Old Forge York Tap Room

I didn’t have to cook dinner Friday night, so David and I decided to go out for dinner. We had seen a Tap Room when we went to the Fig and Barrel when we first got here.

We arrived around 6:30 and were greated by a warm and cozy room. The waiter was the best. There was a really good choice of beer.

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Day 3 Brewery, Geitland Nature Reserve and Pringvellir

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.

https://guidetoiceland.is/connect-with-locals/jorunnsg/ingvellir-national-park

 

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.

 

 

 

Day 2 in Scotland

Armed with a piece of paper that M wrote down all the places she had planned for us to go see today we headed out.

First stop was Glen Ord distillery where we planned to go on a tour but the next one was a tasting one which was 18 quid.  We thought that a little pricey, we just went through the museum which was just our price, FREE.

Glen Ord is a whisky distillery in the Scottish Highlands and is the only remaining single malt scotch whisky distillery on the Black Isle. Its principal product is an eponymous 12-year-old single malt whisky. The distillery won awards for the best single malt at the International Wine and Spirit Competition in 1994 and 1996

The distillery is off the A832 at Muir of Ord, 15 miles west of Inverness.

https://www.malts.com/en-gb/distilleries/glen-ord/

Our next stop was Rogie Falls.  I really enjoyed the nice, easy walk to the falls.  We walked across the suspension bridge.  There was a couple with a small dog, who was scared to death on the bridge.  The poor dog just laid there shaking. I thought the bridge was way cool.

I read that you can see the salmon leaping up the falls in August and September.  Just like at home in Alaska. The falls flows from slopes of Ben Wyvis. The falls are really worth seeing if you are in the area.

https://scotland.forestry.gov.uk/visit/rogie-falls

Here I also discovered that the men stopped talking as much when they are walking and enjoying the nature. I hope M plans more trips with a little walking in nature, so I can get some peace.

Next stop was Ullapool where you can get the best fish and chips. Ullapool is a small, quaint fishing village which has many things going for it; like hillwalking, nature, and beautiful views.  You can also take the ferry to Stornoway.

http://www.ullapool.com/

Seaforth Bar & Restaurant is the place to go for fish and chips.  Don’t go into the fancy bar and restaurant just go to the chippy that is on one side of it.  They are always busy, but the make the fish fresh and it is wonderful.  There is nothing like chips from a chippy shop. The chippy has won all kinds of awards.  Sit at the picnic tables outside and enjoy the sea air.

https://www.theseaforth.com/

After stuffing ourselves on the great fish and chips we started off to Achmelvich beach.  Now is time for taking pictures out of a moving car.  Fred did actually stop once for a photo op.

Achmelvich Beach is a stunning, white sandy beach with a popular caravan and camping spot nearby. A popular spot with water skiers, windsurfers and kayakers, Achmelvich is a bustling beach during the summer months. Dogs are not permitted on the beach during the peak tourist season and neither of the camping and caravan sites allow dogs. The unique morphology of the area, means there are many nearby walks and climbs, including the famous Suilven, for those interested in hiking. The beach is popular with fishers with cod, haddock, whiting, pollack, saithe and mackerel being common catches.

The sand reminded me of where we I grew up on Padre Island in Texas.  I just love the sea and beach. I think they are so peaceful.  We went early enough in the season that there was not many people there which was really nice.

We did make one more stop on our way back to the Byre. We stopped at Ardvreck Castle and Calda House.

Ardvreck Castle was built by the Macleod Clan in the fifteenth century on a promontory of land that juts into Loch Assynt. It witnessed regular local clan warfare throughout its history but it became infamous for its role in national events in 1650 when James Graham, Marquis of Montrose was betrayed there and handed over to his Covenanter enemies.

http://www.castlesfortsbattles.co.uk/highland/ardvreck_castle.html

Calda House
The second MacKenzie of Assynt , Kenneth, was persuaded by his wife to abandon the austerity and discomfort of Ardvrek in favor a new house at nearby Calda. Begun in 1726 it was the first classical style house in the northwest highlands and at that time would have been very grand indeed.

Amid mounting debts the luxury loving Mackenzies were forced to put their grand house up for sale and a struggle for control of Assynt now ensued between the MacKenzie Earl of Seaforth and the Earl of Sutherland. In 1736 some MacKenzie supporters deliberately torched Calda House to prevent it ever being used by the Sutherlands!

 

Now it was getting late, so it was a fast trip back to the Byre.  M says she has to stay home for the business and Sam, the great dane, but I believe it is because she wants peace and quiet.  David and Fred have not stopped talking since the have met.  Good thing I raised 5 kids because I can tune them out.