Also on July 19 we stopped briefly at Hraunfossar and Barnafoss waterfalls.
The Hraunfossar waterfalls(Lava Falls) in Borgarfjordur are a beautiful and unusual natural phenomena. The water seems to magically appear from the lava but is actually a clear cold spring that surges through the ground and runs in rapids down into the Hvita River.
The nearest settlement of significance to Hraunfossar is Reykholt. This tiny village has a huge history, being home to the legendary writer, chieftain, lawspeaker and poet Snorri Sturluson. Without Snorri, huge amounts of Icelandic, Nordic and even British history would be unknown. He catalogued a history of Norwegian kings and their relations with other monarchs in his work Heimskringla, as well as the Norse mythological beliefs in Prose Edda. It is believed that Snorri first wrote many of the sagas still read today.
An Icelandic folk tale associated with Barnafoss, is about two boys from a nearby farm, Hraunsás. One day, the boys’ parents went with their ploughmen to a church. The boys were supposed to stay at home, but as they grew bored they decided to follow their parents. They took a shortcut over a natural stone-bridge above the waterfall. They fell into the water and drowned. When their mother found out what had happened, she put a spell on the bridge saying that nobody would ever cross it without drowning himself. A little while later, the bridge was demolished in an earthquake. There is another stone bridge there now.
We stayed at Hotel Klettur in Reykjavik for the second time. Dinner was at the Sjavargrillid in Reykjavik seafood grill restaurant. We had the lamb dinner there which was one of the best in the trip. The waiter said jokingly that it was best not to tell me how they make lamb so tender in Iceland.
We saw three grand waterfalls on July 14. In the Golden Circle the first waterfall was Gullfoss. Guide to Iceland’s video (our travel agent) is excellent. On route 1, the Ring Road, on the way to Vik in South Iceland we stopped at Seljalandsfoss. We climbed up behind the fall. It was not an easy climb because it is steep and slippery. It was a relief to make it to the top. Running out of time as usual we stopped for a 10 minute photo shoot of Skógafoss. I would have liked to climb up to have a different view – but not time! Check out that video too.
It was pouring rain and it was hard to tell what was waterfall and what was rain. I had brought along plenty of rain gear because I knew Iceland has a lot of rain in the summer. The saying is if you wait a minute the weather will change, which is true.
There are 4 sheep to every Icelander. Population of Iceland is 361,313 (2019) which is about half the population of Alaska. About 800,000 sheep is a lot of lamb dinners and wool sweaters!Fun facts about the sheep.
“Due to the presence of the fatty acid exaltolide, angelica root extracts have a musky aroma and the root is used for flavoring foods and beverages. This plant appears very ornamental with wide, pinned hairy leaves and clusters of white to greenish-white or yellow-green umbrella-like flowers. The history behind the name of the herb is interesting. It is said that in ancient times, the root of the plant was brought to earth by a monk for the treatment of plague.”