http://fararidaper6.shutterfly.com/ A collection of pictures taken in Iceland.
Why Iceland you ask? Well Amanda wanted to go somewhere for her 30th birthday and for some crazy reason she picked Iceland. We could not wait till November for her actual birthday to go because the lack of daylight hours and it would be colder. (THANK YOU for deciding on September cause I really would hated going in November) So does anyone know anything about Iceland? I asked myself that before we left. The first thing I looked up was temperature. I am a fat kid that hates the cold! So according to my research it would be 40-50, with scattered showers. At first did not seem too bad, the thing is we had any AMAZING hot summer, I loved every minute of it, and I am wondering if it made the 45 degrees seem colder? So a few more facts about Iceland: population of about 318,000 people as of a 2010 estimate, with just less than 40,000 square miles of land make up the island. The official language is
Icelandic. They drive on the right and the main road it route 1 being about 800 miles long. This time of year they are 4 hours ahead of New York . This is about all that I really knew/looked up before our trip. I figured we could wing it and figure it out as we went. So our adventure begins:
September 8th: Sometimes I get such brilliant ideas, well at least I think they are at the time. I worked three 12 hour shifts and decided to stay awake Wed morning so I could get some stuff done, pack, visit a few people, and stay awake to able to sleep on the plane. Well I got busy and was getting very tired and had little time to pack. Eric got home about 2:30, showered we through some stuff in our suitcase and left to pick up Bill. Go to Rochester around 5:15. The airport was pretty much empty and we got to the gate super quick. We boarded the plane and we had the best stewardess EVER! You know how they have to go through the whole seatbelts, oxygen, and exit thing? Well she spiced it up ALOT.
“In case your plane should turn into a cruise ship, crab the floatation device located under your seat and start kicking. When you reach shore the floatation device will no be your compliments of USAir.”
We landed in Boston and met up with Amanda and got to meet Tim. When Tim saw Eric he said, “Hi bear fucker”. So the banter started! As we waited in the longest line ever, the computers were down for Icelandic Air and everything was done by hand, we watched some man shove both, yes both, fingers all the way up his nose and then continued to keep doing this and also digging in his ears from time to time. This entertained us for a bit, “The Double Barrel”. Finally got on the plane, was a little nervous about Bill not having a seat but all was good. While we were waiting for the last people to finish boarding Eric got a panic look in his eye and started sweating. Yup he BLEW up the bathroom before we took off. Poor Amanda she was very close to the bathroom door. As we were flying Amanda’s flight got worse. She got stuck next to a hoarding FREAK! She took up 2 seats with about 6 books and a stack of newspapers. She kept getting up to go to the bathroom, climbing over Amanda. Hey Amanda chime in anytime to let everyone know about the freak lady! So of course I did not sleep on the plane. We landed in Keflavick at about 0730.
September 9th: Thursday (day 1 in Iceland): We met up with Katherine (Bill, Eric and I never had met her before) We got all our bags and Bill had to go to the duty-free store, he is a vacation smoker. Amanda brought Blanche, Eric talked me out of bringing Ethel 😦 We decided to exchange money and Bill used the ATM, well he pulled out a little more than I think he wanted too. In Iceland they use the Krona. I still do not really understand this currency after using it for a week. I guess sometimes it is better not to know?!?!?
