Monday, July 18, 2011

Chris' Week In Iceland Part 4

After driving pretty much all night in the Westfjords, we started to enter territory that looked inhabited (and possessed of hotels). Our first stop was a bit of a bust, although several signs said "Open" we couldn't find anyone there to give us lodging. Morgan called the Hotel Edda, a few miles down the road and they assured us they had a.) rooms and b.) someone there to rent them to us. We rolled into what I believe was Saelingsdal around 1 or 2 in the morning and crashed for a few hours there.

The next morning we continued our drive along the west coast on our way back to Reykjavik. We first drove through a seaside town (aren't they all?) that a lot of pink items around town. The ones that caught my attention and forced me to get Morgan to stop the car were the pink sofa and tv (+ remote) in a small park.

Pink Art?

We passed also through a lot of lava fields, which are everywhere in Iceland. These were covered with moss, as are many of the lava fields. To my surprise it's quite thick and quite soft!

Icelandic Moss Covers Lava Rocks

These buildings were at a museum of fishing history (I think) and the sign said they were the last of the traditional sod covered fishing houses in the area. I believe this was the village of Hellissandur.

Fishing Village Houses

Across the road from the museum was a convenience store that we stopped at before heading out again. By chance, we saw an advertisement for a local lava tube cave. Noelle gets really, really excited about caves. Her enthusiasm (and our lack of agenda) convinced us to stop and see what was up. We get to a small dirt parking lot on the side of the road a few miles down where the people at the convenience store told us to go and there's nothing really there, just a few cars. While we're wondering if this is the right place or not, a van came up with cavers in it to give tours.

So we paid our money and got helmets to go down in the cave:

Into the Caves

The rocks look formed by water, but the flowyness is just pahoehoe lava that's hardened into place.

Inside the Cave

There were a couple ladders down, like this first (7m) one:

Exiting the Cave

The cave has two main galleries and the tour takes about 30-60 minutes.

After we emerged into the now oppressive heat and humidity of the surface (it was about 40 degrees underground), we went down the road to have lunch in one of the national (state?) parks in the shadow ofSnæfellsjökull


the volcano made famous in Jules Vernes' Journey to the Center of the Earth. There are a couple of stone pillars where we ate, which I have determined are Lóndrangar. The nearby cliffs are steep and impressive.

Troll Head Cliffs

I had thought there was some story about the rocks having to do with a Troll or Troll Head, but I don't see any supporting info on the internet.

Anyway, after lunch we headed back to Reykjavik, without much incident except that a lady in front of us had a flat tire, so we stopped to help her repair it (she didn't have a jack) and to help with traffic. There were also some Icelandic horses in the field nearby. So, horses!

Icelandic Horses

We got into Reykjavik too late to return the car to the rental agency, so after dinner some people decided to go see a movie. I decided I could do better than Transformers 3 and elected to stay home and enjoy the rain behind our apartment and the almost night of midnight.

Rainy Evening In Reykjavik

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