Today it is overcast and colder as we drove toward our first destination, a wool dying demonstration. We will travel on a full size bus rather than a 18 seat coach, even though there were only 18 of us, including the driver and our guide. That was a real treat because it allowed us to spread out and everyone who wanted a window seat could have one.
After leaving Reykjavik, we drove through relatively unremarkable countryside.
The wool dying facility is located in fairly remote farm country. The lady lives alone with a dog and some chickens.
In addition to her wool dying job, she taches at the agriculture collage. She selects the sheep that she gets the wool from and knows the name of each of those sheep. She only dyes her wool using “natural ingredients”,plant roots, stems, leaves and lichens. The sole ingredient that is not natural is household ammonia. What is unique, and grosses me out, is that the colors are added to the wool after soaking in cow urine that she buys from local farms.
The wool is definitely beautiful and soft and done in a rainbow of colors.
Before we left, she demonstrated how to spin wool into yarn.
Our next destination was the Settlement Center in Bsrgarnes. The route there took use through the farm country on some narrow unpaved roads. Our bus driver, Alfred, did a great job negotiating a couple of bridges which were barely wide enough to accommodate the bus.
The Settlement Center demonstrates the early Norse history of Iceland. One proceeds through the exhibit following a recorded presentation. Photographs weren’t allowed, although I can’t tell you why. After going through the exhibit, we had a buffet lunch which consisted of a salad bar and homemade lamb soup. The soup was tasty!
Our final stop of the day was Helgafell – holy mountain, a 250 foot high “mountain”. The path up the mountain was slippery, so I didn’t even try to do the hike. Babs, Tinker, and Vidal gave it a try with only Vidal making it to the top. If you complete the hike and do not talk or look back the entire trip, the legend is that you get three wishes fulfilled. Babs took these photos from half way up, just before turning around.
Just below Helgafell was this little Lutheran church and graveyard.
We left Helgafell for Stykkisholmur where we are staying at the Fosshotel tonight. On the way we passed this modern Lutheran church where we stopped in and took a peek at their renovations.
This is the view out of our rooms window and our tinny bathroom.
We had dinner of salted cod at the hotel. Afterward, we had a drink in the modest bar and then headed up to bed.
Tomorrow we will start at a fishing village where we will do some hiking.
Babs Says: The Vikings seem to have been strong, courageous, yet violent humans. Sounds like a good name for a football team