We found the thrifty rental car guy but had to wait the van was not big enough to take the 6 of us and 3 other people. We hung out on the floor with all of our bags waiting for a while. Bill and Eric found some wheelchairs to entertain themselves and we watched a guy take a part his bike, he must have been riding around Iceland on it, Really who does that? Ok the guy finally came back to get us and we loaded up to go the Thrifty place. Amanda was our primary driver and Katherine and I stepped up and said we would also drive. The boys just stood there (this seemed to be a common thing) they guy gave us keys to a minivan and the boys were suppose to load out bags into it. Well they just kind of stood there, so I had to go out and supervise, well the minivan was too small. He ended up giving us a bigger minivan, which was kind of cramped with all of our luggage but we managed. We got GPS, which turned out to be a great idea, not that there are many roads in Iceland but it helped in
Reykjaví and with finding hostels and “points of interest”. 0930 We headed out, Amanda driving and we were heading Southeast. The only plans we had were to stop in Vik to stay the night. Radio stations were slim, it was the navigators job to find something to listen to. So Amanda was driving with Bill in shotty. Eric, me, and Tim in the middle. Katherine in the back with the bags, seems like she was always back there. (SORRY Katherine 🙂 ) Just outside of the city we found an N1 (little did we know we would be seeing a lot of that place) I found some kind of sandwich and Pepsi max of lunch. Amanda got ham and cheese sandwich, which only had 1 slice of cheese and 1 slice of ham. Tim and Katherine got breakfast food and french fries. Bill got a Quizonos sub, with unwanted Mayo. I wanted Mayo so bad but could not find any for my sandwich so Bill asked for some on the side when they made his but it ended up on his sub. Eric got a Mountain Dew, I know big surprise! We walked back out to the car and saw our first Icelandic rainbow. Everything was so green and beauitful. We stopped at the first pull-off that we saw, it was so exciting and we did not want to miss anything. We opened the doors and the wind was whipping. This pull-off was a view of Sudurland. Our first group picture, oh how I love the tripod! We were so excited to see our first Waterfall,Seljalandsfoss. This waterfall is 60M tall and you can walk behind the falls, which makes it very popular. We parked the car and headed up to the Waterfall. It started pouring rain and was cold. We made the best of it and explored everything for a while. I was covered in mud, my UGG’s (AKA moccasins) and “trainers” were a mess! Back in the car and it stopped raining. For some reason I thought it would be ok if I drove now (yup, I had been awake since Tuesday at 1600 before work and it is now Thursday at noon). We saw a cave off the side of the road and decided to stop, well I thought it would be a brilliant idea to drive right up to it so we could put the tripod on the car for a picture. Well I scrapped the bottom of the car and of course had to listen to Eric and Bill pick on me. When we came out of the cave a bunch of cows surrounded us. They were coming from all over Back into the car, driving until we reached Skógafoss, which is probably Iceland’s most waterfall. It is also 60M tall and 25M wide. Along the side of this waterfall stairs to climb to the top, did I mention about a MILLION stairs. We all went to the top, Holly crap, I think Bill and I were on the verge of dying. We finally reached the top and were able to walk along the valley. Blanche came along too! Walking along we saw a tent camped out, all alone. Again Who does that? We walked a little more taking picture enjoying the view. At this point I was a done Tom Turkey. I could not walk another step. Tim and Amanda decided to keep walking to see what they could find.As we seat there we got jealous cause we thought just above the horizon there could be a glacier. Katherine wanted a snack and Bill saw sheep. We headed back down the MILLION stairs and waited for Tim and Amanda. When we got to the bottom we read the sign and saw that you would have to walk about 11 KM to reach the glacier. Oh thank god I did not keep going. Back in the car and continued on Route 1 with Katherine driving. We saw our first glacier, it was very exciting especially when Katherine realized that we were going to a real glacier. We looked around for a while. You can not climb on them on your own, at least it is not the smartest thing to do. At this point I am getting some energy back. We get back into the car and head towards Vik. Everyone is about done and just wants food and warm place to stay. The village of Vik is very small, about 300 inhabitants. We found a hotel, Hotel Edda. It was kind of expensive (i can’t remember what we paid) and we were not sure we wanted to pay that much but it had rooms available and we did not have to go anywhere else. We stayed in little cottages. Tim and Katherine wanted a nap before dinner, the restaurant did not open till 1800. So Amanda, Bill, Eric, and I got back into the car and Bill drove us 2 minutes to the beach. The beach is black with the Reynisdrangar, black basalt columns sculpted by the sea. In 1991, the American journal Islands Magazine counted this beach as one of the ten most beautiful beaches on Earth. The village is the wettest place in Iceland and I believe it! We walked around enjoying the beach and sand. The background looked like the scene from Goonies or Jurassic Park. I decided I was going to plant my/Janet’s letterbox here, I thought it would be a great place because it is popular due to the beach. I decided to hide it behind the Monument. We returned to our rooms and waited for Tim and Katherine. Well I laid down, BIG MISTAKE! At about 1900 Amanda knocked on our door and wondered what was going on. 1930 Tim and Katherine came over, their cottage was at the other end and they could not see the car so they thought we were still gone. Bill, Amanda, Tim and Katherine went to dinner. Not sure what went on at dinner just pizza eating and guy men with the wrong pizza?!?! I will have to have Amanda add what happened. Eric and I slept, I was so cold I had a bunch of clothes on and Amanda cranked the heat. I slept all night!
