Sadly, we did not have the best of weather when travelling this famed, 300 km route. It was approx. 10-12 C with unusual precipitation. We were told that the rain never comes down so heavily, nor does it come straight down, but rather from the side. On this day, July 25th, 2016, the weather created some new rules. Nonetheless, it was easy to see how spectacular the landscape was. Our host and tour guide, knew the way well. He also took us to off the beaten track points of interest, and a small town where we enjoyed a spectacular lunch.
I noted with interest that the Icelanders are very protective of their environment. For example, the beaches are not to be driven on. In fact, vehicles are only allowed to go where there are tracks. I think there are a lot of rules which tourists need to learn. I recently read that some tourists had to pay 800 Euros for entering a restricted area. I was also surprised to read about the many tourist accidents and fatalities particularly on the roads. Most likely, isolation is a contributing factor. It's not easy to get help when something goes wrong on a deserted road, and cell phone reception is minimal.
As we left Kopavogur the sense of a barren landscape was obvious. Except for some errant sheep, it was truly eerie and deserted. At one point, hubby announced, "How can there be random wandering sheep without a farm house anywhere in sight?"
|Creations made specifically for tourists are for sale|
|We passed one postcard like farm area|
Although it was beginning to rain heavily, we stopped in an area of interest somewhere between Kopavogur and Arborg for a photo op and some bubbling lava. Pictures are limited because of my new camera and unusual precipitation.
It was time for lunch. How fortunate we were to have a host who knew his way around Iceland and also great restaurants. We stopped at a fishing village (pop. around 600), formerly a major trading port, called Eyrarbakki. It is known for historic buildings, great food, and a prison Litla -Hraun (prisoners are not counted in the population) which is the largest in Iceland.
One building, now a museum in the village dates back to 1765 and is the oldest timber dwelling in Iceland. It once belonged to a wealthy Danish merchant and his staff.
We dined at the Rauda Husio (Red House), another historical building. The seafood chowder, the lobster tail appetizers, the breads and the salads were fantastic,