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Iceland in winter Day5 Borgarvirki, Glaumbaer, and Godafoss
 
 
(Click on the images for a larger version.)
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We left our cabin at Daeli
 
icelandic horses near Borgarvirki
and headed up a dirt road that led to Borgarvirki (a natural fortress);
 
icelandic horses
I liked the Icelandic horses we passed along the way.
 
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The road up the mountain was pretty icy
 
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but had great views
 
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of the nearby
 
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mountains.
 
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The road got narrower
 
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and narrower
 
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and by the top of the mountain, the road was covered in thick ice.
 
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The clouds, mountains, and sun gave everything a heavenly look.
 
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So many colors...
 
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Going up the last hill we could see the fortress in the distance.
 
Borgarvirki
It does look like a pretty good fortress, but I think you'd also be safe here a thousand years ago even without the fortress part, because you'd be the only one with a horse fit enough to make it up the icy mountain.
 
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Our little Suzuki rental car made it up the mountain to one of those spots you normally see on TV commercials.
 
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It was cold up there
 
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so we
 
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left the fortress,
 
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took one last
 
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Suzuki commercial photo
 
iceland Panaramo
and one last panorama.
 
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On the way back down the mountain, I wanted to take a quick movie of the horses that I liked on the way up.
 
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Ilaria photographed me filming the horses.
 
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Some of the horses took a liking to me
 
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and came close for a visit.
 
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I was really happy to have made
 
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friends with some Icelandic horses.
 
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I said goodbye to my horse friends
 
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and we headed back to the Ring Road.
 
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Here's a mountain with a cloud toupe.
 
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The sky wasn't sunny, but we were very excited to have snow/ice-free roads where we could see more than 50 yards in front of us.
 
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It was a great day for driving
 
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and we made good time while enjoying the ever changing Icelandic scenery.
 
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Ilaria was obsessed with trying to take a photo of the winter-wrapped hay.
 
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I was obsessed with trying to take a photo of every random little church we passed.
 
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More hay,
 
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a few trees (not too common in Iceland),
 
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and another church.
 
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Then we stopped at
 
turf roof church iceland
Vimri Turf Church -- a UNESCO World Heritage Centre.
 
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Pretty neat.
 
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Until the turn of the 19th century many Icelandic houses were built like this.
 
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Vimri still has an active church congregation, but I can't imagine too many folks can fit inside at once.
 
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After a little more driving we arrived
 
Map of Iceland day 5  1
at Glaumbaer.
 
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Glaumbaer has one of the largest collections of the old turf houses. These were farmhouses from the 18th century.
 
Glaumbaer
Turf houses were built back then, because there weren't enough trees and the little available imported wood was sparingly used for the main structure of the house.
 
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It was really windy
 
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and starting to hail,
 
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so we snapped a couple
 
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last
 
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photos
 
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and left
 
Glaumbaer sign
Glaumbr.
 
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We passed a lot of these black canyon things along the way, and I really liked them.
 
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This house has a nice view, but must be pretty far from the nearest store.
 
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After the terrible driving conditions from the previous day, we decided we wanted to rent a cellphone, so if we slid off the road, we could call someone to pull us out. We stopped in Akureyri (the largest city in the North and Iceland's 2nd largest urban area population = 17000) to pick one up from our rental car company.
 
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Towards the end of the day, the weather started to worsen, but it was nothing compared to what we'd experienced the previous day.
 
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Just a little snow.
 
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We stopped at Godafoss.
 
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Godafoss Iceland
There were only two other people at the waterfall. They both had big fancy cameras and looked like they'd been taking some serious photos all day.
 
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It was a little too cold for us to hang out there very long,
 
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so I hiked back up
 
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from the waterfall
 
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and we snapped a couple
 
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couple shots
 
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and hit the Ring Road where we shortly met
 
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my favorite vehicle in Iceland: the super-Icelandic-snowplow.
 
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We passed a random airport in the middle of nowhere. Iceland has surprisingly many of these.
 
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We left the Ring Road to head up to the whale watching village of Hsavk. If we'd had known the road there was going to be 30km of ice we might of decided against it.
 
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But we slipped and slid our way
 
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to the town.
 
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My personal goal in the town was to find a place to buy some beer.
 
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We found a gas station where I proceeded to try and buy a tasty barley-and-hops beverage.
 
Husavik centre
Ilaria warned me that Iceland might be like Sweden where it's hard to buy beer. And when I went to purchase the beer, the gas station attendant said, "I wouldn't drink that" (seems the only beer they are allowed to sell in gas stations are close to being non-alcoholic). He gave us directions to the
 
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VinBud.
 
vinbud
Just like in Sweden (according to Ilaria who lived in Sweden for 6 months), the alcohol stores in Iceland
 
vinbud inside
feel a little bit like a pharmacy inside.
 
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We left Hsavk
 
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and headed to our
 
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farmhouse in
 
Myvatn
Mvatn
 
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where we bought a hot meal at the neighboring hotel
 
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and rested up for the next day.