September 10th: Friday (Day 2 in Iceland) I woke up early, our room was so hot. I finally got out of bed around 0700, took a shower, and headed out for a walk. I walked back to the beach, the letterbox placement was bugging me. I know OCD. The village was so quiet, I loved it. I ended up moving the letterbox to a better hiding space, if you care check out my letterboxing page and it will tell you all about it. I walked back and everyone was starting to wake up. We met in the lobby and decided to look up hostels. We had planned to leave early and left about 1000 by the time we packed the car up. We went back to the beach for Tim and Katherine, to see. The night before when we went we ended up bringing back a bunch of black sand into our hotel room so Eric, Bill, and I decided not to go down to the beach this trip, we thought it might help with less sand in the car. Tim, Katherine, Amanda and Blanche went to the beach and we watched from above. As we were hanging out waiting there was a couple on the beach with a stroller. The man started to mess with a seagull, which appeared to be hurt, as it did not move away when they approached it. He ended up chasing the injured bird into the ocean. This did not seem like a good idea as the waves came crashing down on it oh and the man who pushed the bird in got wet from the water too. KARMA! As Bill was watching he was getting very angry and decided that we should push this mans baby in the ocean for revenge. The others came back up from the beach and we were telling them the bird/baby story as we left the beach to get gas. We decided that since the car had about 1/2 a tank we would fill up and that way everyone would pay and it should last us 6 days. Ok it took 5 of us to figure out how to pump gas. Eric was smart and went inside to get a drink. I put my credit card, the machine said that I had to put my pin number in. So that would not work, who wants to pay for a cash advance, not me! I then put my debt card in and decided to put 3000. So Amanda pumped the gas and it stopped at 3000, I turned the car on and it was only about 3/4 full. I put another 4000 and it stopped at 3100, so a total of 6100 Krona. Don’t ask cause I don’t know what that cost.
We headed out with Eric driving and me as navigator. When Eric drives he likes to drive. We ended up passing a few signs on the road and of course everyone gave him shit about it (well probably not Katherine and Tim). He did finally learn to start slowing down at signs so we cold say yeah or nah.We stopped at Laufskálavarda, which had a bunch of small rocks piled onto other rocks. Laufskalavarda means “the Cairns of Laufskalar”, this was a farm that was destroyed by one of the glacial burst (jökulhlaup in Icelandic) of the Mýrdalsjökull, the first after the human colonization (894 a.d.). Travellers use to put a stone on a cairn while passing this place to bring good luck on their journey.
Back in the minivan. During the ride they were telling us about dinner and Bill questioned why pizza came in inches in Europe. Everything else is in the metric system? HMM….. “I would like a 350mm pizza.” Ok, I guess you had to be there! As were driving we wanted to take our picture with a city with a huge name or very confusing Icelandic sign. We found a weird lowered circle in the ground with a skull in it. We came to Dverghamrar, which means dwarf cliffs. According to Icelandic saga trolls live in this small canyon. The trolls will come up again later, don’t worry Bill’s on it! We continued along and saw a waterfall, we could not really get to it as it was in someones back yard. We did see sheep in a large circle pen. Bill and Eric got out to check it out. Katherine said that she wondered why 1 of the sheep’s head was all red. Amanda and I began to share our knowledge of sheep that we had picked up in Ireland. We explained that it was spray paint and that the farmers did that so they would know who’s sheep is who’s. Well we were wrong, The boys got back in the car and told us it was blood. The sheep must have been fighting. So much for assuming we know everything. Back in the car. Next we stopped in Lakagígar. We found another waterfall that we could walk up to. Every time we get out of the car for some reason we all kind of go in different directions and end up seeing everything but just all retarded like?!?! Eric climbed the trail a little ways up and said it leaded away from the waterfall so we (me, Eric, and Bill) headed back. The others decided to keep going and walked to the top of the falls. Katherine got a sweet picture with Amanda and Tim on top with the 3 of us at the bottom. ( I will post later after I figure out how to make it bigger) Next we stopped at the grocery store. We bought a few things for lunch and we met some lady that was backpacking alone. She was wearing sandles, her feet must have been freezing. She gave us a map of an up coming park. We found an odd sculpture on the side of the road so we stopped. It was actually part of a bridge that was wiped out by water in 1996, it was Iceland’s longest bridge. We find Skaftafell National park, which is where the lady earlier gave us a broucher for. I was really excited because there is a letterbox planted here. The park offers a bunch of trails and varying lengths. The letterbox was on the shortest trail :), Skaftafellsjokull trail. When we got to the park it was raining and cold and we were all getting grumpy. We looked around in the visitors center, I found a book. 50 Crazy things to do in Iceland. As I flipped through this book I came upon the penis museum and other crazy things. I decided to put the book back