Day 2, Hafnarfjörður and the drive to Snæfellsbær
It’s Icelandic Independence Day today, so we decided to hang around Reykjavík for the festivities before our journey to Snæfellsbær.
This is the statue of Ingólfur Arnarsson, the official first settler of Iceland, on Arnarhóll hill, Reykjavík. Ingólfur came to Iceland with his blood brother Hjörleifur who was later killed by his slaves. Ingólfur then found them sitting around a meal of roast puffins and avenged his brother with the help of his own slaves. Serves them right for eating cute, chubby birds.
We visited the Culture House which was quite good. It has some very old books in it, but not very exciting otherwise. They don’t allow pictures in there, so if you have a camera or a backpack, they make you rent one of their lockers
for 100 Icelandic Krónurs.
By 10am, the streets near Austurvöllur (the old town square) were getting crowded.
Some Icelanders were really dressed up for the occasion.
The mayor placed flowers at the Jón Sigurðsson memorial at Austurvöllur Square. Many kids came to take pictures and play around it.
My wife found a flea market nearby and lost track of the mission for awhile.
Útsala means ‘sale’. That was the only Icelandic word my wife learnt this trip).
Right outside, there was some kind of vintage car show, so that’s where I took the camera.
They had some really old trucks there, like this fire engine.
A stage was set for an outdoor concert. People gathered around the grassy hills. We didn’t go near but we heard some sort of world music with lots of drums in it.
There was a really long queue at Bæjarins Betzu, the most famous hotdog stand in Iceland.
We were supposed to drive over to Snæfellsbær in the north, but See Ming decided to surf the Internet at the helpful information center run by www.this.is/iceland and found a Viking Festival at Hafnarfjörður, just 15 minutes south of Reykjavík, so that’s where we went. Many of the ‘Vikings’ came from Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, UK, North America. The guy on the right here is from Alaska.
They were mostly making and selling things. Some were singing and dancing while others were cooking, weaving, carving, or smithing one thing or another. This guy had a clever contraption that weaves rope out of smaller strings of hemp very quickly.
One guy was building a boat.
This woman was braiding colourful belts that would have traditionally been used as horse reins.
Girls *ahem* could get their hair braided Viking women style.
The highlight of the festival was this mock battle between the warriors. They were really pounding each other’s shields with their swords and axes. I was surprised none of their shields broke.
We got in our car and drove on to Snæfellsbær.
Since we are driving clockwise around Iceland, we usually see some mountains on our right…
… and water to our left (usually some fjord).
Sometimes the roads were long and straight without any other cars around, so we’d stop for photos.
To skip driving around the huge fjord, we took this underwater tunnel to get to the Snæfellsnes peninsula.
We drove slowly because of the breathtaking view.
It doesn’t really get dark at night in the summer, but we’re required to keep our headlights on at all times.
We arrived at Guesthouse Langaholt in Snæfellsbær at 10:30pm.