Daytime on the coast road

Trip Start Feb 14, 2012
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9
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Trip End Feb 21, 2012


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What I did
Interesting Patterns in the Lava

Flag of Iceland  , Southern Peninsula,
Sunday, February 19, 2012



    We got the bags packed, ate up what little bit of eggs, bread, cheese and salami we had left and prepared for departure. I got lucky and found a parking place right in front of the apartment so the loading of bags was easy. This trip we have lots of photographs, if you can imagine I only pick about 10% of the available photographs for the travelpod. I want this to remain interesting for all of you.

    It is raining and raining pretty well, it is about 38 degrees F, a warm day for us, but very comfortable. It is early Sunday (noon), for the sun doesn’t rise here in Iceland until about 9 am, the island is on Greenwich time which really is 3 time zones away to the east. We have done a good job using all of our ISK money, so we don’t have to exchange any more money. Although we are exchanging money at about 122 to the dollar, most of our exchanging has been with credit cards and that incurs a foreign transaction fee of about 2-3% of the total, plus, we have to pay the foreign ATM fees. So on this trip we exchanged money at a bank as a cash advance on our credit card, maybe we can avoid at least one of the extra fees. I am expecting about a 5-6% fee requirement every time we exchange money or pay via a credit card. This is the nature of international travel. Iceland has been a bit expensive in several ways. Eating out has been a bit pricey, Most things like beer and soda (Coca Light) are about 4 - 7 dollars a piece, there is a 25% value added tax on most goods, and to get that reversed requires a product purchase of over 12k ISK at the point of sell. This tax is refunded back to your credit card but with a small fee tacked on by the bank managing the program. What is local sheep herder to do? The cost of living is a bit high.

    With the temperature above freezing we drove through southwest Reykjavik, via rte 41 and finally connected to rte 1. The rain slowed a bit and as we got to the turn off to Vogar we decided to detour to rte 240. Last night we were on this road, ice and snow covered, in the dark and did not see the lay of the land. This is a 7 mile detour that drives along the coast and I wanted to get a couple of pictures.

    So at the Vogar exit we "take the first exit on the round-about", that is what the GPS said, and headed out across the lava field. We stopped a couple of times and took a couple of pictures and I have added them here.

    This is a lot different than in the dark of night. Last night it was so dark we couldn't see anything. The ice is melted off the road, so it was a bit safer. Then we came upon what only could be described as a troll house. It is a concrete structure, obviously been here for a long time, smelled pretty bad, and not the background sulfur smell from this ancient lava field. I think that it is older than a structure that may have been placed here as a bus stop. Icelandic people have a lot of traditional believes concerning trolls, ghost, witches and fairies

    And then we saw the boat, it is located about a half mile from the ocean and did not appear to have any way to be taken to the ocean. Pretty strange, maybe a beached fishing boat after the owner decided to stop fishing.

    I noticed the makings in the lava, and it really looks as if they are marks from when the lava was molten hot and flowing. This is the area of the 1226 CE eruption which expanded this area of Iceland.  On down the road....

    We have to fill the vehicle with gas before we turn it in, this turned into a larger challenge than one could imagine because the gas stop recommended by the car rental dealer only utilizes credit cards and not just any type of credit card. It requires a "chip" implanted credit card (a European standad) and is not accepting our "pin" protected credit cards.  I have some ISK cash so back down the road to a gas station that I can utilize cash. Of course that machine required me to put the exact amount of cash into the machine (I thought I would buy) before the gas was dispensed. You can see where this is going, I guessed wrong and had a 1000 ISK ($8) credit once the vehicle was on full. I explained the situation the best I could, the gas station attendant finally firgured out the situation and refunded me the 1000 ISK. That was a challenge. Lest now Kathy has cash for a Coca Light at the airport.  :)

    Down the road we turned in the rental car and arrived at the departure area of the airport. Our vacation is coming to an end.....
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