as it was 2300 Krona. Bill and Eric found a movie about the park and were annoyed when Amanda “interrupted” to ask for change. Amanda and I got hot chocolate from the vending machine. We decided to eat some lunch before our hike. We set up on a picnic table at the park. Peanutbutter and Jelly sandwiches, chips, and oranges. Not just any chips, but Cool American and Doritos . We set out on the trail, I was in search for my first letterbox in Iceland. We find marker #4 and the large boulder to the left. We look all around the boulder. Everyone is looking till I find a tampon and a bunch us toilet paper. We gave up and kept going on our hike. I was bummed because every time I look for letterboxes internationally I am let down (Ireland). As we walk we find a glacier and explore for a while. This glacier is Vatnajökul, which means glacier of lakes. It is the largest glacier in Iceland, covering about 8% of the country. We decided, the girls, to stacks 6 rocks for luck. Of course we wanted to use big uneven rocks, that is where Bill comes into the picture, thank god for the engineer cause Amanda and I would probably have smashed toes. oh and I did add a tiny 7th rock for Blanche! It is actually starting to warm up a little and it quit raining. Back in the car and I am sure Katherine was eating a banana. We come along to lake Jökulsárlón, which is filled with icebergs from the Breôamerkurjökull glacier. There were small boat tours around the icebergs, I wanted to go but no one else seemed to interested?!?! We went into the cafe/gift shop. I got a hot chocolate with captain (my first alcohol in Iceland) and Amanda downed a piece of apple pie, yup this to will come up again. We are back in the car trying to get to Höfn to stay the night. Amanda is driving and sees an injured bird in the road. We had to turn around and save the bird. Oh and she is wearing my gloves and yup Bill is in a T-shirt. We arrive in Höfn and find the hostel, Nýibær. We get a 6 bed room. BUNKBEDS! We unload the car and decide to go to dinner. We find only 2 restaurants in the whole town, 1 looked very fancy so we went with the pizza place called Víkin. They were watching the Simpsons. Eric, Bill, and I ordered pizza and cheesebread, yum! Amanda got a salad. Tim got a burger. I am sorry but I do not remember what Katherine got. We also had our first Icelandic beerViking. I know the glass reads Tuborg but it was Viking. We sat at dinner for at least 2 hours, meals take a long time in Europe. I wish I could remember the exact topic of conversation at dinner cause I know it was funny but I have the memory the size of a gummy bear! We walked back to the room and I ALMOST stayed in. Amanda,Bill, and Eric talked me into going out with them. We walked back to the restaurant because that is the only bar in town. No one was there so we decided to walk around town. The same car passed us like 3 times with a chick driving. She asked Eric 2 different times if he had a cigarette. We walked back to Víkin and ordered some drinks. The locals started to show up now (0000) the 4 of us sat and talked about pooping in a pizza box and how pierced nipples causes edema. The boys went out to smoke and met some locals. The guys they met were young and crazy. They were all excited that we were from New York. They kept refering to everything as Grand Theft Auto and then they thought we were from Buffalo. Until Amanda decided to tell them that her and I were from Canada, eh! I am not sure what that was aboot but I went along with it. Until 1 of the girls asked if we spoke french and Amanda told her no. (which was a good thing, cause we would have had no clue if they started speaking french to us, but what Canadian does not know french? The 1 guy was really funny but kept telling us that they all sucked cock and went on and on about sucking cock, weird! There was a bouncer at the place and our new friend told us a story about him. He told us that everyone calls him waterhead cause he got all messed up on drugs one night and started to run towards the capital to go out. He passed out, someone picked him and up saved his life and he has never been the same since. Some more locals were coming over to talk with us, but I have a tendency to be a little stand-off ish. For some reason I was sitting with my hand up under my nose. They guy asked if I thought he smelled and then he left. Opps, I guess I can look like a bitch. Anyways we hung out and another guy came over and started picking on one of his friends calling him a crow. I could not stop laughing and became in a much better mood. It was so funny. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8FGCQRTjMw ok this is good as I could find. The bar closed at 0300 and we were invited back to an after hours party at someone’s house. The bar cleared out and we decided to go back to the room cause we knew we needed to get going early. (I do believe this is everyones biggest regret of the trip, not going to the house party for atleast 1 drink. Lesson learned: just go and you have the rest of your life to sleep) Oh and for some reason we did not take any pictures while we were out, also bummed about that. Back to the room about 0330, Bill waiting before coming in, he snores so loud. He wanted to give us a head start at sleeping. Amanda, Eric, and I kept giggling. Bill came into the room and was drinking Amanda’s water like he was never going to be able to get water again. ha ha, Amanda was trying to charge her phone in the drak so I thought I would help out by using my camera flash. Let me also remind you that Katherine and Tim were sleeping, well until we got there.
