Ring Road Day 5/Circuit Complete

Trip Start May 13, 2012
1
8
9
Trip End May 20, 2012


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Flag of Iceland  , Northeast,
Saturday, May 19, 2012

'Hey, you said even the Walmart shoppers were hot here'
-Cat

I think I saw my first cop in Iceland today.

Dice hanging from the mirror is very popular
in Iceland.

Sailor hats are very popular on girls going out for drinks.. Is it weird I think I like it?

I think Iceland loves 80s USA music. Help me.

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Thor was the owner of the guesthouse. He sat with us and the funny Canadian couple we had seen earlier on the trip. We were the only six in there for breakfast. He taught us a lot, any questions we had about Iceland he would answer. He said could trace is family heritage to 700 AD. His family were Vikings that came to Iceland around 900 AD. He owns over 10,000 acres and 150 horses. He said that in THE phonebook (one for the entire country) people are listed by first name. Seemed a bit confusing with popular first names. We chatted for a good 30 minutes before the Canadian couple asked if we could see the horses up close. Without hesitation he told us to take some bread and head out into one of his huge fields. He stayed back and after about 10 mins of walking the horses came up to us. A lot of them. The horses here look different than in the rest of the world, they have more hair and are a bit smaller. From my understanding they are the only type horses allowed in Iceland. We tried to feed them the bread but most didn't seem to like it, preferred our jackets instead. Oh I almost forgot! I ate horse for breakfast -- tasted like salami. Soooo, it was pretty good. We signed Thor's guestbook and headed out for the day.

We had a lot of driving ahead of us. We drove for about 2 hours before stopping for lunch at some random hotel/restaurant. I think I've gotten used to just having sheep and horses around everything, but it was the first time I had seen any pigs, yet we have ham at every meal. Icelandic people LOVE ham, especially deli ham. I have yet to see any turkey meat, which is annoying because turkey>ham. My dad and I had the BBQ platter and my mom and sister had burgers. Icelanders seem to really like burgers too.

Deildartunguhver was our first 'point-of-interest'. It was a fast flowing hot spring. I thought it was awesome--hot water (210 degrees F) bubbling out of the ground and flowing down quickly. The wind was blowing but it wasn't cold out, but this made it difficult to see it down stream because of the steam. We were also all impressed with the tomatoes for sale on a honor system for 200 kr. Such a different culture, no way that works at some tourist site in the USA. Granted we have a million more people at our normal tourist sites and all it takes is one person to ruin it for all.

We hopped back in the Kuga and headed to Reykholt. We stopped at the church/info center. We took medieval tour. A woman that worked there (1 of 2) said everything wasn't on exhibit during the shoulder season so she would give us a personal tour. The power went out for a few mins at one point, we weren't sure if it was part of the tour lol. It wasn't, she lit some candles and seemed a bit embarrassed but we didn't mind at all. The power came back on shortly after she lit the candles. I found it all really interesting. She was passionate and had a great sense of humor and at one point claimed one of the kings 'was in deep shit' in her Icelandic accent. This perfectly sums up what I like about this trip the most--You are welcomed as a tourist here by everyone (not considered an annoyance like in a lot of places) and it is just different from anything I have ever done before. Small town feel everywhere with unbelievable scenery. It's just so different.

We got back on the road to drive a few kilometers to the next destination: Hraunfossar and Barnafoss. They are waterfalls that are part of the same area. Hraunfossar is a bunch of smaller waterfalls that come out of a thick layer of harden lava rock. They were said to formed around 800 AD, right before Iceland was inhabited by humans. Barnafoss stands for children's waterfall, this is because a long time ago children were playing on the bridge after church and slipped and fell into the falls. Their mother traced their footprints to a land bridge over the falls where the footprints disappeared. She ordered the bridge to destroyed, and it was. My sister found this to be arguably the most beautiful part of the trip yet. We were all definitely impressed. It was sad to think this was our last natural wonder we would see on this trip.

When we arrived in Reykjavik our family walked around after dropping off the car. We ate at a pizza place (Pizza Pronto, that would later be packed at 2am), something cheap and quick. My sister and I wondered off in the city for some drinks after the meal, my parents went back to the hotel.

It was 10pm.

We wanted to pick up some liquor to take back to the room (to save some $$ before going out), but apparently all the liquor stores close at 6pm AND are completely closed on Sundays! We couldn't find beer for sale in stores that had more than 2.25% ABV--They are worse than the Bible Belt with their alcohol laws! So hoped into a English pub that was packed full of people, lots still left over from the Champions League final. We met a group from Brooklyn that had just arrived they asked what we recommended... Brennivan. It's right after that we met Kristoffer from Denmark. He was at the bar ordering a beer for himself and a coke for his sister who was sitting outside. After some small talk, he asked if we wanted to join him and his hodge-podge group. We accepted. At the table next/in a city park there was a local from Iceland (Didi), a guy from Norway here on business, a girl named Julie from Montreal here on work too, Kristoffer and his sister, both from Denmark. After about a hour of talking (around the horn) about things ranging from what we did for a living to our dream places to live we moved inside to warm up. At this time Didi and the Norwegian guy went to go eat sheep balls, we (The Canadian, Danes and us) passed.

We drank a few more inside the pub. During this time we listened to a live band who would play whatever you requested (Bon Jovi is what the Canadian wanted, ugh) and played the roulette drinking wheel for 1500 kr (which we didn't win anything). After we got tired of the pub we moved to some club a block away. I hate clubs, but I danced a little to appease everyone. It was in this time (around 1am) we left our friends. My sister and I headed to a pub called 'Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da'. It was there that we listened to arguably the worst karaoke singers I have ever witnessed, but it was fun and I liked the pub. It was in that pub that I did karoake for the first time in my life... My sister and I sang 'Hey Jude' together. Now I can always say the first time is did karaoke was in Reykjavik, Iceland. Once we were done we finished our beers and realized it was almost 4am... and 8am would come soon enough.
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