The wind had eased a bit, but was still unpleasant. At our first stop at some glacier, we got out the car and faced with the strong wind decided not to walk to the edge of the glacier. Jörg lost his woolen hat which we could observe flying over the hill and off to the Atlantic.
And just as a reminder we came to a campervan laying next to the road, obviously blown over by the wind, it is not a good idea to be on the road in this sort of weather.
On the way is a museum at Thórbergssetur and because the wind was still strong we had a stop for some coffee and to look at the museum. A large part of the museum is dedicated to Thorbergur Thorðarson, a well known (in Iceland) author who was born in this area. I read a couple of extracts from his writing and liked his style. So much so that when I got back I got some more stories from the Internet and I am reading that right now. Something that is very unusual because I am not a novel man.
It was my turn to pay for things, but alas my credit card didn't work. At the next stop the same happened, fortunately I had Jörg to fall back onto. I had to phone the card division and was told that my card has been FICA-blocked. I must go to my branch with the relevant documentation to get it opened again. After some whining and pointing out that I am 10000km away they relented and removed the block. And today, despite a number of e-mails and a phone call I still don't know what happened, the bank obviously doesn't want to tell me.
In Kirkjubajarklaustur we stayed at the camp site. The wind had now largely died down. Had a quick look at the church floor paving thing, a floor made of basalt crystals. Knowing that the camp site has a comfortable Aufenthaltsraum made us get back for coffee and dinner.
There is a waterfall marked on the map. We spent some time trying to find it, and the reason why it took so long was because the waterfall had no water. We still went up, the with the intention of walking along the lake on top and down the other side to the the Systrafoss (waterfall, see picture). But we somehow missed the path and couldn't find a way down, so we returned and went over by car. On the return trip we noticed why the waterfall had so little water. There was a huge pipe (about 20 inch) taking water down the mountain, most likely to some electrical generator. In the forest below we also saw the tallest tree of Iceland at 24.8m.
On the way back we only stopped shortly at Vik, hoping that this time the church would be open, last time the door was blocked by the painter. And we found it open. Very nice and clean looking, I couldn't help it but place myself on the pulpit. The church was build in 1934, replacing one that was taken by a storm.
After completing all that there was no stopping and we just pushed on to Reykjavik and arrived at the camp site at 16h30.
>Today we ate some fermented shark or Hákari. Its this Icelandic delicacy where the shark is cut into strips and buried in sand near the sea for about one to three month. For the Icelanders its a delicacy, for foreigners are culinary adventure. We had four small pieces for which we paid IKr400. Its not impossible to eat, has a nice texture, smells a bit of ammonia, but, I think, the rest of that shark I leave to the Icelanders to eat.
Its raining, and it is going to rain the whole day, so we must do the indoor things.
First stop was the National History Museum. It took us through the history of the island, from the Irish monks and viking settlers in the 9th century to the development of a modern society. Very interesting are the Roman coins found in various places in Iceland.
And then there was the church on the hill, Hallgrimskirkja, where we were entertained by an organ concert. They have this huge and beautiful organ. I didn't know what was playing, but I sat down and enjoyed it. The organist was certainly impressed when I thanked him after the concert.
To the top of the tower using a lift, which I thought was cheating but the ticket seller insisted that this is the only way up. Lovely view over Reykjavik.
It was on the way out from the church that Jörg spotted this restaurant/cafe offering pieces of Hákari which we consumed with relish, not quiet.
Once back at camp Jörg insisted that we walk up to the Kringlan shopping center. I needed to buy a towel, since I lost one and Jörg wanted to get some souvenirs. It was a fairly stiff walk and the cold air blowing into our faces didn't help.
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