September 11, 2010: Saturday (day 3 in Iceland) Up and car packed by 0930. Eric found a King of hearts card in his sweatshirt sleeve from the night before, really weird. Katherine driving. Amanda told me I looked like a lumberjack, you will see why later. We continued on Rt 1, the Ring Road. Amanda took a nap in the back We made a few stops, nothing memory lasting. We found a small fishing village Djúpivogur, the grocery store and gas station was only open limited hours: I do not know Icelandic but I would guess it says Mon-Thur 17-18, Fri 18-19, and Sat closed. WTF, where are we. The village was cute, like a post card. We found a store that was open. Found a must needed Pepsi Max (no diet pepsi anywhere), Mountain Dew for Eric, and probably more bananas. We walked into an old museum/store. We found the weirdest thing. A large troll doll with baby trolls attached to its nipples, yup nipples! We (amanda & I ) wanted it but it was like 5600 Krona or some crazy thing. Back in the car, heading on Rt 1, I hear the into to Zac Brown Band Chicken Fried, got really excited everything had been techno remix stuff. Well the song was in another languge, so crazy. If I ever become computer smart I will post a video of our drive with the song playing. We drove along the ocean, the problem was it was too foggy to see anything so we cruised along. The fog started to lift and we saw the ocean, a must stop! Mushrooms. We had GPS so it took us on a gravel/stone Rt 1. We were a little nervous at first. ————— was the road symbol on the map. We started heading up a rather large hill. When we got to the top we had an amazing view. Back in the car. Hey Sheep on the side of the road, yup still exciting. We stopped cause Bill wanted to touch one without horns. Amanda has a video of the boys making sheep noises (yes I will post if I can ever figure it out) Amanda farted at this time and Eric blamed it on the sheep, she did claim it. We made it to ____________________ (ha ha can’t remember the name of the city) we stopped at the visitors center to figure out where to go next. We went to the grocery store for lunch, I found the 50 crazy things to do in Iceland book again, it was a sign and I had to buy it. We didnt find much and decided to go across the street to a restaurant for lunch. I had a grilled chicken sandwich and french fries, pretty good. For some reason the french fries were great everytime. I wanted to see Puffin, but we thought we might be able to see them in Husavik so we kept going. We found hot springs: Námafjall. It was smelly but cool. Back in the car looking for a big crater. We found Kröflustöd and ended up taking a very long old volcano walk before our walk. After our walk. No luck finding the crater. Back in the car and up the road a few minutes, yup there it is about 100 ft from the parking lot. Oh well we got our exercise earlier. Back in the car it is now almost 1900. We found a natural bath on our route. We were so excited. We grabbed our bathing suits and went in. The water was about 100 degrees celsius. The air was so cold, it sucked to get in and out of the pool. You had to go inside to get beer. What a downer. We think we saw people having sex in there, gross for us. We stayed for about 2.5 hours. This was probably my favorite thing we did in Iceland, I was actually warm! Left just before 2200 and found a guest house in Egilsstadir. We had 2 person rooms, unpacked the car and went to look for food. EVERYTHING was closing. They went back to the guest house and made Peanutbutter and jelly sandwiches. Eric and I went to look for a bar. NO LUCK 😦 we ate Pringles and went to bed at 2300.
September 12, 2010: Sunday (day 4 Iceland) Woke up in the morning to breakfast, it was included. Breakfast in Europe is very different. Meat, cheese, tomatoes, peppers, fish. I had some peanutbutter toast and juice. I met 3 nurses from Saudi Arabia, they had been this for the past 20 years and loved it. They said it was 130 degrees when they left to come to Iceland. I thought we had a big temp difference. On the road again…. I was driving and in charge. I was trying to get everyone on the same page: gas, food, drinks, bathroom all in 1 stop. Cruising down gravel roads at about 150 km, opps max speed 90km/hr. We are on our way to Husavik to go whale watching and see some puffins. We get there about 1100, and the whale watching leaves at 1300. The guy at the whale watching booth tells us that there are no puffins, they have left for the season. We go into the whale museum and learn whale facts: The blue whale calf consumes about 240 liters of milk per day. Gray whales often mate with a thrid party that props the female against the mating male. Ok I have to do it sorry but I sure do love green porno http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-zJ1hGm-F8 Whales produce greasy tears to be able to open their eyes underwater without their eyes stinging. Blue whales eat up to 4 tons of Krill and plankton a day which equivalent to an African elephant.
