We were on a mission, leaving rainy Reykjavík in search of sunshine. Would we need to squander one of our three wishes on a request for some respite from the rain? Read on, if you want to find out.
First up on our way to Stykkishólmur was a stop at a wool studio.
When I had initially learned that the itinerary would exchange a visit to a waterfall for a wool demonstration, I was a bit distressed. Was I ever wrong! The presentation was quite wonderful. The explanation of the chemistry involved in dyeing wool was fascinating. In the OLD days, cow’s urine was a key ingredient; it has since been replaced with ammonia, and not just because of the smell, although that alone was a good enough reason for me. The problem is today it is too difficult to collect. The cows are allowed to roam free and don’t take too kindly to someone following them around with a bucket. The urine of old women also had characteristics that produced a particular color. I don’t remember the color or the age requirement, I DO remember several of us volunteered to donate.
Our next stop was at the Settlement Center in Borgarnes, where we were treated to a very interesting Norse history, including an opportunity to stand on the bow of a moving Viking ship.
Lunch in the second floor restaurant was delicious: a choice of tomato or lamb soup and a salad bar chock full of my favorite items. A nice surprise was that this lunch was now included, where at one time it wasn’t. Given the high price of food in Iceland, this was a welcome change.
Today’s drive was a long one, blessedly broken up by several stops. Here we are viewing vertical lava flows. Our guide explained the geology behind this particular effect. I promptly forgot it.
Finally, we arrived at Mount Helgafell, where, if you climb to the top without speaking and don’t look back, you can face the east and make three wishes. They have to be of positive intent, and you can’t tell anyone what they are.
Being a generous soul, I gave one of my wishes for the good of our entire planet, (excluding Russia), one for Mike and me and one for a family member in need of a wish. We’ll see if the Viking version of prayer works. (At least none of us got turned into a pillar of salt!)
Mt Helgafell deserves a few more photos, so here goes:
The ascent was rather easy, because the path was well maintained, and the view was worth every step. Although we hadn’t really found the sun, at least it wasn’t raining, and there were some patches of blue in the sky.
Our second day on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula was also quite full, starting with a visit to a waterfall. This short video, done by Mike, captures the beauty of the waterfall better than any of my photos, but if you don’t want to hop over to YouTube, this is for you.
Kathy expressed an interest in bird life, so Hlynur took her for a little walk in a nesting area. Wonder what happened? Mike managed to get this action shot of Kathy being dive bombed by an angry mama bird.
To be continued…