June 30, 2009
As all four of us were sleeping in the same hut, we all got up at the same time. Rather than going to the kitchen for breakfast, we just made tea in the hut and had some granola bars. We were on the road by 8:30 am, heading for Reykjavík.
The temperature was fairly warm but the skies were overcast and periodically throughout the day we drove through rain showers. At times we had lovely views of waterfalls and of the various glaciers. Our first stop was at Vík, where we drove down towards the point where there was a black sand beach. We stayed for a while to walk on the beach and watch the puffins and the waves, then continued our journey.
Next stop was the waterfall Skógafoss, where we stopped just long enough to take some photos. We had seen so many great waterfalls that another one just didn’t seem to matter.
Earlier in the morning we had been driving across endless gravel flats and lava fields, but now we were into farm country. Lunch time was approaching so we stopped in Hvolsvöllur. Looking around for a place to eat, we stumbled upon the Saga Centre, which had a couple of picnic tables outside.
After we had finished our lunch we went into the museum. It was mostly devoted to Njáls Saga, which is perhaps the most famous of the Icelandic sagas, and it was very interesting. Njáls Saga is a long and complicated story, so it took the museum thirty displays to go through a summary of it, along with accompanying exhibits. We got audio guides which read us the English version of the summary. It was really quite well done.
From there we drove all the way back to Reykjavík. It was amazing how many cars there were along this section of the ring road. The closer we got to the city, the busier the roads got. Finally back at the hostel we unloaded all our gear and hauled everything up to our rooms up on the fourth floor. Neil went off to return the rental car and Christine, Paul, and Rosemary went shopping at the 10-11 to get supplies for our trip into Landmannalaugar.
That done, the two of us decided to go out for a walk to clear our heads. We headed over to the Hallgrímskirkja area to look at the craft shops. We went along some streets we hadn’t been on before, and found the Iceland Hand-knitting Association shop which we hadn’t been able to find. Sadly, though, it didn’t really have any knitted products we hadn’t already seen elsewhere, so we made our way back to the hostel to wait for Neil to get back.
At 7:30 pm he finally got back from returning the car – to the airport, because the rental car wanted a surcharge for returning it to the local agency – and from buying a new camera! Apparently the battery charger from Akureyri wasn’t all it had been cracked up to be. We had already decided to go to the nearby fish and chip shop, so off we went. Today the place was busy with two large parties. Paul had the wolf fish and Rosemary had the haddock again; they had cod on the menu but they had run out of it.
After we had finished we headed back to the hostel to divide up the food and prepare for tomorrow’s trip into Landmannalaugar. Bedtime was quite early, at 10 pm.