Walk down to the penis museum(which i have been talking about since I found that book) I did have a feeling we might not be able to get in as it closes in Sept and def on Sundays and Mondays. Well it was a Sunday. We walk up to the door, I give it a tug, it’s locked 😦 There is a sign to call the creator for special hours, I am super stoked and want to go looking for a phone then all of a sudden a man opens the door and lets us look around, he made my day!!! http://www.phallus.is/ Justin Timberlake penis head. There are more pictures from the penis museum on the shutterfly site , you know you wanna look.http://fararidaper6.shutterfly.com/ Went to the N1 for food. Fried hotdogs with cheese, yuck! Quick lunch for everyone we were running out of time. To the boat at 1300 for our 3 hour tour. I had reservations about going, many many years ago I went and got so sea sick and have never forgotten. We boarded the boat and it was getting cold fast! I took ginger tablets (my new BFF on trips) and ate ginger snaps. Did I mention I did not really want to do this whale watching cause the last time I went whale watching it did not go well. I thought I would give it another chance. I did not get sick but did feel a little nauseated. It was cold FREEZING! The boys went to the top of the boat to check things out so we followed for a little bit. We looked forever and finally saw a pod of harbor porpoise (http://www.acsonline.org/factpack/HarborPorpoise.htm) and a couple of Minke whales.( http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/whales/species/Minke.shtml) This is about the best picture a “whales”. Bill asked the lady on the tour if there were some retarded puffins that do not leave. She said no, they all leave within a few days of each other. I am so pissed about not being able to see puffin I decided that I was going to eat the shit out of puffin as soon as I had the chance. (until now I had been up in the air about trying puffin cause they looked so cute)
We were freezing so we went into a small resturant that we had walked out of earlier due to lack of time before the boat left. It was a cute little place where we got drinks and ordered a reindeer paté for the table to share. Ok the first small bite was tolerable. After that it reminded me of Spam. Not sure if it was the texture but I did not like it, not sure anyone else really did either as there was a piece left. Back in the car and we drove to Akeureyrí. We found a hostel, Stórholt. For some reason I did not take a picture of this hostel. We stayed in 3 bed rooms. Unloaded the car and went looking for dinner. We drive down the street to a restaurant walked in and sat down. We looked at the menu and decided that the majority of us wanted pizza so we decided to get up and leave and go to Dominos. We ordered a bunch of pizza and cheesy bread sticks and went to an N1 and got beer which tasted like can and was like drinking NA beer, very little alcohol. Went back to the hostel to eat in the community room. We were kind of loud while we watched some MTV like channel about some anorexic US actress. We got back in the car and drove out of the city so there would be no light polution to look for the Northern lights. No luck! Amanda with her spelunking light. Back to the room and went to bed earlier.
