Monday, September 15, 2008

Puffins are also tasty.

So. We're in Reykjavík at the moment, I've just started using my uncle Helgi's computer to write my blog. Two reasons for this: 1) Ross' computer just ran out of batteries and we don't have an adaptor and 2) the Mac wanted me to use html to write my blog. Sorry Mr. Mac, I am not that computer literate.

On with the slide show!

Remember I mentioned the big pony ride and how I would post a million photos of it? Well, this is the only photo that I took on göngur, because we were just so busy göng-ing. The weather was pretty great, not too hot but not freezing, and only a tiny bit of rain during the day.

Because this was the seinni göngur, there weren't that many sheep to collect. Most of them went home last week, so the ones that were left were the trouble makers and those that were too tired to make it all the way to the rétt. The sheep in the picture were all pretty pathetic. There were two pretty healthy lambs whose mother got too tired to keep up, then a tiny little lamb that Gunni had to carry for a while, and finally the stupidest ewe that I've ever seen. There are these 'sheep roads' through the mountains where millions of sheep have gone before, and because they've worn a path, it's the easiest way and most sheep will follow it. This ewe just kept wandering off the path and into the fields for no apparent reason. She eventually tried to make a break for it, but I tackled her and stopped her! It was a high point of my day.

The other amusing sheep on this göngur was a grey ewe who had three farmers chasing her around the mountains for over an hour! She'd done the same thing last week and had been left behind because of it. I think they kept going this time because they didn't want to have to chase her again next week. Anyway, she spent the whole trip to the rétt trying to escape again. Sigga told me this is because she was a 'leader sheep.' They're a different line of sheep with slightly bigger brains and more initiative. Apparently they're really smart and can predict the weather, too. Go Iceland.

And as a side note, all of these trouble-making sheep were from the same farm. If you're ever buying lambs, don't buy them from Ríp.

Saturday night Maggi invited us for dinner at Ólafshús next door to Amma's. I think it's the only restaurant in town at the moment, lucky it's quite nice as well. Ross and Sigga had puffin and I think they both rather liked it. (Ooh, I've designed a crest of cute edible Icelandic animals, and I may put it on here later... Then after that I might try to draw pictures of things that aren't food related!) Anyway, after that we went back to Sigga's and drank some red wine and chatted and had a really nice night. It was much more fun than a night on the town! I thoroughly recommend Sigga's house as Sauðárkrókur's top skemmtistaður - although she may have to paint it blue...

My cousin Maggi offered to drive us to Mývatn on Sunday. It's a volcanic area in the next fjörd over from us, about two hours' drive east. We went through Akureyri on the the way, and stopped briefly to look at some whales that are living in the bay at the moment. They're apparently bottle nosed whales and they look pretty dolphiny, which is maybe why the Icelanders are fawning over them instead of trying to eat them.

Also on the way we stopped at Goðafoss, Sigga's favourite waterfall. When Iceland decided to accept Chrisitianity around the year 1000, a local chieftain threw all his pagan statues into this waterfall, so it's called the 'Waterfall of the Gods.'

In Mývatn we went to Grjótagjá, which is a little cave in a big field of volcanic rock. It's just a hole in the ground, but inside there's a heated pool. People used to swim in it, but it heated up last time there was an eruption nearby, so now you're not allowed. Maggi said the water felt like 'good bath temperature', but we didn't go in.

We also went to 'Hverir', which is this weird barren moonscape with bubbly grey pools of mud and steam coming out of the ground. And there's also a stench of sulphur everywhere, which was so much worse than I thought it would be. The hot water from the tap in Iceland has a little bit of a smell, but you don't notice it too much once you get used to it. This smell was worse, and stronger, and EVERYWHERE. We decided that sheep from this area probably don't taste as nice as the ones from Skagafjörður.

And here's Ross in some stinky steam. It was really warm, but really really stinky.

Okay, that'll do for now! Hopefully this week we'll get to do all the Reykjavík touristy things: Gullfoss, Geysir, The Blue Lagoon... We did major shopping today, and found some awesome presents that I'm really happy with! I'll put more photos up once I have the power.


Maja said...

Sounds like you're having a blast over there! MMm stinky sulphur. I don't miss the smell but it's part of the icelandic charm. How cool is that grotto!

Northern musings said...

Well thank you for that! Maybe I should buy Kaffi Krók and do it up and paint it red - that way differentiate myself from the other night spots in town....How are you coping with the crap weather in Rvk?

olga said...

Yeah, the weather really does stink. Just makes me love Sauðárkrókur all the more!

Reykjavik has been good though. Remember that present that I wanted to buy up north, but they said they didn't make them? I found one here! Yay! That's way better than making it myself...

Wow, I can't believe I wrote that whole thing and the word "grotto" never occurred to me. It would have been a good word to use.