Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Day 3: The Ring Road & Akureyri

This morning we left Reykjavik and began our drive along Iceland's Route 1, the Ring Road. It was a beautiful drive; we saw so many beautiful things, especially because the landscape changed dramatically the further away we got from Reykjavik.

There were lots of places to pull over; at one point we pulled over and walked up some steps, and were able to stand atop a huge flat rocky area overlooking a valley.


At another point down the road, we pulled over again to look at rocks that were densely close - the entire landscape looked like nothing I could describe. We'd seen similar landscapes next to the Blue Lagoon; the stones and rocks were at times piled higher than I am tall (more than five feet tall), and seemed to be blanketed in lichen, leading me to wonder how long they'd been lying about.


Near Varmahlíð we happened across a monument to late 19th and early 20th Century Icelandic poet Stephan Stephansson, who emigrated to Wisconsin before moving to Alberta, Canada; his poetry, which he wrote only in Icelandic, was published in a six-volume work called Andvökur. His monument involved a small bit of climbing, but the view was gorgeous.


We took our drive driving, but we finally made it to our hotel in Akureyri in about six hours. We had a rather odd meal at Bautinn, a restaurant that featured too many different things (pasta and pizza and burgers - one of which included Camembert and some type of unspecified jelly - and Icelandic specialties, etc.) before heading back to our room; it was getting late, and we'd had a long driving day, even though at 10 p.m. it was still light out and we felt like we should be partying it up with the locals.

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