September 13, 2010: Monday (Day 5 in Iceland) Got up packed the car, some of us had left over pizza for breakfast. Back to N1 for gas and drinks. We saw a weird bird sign the night before and wanted to take a picture of it but there was a hitchhiker in front of it this morning. Amanda was driving and felt bad because we could not fit him in our car so she would not drive to the sign so we could take a picture. Bill did take a picture of the hitchhiker and the bird sign in the background from the car. We drove down the road to a park, which had a letterbox in it 🙂 The park was Kjarnaskógur. We parked the car and followed the clues to find the Akeuryrí troll. The stamp was hand carved and flippin sweet looking, enough to get Amanda interested. At this park there was a bunch of fun things to play on. Bill and Eric found a teeter toter. Bill is a little heavier than Eric so it was a little unbalanced. Then of course Amanda and I had to try. When we were getting off , Bill was helping Amanda and holding the tire. I thought I could jump off at the same time. Well it did not work out so well. I slipped and turned up side down, I could not hold on any longer and fell to my back. It was funny, I wish I could have watched it from the sidelines. Then onto a “pipeline” We crossed a small roped bridge found a slide, which Eric and I did not have luck going down. Amanda went head first and was cruising, dirty coat and all. Not to sure what to say about this: We had fun in this park, it was like we were again! Back in the car 😦 Drove for a while and found a rest area weird grass roof. Back in the car driving along looking for something to do. We found a Viking “hang out”. There was a bunch of games the Viking us to play set up on the side of the road. we played bowling then found Hnefatafl, which we had no idea what it was Eric and Bill played Knattleirkr Then we found some boulders to show off our muscles We played around some more: Back in the car drove till we found an N1 and got some ham, cheese, and pepperoni for lunch. We were now hooked on paprika chips, they are tasty. We decided to stay in Borganes, we found a hostel. We got a 4 bed room and a 2 bed room, Eric took one for the team and stayed with snoring Bill. Headed to the Viking museum paid about 40 Krona a piece and walked around for about an hour listening to headphones about a Viking family. I think only Bill liked the museum. We walked around the village, this is the best thing we found! Looking at the maps to figure out what to do next. It was early so we got in the car and drove west out of Borganes to look for a letterbox, Washingtonains in Iceland(if you care it is on the letterbox page). Thanks to Bill for looking so hard to find the box. We stayed and watched the sunset. Back to Borganes and looking for some dinner. Eric found restaurant. Not sure of the name of it but the food was hot and they had beer. I ordered noodle soup and chicken Curry The lady did not want to sell me both. The soup had an egg in it, weird but it was so good withouth the egg, just like Romen noodles. Eric got a Bud, it’s born on date was July 2009. It was the only 1 that they had. We ate and took a couple of beers back to the room. I read from my nook and to bed early yet again.
September 14, 2010: Tuesday (Day 6 in Iceland) Got up early and began driving yet again. Since we were so close to Reykavick we decided to head back around to the south to see Geiser. On the way there we see a park þingvellir, which is the has the mid Atlantic ridge and once home to parliament. It was cold and windy. We found another letterbox, thanks to Amanda this time. It was hidden very well. Back in the car We stopped at N1 again to get some lunch stuff Tim found some Pussy and Amanda found apple pie We didn’t wanna go back out in the wind so we enterained ourselves in the store. We ate our new fav: ham, cheese, and pepperoni sandwiches and papkria chips. Back in the car and we finally found a Geiser. It is so windy and we walk up to the geiser and got to see it erupt about 4 times. So how Amanda set up the tripod and it took our picture when the geiser erupted, What are the odds? I wish I could explain how windy it was. Iceland is one of the windiest places in the world. Back in the car rather quickly as we were pushed back into the car by the wind. We headed to another waterfall since we were so close. Gullfoss, may be Iceland’s most popular waterfall. The problem was that we seen a lot of waterfalls by then and we were cold from the wind and light rain. We did not explore much. In the 50 crazy things to do in Iceland book we saw mud baths. We typed the Spa name into the GPS and we were on our way. The wind was still very crazy. Amanda and I went in to check it out. It was 5000 Korna a person and it lasted about 30 minutes. We then asked what we would wear into the tubs. NAKED, in a large room with 4 tubs filled with mud. Well of course Amanda and I were in. Katherine and Tim not so much and Bill and Eric had to think about it. Well the 4 of us decided to go. This is us before we all have to see each other naked. This is the best picture I could find that described our experience. We had to change in the locker room and walk down this hallway in a towel. We dropped of our nice towels in a room with 4 beds. The boys went first and got into the shower, there were 4 separate showers. Then Amanda and I took our showers and got in the tubs. Then man had to push us down into the mud, it was so thick and warm. We hung out in the tub for about 15 minutes. We all started to get out, it was very hard to get out of the mud. Eric just shared with me that his balls got stuck in the mud and made a suction noise when they broke free. Back to the shower to wash off and then into the room with beds. The towels to the beds were really tiny! When we got in that room he wrapped us in blankets, like a burritos. Bill took forever to get in that room, he said he kept finding mud in his crevasses. The guy tucked us all in tight, turned the lights down and put on some gay music. Then the boys went to the pool, they went in both the inside and outside pool. Who goes swimming outside in hurricane forced winds?
