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Gone for a ‘bit of a recce’

Flying Icelandic Air meant a quick pit stop in Iceland in both directions so on the return we decided to extend this for a couple of days. My road trip buddy had visited before & was soon in procession of a nippy little car that took us to our accommodation in downtown Reyjavik.

The quaint hostel provided an excellent base from which to explore both the city & local attractions. Iceland is an extraordinary country that’s landscape is both remote & captivating. Our visit was in the Autumn so the snow had yet to fall but the weather on arrival was certainly hostile compared to the warm balmy days in the USA. However we had warm clothes & waterproofs so we ventured off to see what the Island could offer.

Journey to the centre of the earth??

Having journeyed to what felt like the centre of the earth down a tunnel we left the rain behind us. First up was a short trek up the side of a redundant volcano to look inside the crater. Curious geological scenery & a touch of blue sky makes for a memorable stop even if the wind threatened to blow us over the edge. If we had brought our swim wear we could have had a dip in the numerous hot springs that were near by as others seemed to be.

We opted to return to base & get ready to venture out for a meal which ended up being an expensive form of Icelandic ‘tapas’. I won’t list the dishes for fear of causing offence to some but the food was exquisite.

Next day we headed towards the rain to visit Reynisfjara to take a look at the black sand & unusual rock cliffs. The waves were being whipped up by the wind & we were on constant alert for the ‘sneaker waves’. This potentially fatal phenomena has caught many a visitor out so huge warnings signs greet you in the car park. I think they should make the You Tube clip of one of the few people to survive a mandatory part of the visit as there were many who seemed oblivious to the dangers. The name ‘sneaker’ gives a clue to the fact that the waves can creep up & sweep the unsuspecting from the shore. Having survived we still ad to endure the by now pounding rain so on reaching the car decided a warm drink and indoor visit to be preferable. This is how we ended up in the Skogasfn Folk Museum.

If you like history then definitely put this on the list of things to do. It gives an insight into Icelandic history & culture. We spent a few hours looking at the various curiosities housed there until making our way back via Hvolsvollur for tea.

Not fancying a church service we opted to kill time before checking in at the airport we decided to squander the last few krona on a visit to Hio Islenzka Reoasafn museum.

All in all it was a unique glimpse into a beautiful largely unspoilt landscape where the people are hospitable & their traditional food delicious. It is a grievously expensive place as most has to be imported but well worth the effort. I would like to return some day & explore more as we only touched the surface in our short stay. However returning to the UK would not see us knitting slippers or carving something we had the next road trip schedule to map out!

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