The weather was deteriorating as the week went on, and while it still was not the hurricane force winds that can happen in Iceland, it was clearly not t-shirt weather anymore. In fact, I got more comments from people back at home wondering what sort of torture we signed up for being as bundled up in down jackets as we were. People do have very different ideas on what “vacation” is, and let’s celebrate the differences! Truly, its not that bad and even many of you Tropicana-types would be impressed with Iceland. The motto is, travel well prepared and then when you are prepared for the worst, then even mediocre is awesome.
The next two blog entries are probably my most favorite days of the trip. Except of course, the first day around Thingvellir, which was like an awesome adventure, romantic movie. This particular day, Day 7, I really loved the nature and the feeling of the land. Every day we had there, we changed environmental niches, and that was part of the excitement. This particular day, we were still in the Westfjords and were not venturing very farm from our hike the day before in Laugar.
We drove around a large fjord finger with the goal of visiting a church on the farthest tip possible. A remote church is always a good destination! Afterall, they built it there for a reason, right?
I know that you, oh fascinated reader, will appreciate that the Saga from Laugar (Laxdaela, see previous post) is connected to this little church through Aud the Deep Minded (Daughter of Ketill the Flatnose, of course). Just project yourself back to the 9th Century, and imagine that you are an early child of the Iceland settlers. In fact, your parents may have been one of the first to set foot there and attempt to survive. Fast forward about 15 years (that is a guess) and you marry the son of a famous Viking raider who terrorized Ireland so thoroughly, that he became the King of Dublin. Olaf the White was his name. Your son, Thorstein the Red, followed the family tradition and also became a terrorizing Viking. When died by betrayal, you sail, heartbroken, back to Iceland (you were in the Hebrides) and land at the rocky, lava cursed island shores and make your Christian church there.
I was about to write “Why in the cotton-pickin world you put your church there?” but I believe that I just answered my own question. The church is seriously inconveniently located. It is hard to get to by sea, unless you are in a kayak, and last I checked Vikings did not travel by kayak. It was also hard to get to by land, as it is separated from all the other fertile, conveniently located land by giant, barren mountains with horrible weather. And if you are a newly converted Christian with family ties to some of the most murderous Vikings ever to live, then you build a church exactly there. It is about the year 999, or 1000 and it is believed that Aud was exposed to Christianity in Ireland or Scotland.
After exploring the church, we drove on to a campground on the northern side of this finger of fjord. This was hands down my absolutely favorite campground. We made ourselves at home and were then treated to a fantastic sunset and views. Megan made us the most amazing lamb stew, and my journal entry states: “Nobody in Iceland ate as well as we did tonight!!”
Other posts in this series...
- Day 9, in which we find Walter Mitty (October 28, 2016)
Finally, the weather officially turned for the worse and the balmy Icelandic holiday was over. We knew we had experienced the absolutely best of the l
- Day 8, in which we discover the best campground (October 7, 2016)
The weather was deteriorating as the week went on, and while it still was not the hurricane force winds that can happen in Iceland, it was clearly not
- Day 6 of Iceland bike tour (October 1, 2016)
The next morning we decided that we had to head into town and try to find a Laundromat to de-stink our biking clothes. Living in America, you could ma
- Day 5 (September 29, 2016)
Inevitably, when someone learned that I was going to Iceland they would ask, “Are you going to ride the horses?” And I would emphatically say NO!!! A
- Day 4 (September 27, 2016)
We loved the stark landscape with the burrowing sheep so much that we decided to camp there for the night. The F road seemed to be one of the only way
- Day 3 (September 21, 2016)
We woke up in Thingvallavatn (I hope that you clicked on the photo of our ride around the lake in the Day 2 blog to see how that is actually written)a
- Day 2 (September 20, 2016)
Let me first answer the question: Why Iceland? My first year of college was at Smith College in Northampton, MA. Totally separate story, but despite h
- Day 1 (September 17, 2016)
Day 1 Letty dropped us off at SeaTac and we all stood in amazement at the magnitude of the stuff we were bringing. Four bike boxes take up two full ca
- Iceland Adventure, Day 0 (September 16, 2016)
And by Day 0, I mean that we better have gotten everything done by now! Don’t forget the passports, who has the tickets? Did you remember to let the a