You guess it, back in the car. We were almost to Reykjavik to realized that we were not able to find the Mario brothers green moss since the 1rst and 2nd day. Eric was driving and pulled off on the “highway”, probably not the smartest move. but we were able to put our toes in the moss, and yes it felt as good as it looked but it sure was cold. Ok finally in Reykajvik. We find a hostel with a great location. We were able to get three double rooms. 1 of the rooms had a private bathroom. We decided to play rock, paper, scissors for the better room, it was a 3 way competition. Amanda,Eric, and Katherine competed in the hallway on the 1st floor of the hostel. Ok so Amanda won. The view from my room: I asked the lady at the desk a bunch of questions: where to eat, ice bar, internet, bars. She recommended some good things. We unpacked the car for our last night. Got changed and went out for the night. We went to dinner at the Tapas bar. It is a spanished style resturant/bar with Icelandic meals. We all got a few different things and just shared. smoked puffin with blueberry brennavin sause. lobster tail baked in garlic. pan-fried monkish in lobster sauce. grilled icelandic lamb samfaina. minke whale in cranberry sauce. Icelandic sea-trout with pepper salsa. chocolate cake with berry compoté and whipped cream. The puffin was served cold, not sure anyone really liked it. The Minke whale was not so good. We also had a beef and lamb. We had a fun dinner and drinks. Sorry I am not as good as Katherine cause i do not remember what I orded exactly. Can you believe Eric actually tried puffin and minke whale? This is HUGE for him. Some more drinks Ok food in our bellies and now to find some fun. We head out towards the bars We went for the Ice bar first, which was actually smart. So we get there and it closes at 10pm. It was about 9:45. We paid 20Krona to get in and do a shot of Brennavin. So we grab a “parkas” and headed in. Ok so this icebar was ghetto! That’s ok though,we made the most of it: Ok onto the Irish pub, can’t go wrong with that. Ahh Amanda and I are missing Erica 😦 A “band” starts to play, they were really funny and pretty good. The one guy talked with us for a bit. Logan always takes the hear no,see no, speak no evil pose on his travels, so I wannted to do this. I came up with a contest. We needed to fill the car up before turning it in, everyone already paid once. So the last person to get their picture taken with 2 complete strangers doing the pose had to buy the last gas. I was first (found people when I came up with the idea) Ok, one of my guys 1/2 assed it! Then Amanda got hers done I was making Eric step up cause I didnt wanna pay his Bill was trying now but of course Bill being Bill had to challenge the rules. for some reason he did not get in the picture. Then he did with a bunch of people Time Vs. Katherine now Ok for some reason Katherine did not do the pose?!?! But she did get her picture taken with 2 strangers, good Job! Ok I take it back she did get the job done. Tim lost! stink knuckles! Guiness stashes. On to Bill and Eric picking on Katherine and Tim. On to the next place. Leaving the bar so we mooned to guys, guessed we wanted to share the cheeseburgers with Iceland. We were out till about 1 am when the bars closed. Katherine does not drink so she drove us out of the city to look for the northern lights. Poor Katherine, a bunch of drunks in the mini van eating potato chips. We did not end up seeing anything except for Katherine getting pulled over. The cop, stuck his head in the car, smelled the alcohol and realized she was driving a bunch of drunk Americans around that were leaving in the morning so he left us alone.
September 16, 2010 (last day in Iceland): Got up paked the car back up and hung out in the lobby for a minute looking for something to do. I was out voted. I wanted to go to Blue Lagoon and everyone else wanted to explore the city. The bathroom at our hostel. We headed back to where we were last night. We found some stores to buy a few things and of course vicking helmets. Walking around getting cold, it was really windy. We found a restaurant, finally soup that is not mushroom or Icelandic fish well it tasted like tomato sauce but it was warm and the bread was good. Of course we got french fries, so some reason they were so good Iceland. Back walking not much but stores and wind. There was some sweet graffiti: We decided to walk back to the car we got back to the car and we had a ticket. Typed in the GPS, mot much to do in limited time and everyone was getting cold and cranky. One last stop: we decided to just go to the airport early and get checked in. actually had a few hours to waste, we ate and hung out. Boarded the plane 5pm Iceland time. Katherine was on a different flight to NYC. We had to wait to board. Ha ha Amanda had crazy lady bathroom issues. Bill then got stuck talking to the crazy bathroom lady. We were in the back row except for Tim. Bill was snoring, it was kind of funny. I read cause I am a dumbass who did not bring headphones. It was rather annoying being in the back cause people were “hanging” out near the bathroom. It was about a 5 hour flight to Boston. Got to Boston a limited time and seperated from Amanda and Tim as they headed to BWI and us to Rochester. Our flight to Rochester was only about an hour, Bill’s bag made it and ours didn’t. Eric and I got into a fight in the about the sirus radio, poor Bill. Finally home about 2am. Bags came Thursday afternoon.