"" Writer's Wanderings: Iceland - Reykjavik

Friday, October 28, 2016

Iceland - Reykjavik

Our last day on the road had us heading for Reykjavik and beyond to Keflavik where the airport is. We would spend one night there and leave the next morning for our flight to Toronto. Our last day was not going to be so nice. It was gray and rainy and windy and foretelling of the weather that would surely be changing soon to usher in the winter season.

Bob only had a couple of things on our GPS list to stop at. The first was a thermal hot spring. Not just any hot spring though. This one, the Deildartunguhver Hot Spring, the most powerful hot spring in the country. It puts out 200 l/sec of 100 C water. That equates to 53 gallons/sec of boiling (212F) water coming out of the spring. It is piped to the towns of Borganes and Akranes which are fairly large and on the outskirts of Reykjavik. Most of the water is used for central heating.

There really wasn't much to see there except for a pool of boiling water and a pumping station that channels the water to the towns. Just as well as it was rainy again.

Our other stop for the day was the Grotta Lighthouse. It sits in the middle of a nature preserve that closes during breeding season for the sea birds in the area. Grotta is an island--sort of. You reach it at low tide along a breakwall with a sandy bank.

Rain. Wind. Is this really necessary?

We bundled up and set out. The lighthouse is not anything historical. It's a lighthouse. You can't get into it. There are several other small buildings there but nothing we saw to say if they were significant. Thankfully the tide was out. We hadn't considered that. We walked along the exposed sandy shoreline that banked against the breakwall. Pictures taken quickly, we walked back buffeted by the wind that was in our faces on the return trip.

By the time we had lunch and got to Keflavik it was time to check into Hotel Berg. It was a pleasant change after the tight quarters of the night before. The hotel had a European flavor and we enjoyed the comfortable surroundings.

The rental car company had agreed to pick up the car if we left it at the hotel which wasn't that far from where we had originally started out two weeks before. We brought everything inside and I began rearranging things so they would all fit back in the suitcases. We had used the larger suitcase as our base in the back of the car and taken the clean clothes as we needed them and put them in the smaller suitcase that we took into the places we stayed. That way we only carried both suitcases in once or twice to adjust things. Our coats, jackets and rain gear had just sat on the back seat but now it all needed to go back in. Could I do it?

As I struggled with the clothes, Bob went out and made sure all the trash was out of the car and that we hadn't left any personal items anywhere in a door or seat. Both of us finished up and celebrated with a cup of coffee in the sitting area of the hotel.

It was still raining when it came time for dinner. Thankfully we didn't have far to go since we had to walk. Bob had already given the car key to the desk for the rental company to collect. We ran across the street, past a marina and up some stairs. All in all maybe 5 minutes of windy rain. The restaurant looked very nice but once inside, the smell of fish hit me and I wasn't sure I really wanted much and certainly not fish.

We ordered lamb chops and by the time they came, my stomach was adjusting. The lamb chops were more like loin chops and a little fatty but wow, did they taste good. Thankfully our last meal in Iceland turned out to be a good one.

The next morning we were driven to the airport and boarded our plane for Toronto. Leaving Iceland behind in the rain was not as nice a send off as our arrival had been but it made going home easier. Our time in this wonderful country had been very enjoyable even with some of the rainy days. There just may have to be a return trip. We saw the Northern Lights but we still didn't get to see the puffins--our only regret.

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