I am captivated by the views and the wonders of Iceland’s southern and eastern coastlines. The rain and the low clouds over the past few days have narrowed what I can actually see. However, in some ways, this has actually enhanced the experience because I am not focused on the big picture and the overwhelming, panoramic landscape.
Instead, I am focused on the immediate environment and surroundings. I have posted many photos on my Facebook page if you want to see more.
There were so many photo opportunities that I missed because of the pouring rain or the annoying need to keep moving along this tight schedule. There were mountains, rivers, waterfalls, animals, and many sites that called out to me and would have been great photos. Thousands of swans, ducks, and bird life are scattered along the coasts.
I wanted to take pictures of the ocean waves crashing into the rocky coastline and the smooth black beaches. But there is no time for dilly-dallying on this trip. I had it much better than the hikers and bikers, though. With their wet clothes flapping in the strong breeze and their heads pulled down low into the tops of their jackets, they were totally drenched and looked absolutely miserable as they made their way up the narrow, zigzagging, rugged coastline roads.
Thousands of waterfalls, tall mountains hidden under the clouds, the bird life, and so much more called out to me. I wanted to be out in the fresh, moist ocean breeze. Finally, the rain slowed and was just a fine mist. I was near this waterfall that flowed in the Hvíta River. I went for a 90-minute hike up the mountain and along the beautiful waterfalls in the area.
I know there are Huldufólk here ….. LOOK! I found a footprint!
The moss-covered lava goes on for many miles on the east coast of Iceland. Get out to see the land up close and you will see these beauties. I had blueberries for a yummy snack.
It is amazing to think of our ancestors covering these distances on horseback or walking. I look at the ocean and wonder how their little fishing boats fared on days like these. Did they even go out to sea on days like this? The mountains are treacherous but oh ….. they are so splendid.
Along the way, the farmers have been busy putting up their hay.
The pale green and white bales are scattered on the hillsides and in the valleys in many places.
I made it to Egilsstaðir in plenty of time. The presentation was held just across the street from the Icelandair Hotel where I stayed. About 30 people attended the event. This time, I did not know anyone in attendance but several of the people had been on the tour from Egilsstaðir to America last summer.
One big surprise was meeting my 2nd cousin, Tim Jonasson, and his wife, Lori! They came to hear my lecture and then we visited until midnight. His grandparents moved from North Dakota to California in 1939 and the families had not stayed in good contact with their North Dakota roots. It was so fun to connect with Tim and Lori. Even though our families were disconnected, the similarities in child-rearing and personalities are amazingly similar. I am so happy that Tim has discovered Iceland and is learning about his heritage. Sometimes visiting the home of our ancestors has a profound effect on people and I know that it has had this effect on Tim.
Today, I drive to Vopnafjörður. It is still raining and the clouds are low in the sky. Through the mist, Iceland is still filled with enchantment, beauty, wonderful people, and I am so delighted to be here.