
Gullfoss (“Golden Falls”) is a waterfall located in the canyon of Hvítá river in southwest Iceland.
Gullfoss is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Iceland. The wide Hvítá river rushes southward, and about a kilometre above the falls it turns sharply to the right and flows down into a wide curved three-step “staircase” and then abruptly plunges in two stages (11 metres or 36 feet, and 21 metres or 69 feet) into a crevice 32 metres (105 ft) deep. The crevice, about 20 metres (66 ft) wide and 2.5 kilometres (1.6 mi) in length, extends perpendicular to the flow of the river. The average amount of water running down the waterfall is 140 cubic metres (4,900 cu ft) per second in the summer and 80 cubic metres (2,800 cu ft) per second in the winter. The highest flood measured was 2,000 cubic metres (71,000 cu ft) per second.
As one first approaches the falls, the edge is obscured from view, so that it appears that the river simply vanishes into the earth.
During the first half of the 20th century and some years into the late 20th century, there was much speculation about using Gullfoss to generate electricity. During this period, the waterfall was rented indirectly by its owners, Tómas Tómasson and Halldór Halldórsson, to foreign investors. However, the investors’ attempts were unsuccessful, partly due to lack of money. The waterfall was later sold to the state of Iceland, and is now protected.
Sigríður Tómasdóttir, the daughter of Tómas Tómasson, was determined to preserve the waterfall’s condition and even threatened to throw herself down it. Although it is widely believed, the very popular story that Sigríður saved the waterfall from exploitation is untrue. A stone memorial to Sigriður, located above the falls, depicts her profile.
The weather was rainy today, so the photos do not do the Gullfoss justice. David says it is world class.