Friday, July 10, 2015

Isafjordur to Drangsnes

Today we had a relatively short trip to our next stop so decided to enjoy the beautiful little seaside town of Isafjordur.

That, for Sarah, of course included going to the local wool shop. Apparently Lopi wool is renowned among knitters of all persuasions. In Canada, a ball of this yarn is roughly $6. In Iceland, where it is harvested and processed, it is $3. She loaded up. They had great kits to make sweaters with all the required yarn and patterns included.

I bought an adorable children's book about trolls. They love trolls here. For example, in the village we are in right now, Drangsnes, there is an enormous island in the bay called Grimsey, and a large rock formation on shore right next to our guesthouse. The story goes that there were three trolls who were fighting to see who could separate the Westfjords from the rest of Iceland. Two of the trolls were competing and smashed up so much land that they created the uncountable islands in Breidarfjordur Bay. The lady troll stayed around Drangsnes and tried her darnedest but couldn't break a single piece of land. At the end of the night, when she noticed the sun rising, she was furious at her failure and slammed her shovel into the ground. It broke off the piece of land that became Grimsey and she ended up being turned into stone where she stood and still stands, watching over the island she created.

They actually present "evidence" for this tale because the geological layers of the island match those of the mainland perfectly. I guess trolls sheared South America from Africa too :-)

Unfortunately, when we got the book back to the hotel, Sarah noticed I'd bought the German version. They had English, French, and German. I chose the 1 of 3 my children wouldn't understand. Sigh. Thankfully the exchange policy in Iceland is rather liberal.

We had a "light" lunch at Gamla Bakariid. This was a very European bakery specializing in pastries. They all looked so incredible that we couldn't decide which to get. I had a chocolate covered honey cake with strawberry cream filling and Sarah had a delectable rhubarb cake.

Off we went to Drangsnes. On the way we saw many more breathtaking fjords, waterfalls, and mountains, as well as a high mountain pass that almost brought us up into the clouds. Up there were numerous lakes that collect every year from the melt water. Man did they look cold.

When we arrived in Drangsnes, it was SUPER COLD. Like probably 5C plus a nasty wind on top of it. But we still took advantage of the hot tub next door to our hotel. And so apparently did a bunch of Icelanders. They are swim-crazy here. It was absolutely freezing outside but they were just joyful and playful in the pool, including little kids. Meanwhile us "tough Canadians" sat in the hot tub the entire time, right up to our chins.

At the end of the night, we ate in the restaurant run by our guesthouse. It was either the best or second best meal we've had. Sarah had an amazing fried cod. She says she wishes she could figure out how to cook fish like that because if she could, she would eat fish more often. I had fish stew. They have an interesting idea of what constitutes stew. It is not what we think of as stew. It is basically mashed potatoes mixed with fish that's been shredded up. Don't get me wrong. It is phenomenally delicious. But just not "stew" as I think of stew.

Off to Saudarkrokur tomorrow to see the witchcraft and sorcery museum, feed lambs from a bottle, and do some seal watching!

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