Thursday, 12 August 2010

Slartibartfast deserves a design award

Day 4
Today began well. The Hotel Herad redeemed itself from the lack of tea tray because breakfast included the opportunity to make your own waffles! Mmmm waffles and syrup - great way to start the day and the rest of the buffet breakfast was of a higher standard than we've had so far.

There followed a trip to the supermarket to buy picnic supplies - remarkably similar to the picnic supplies bought two days ago - but you can't go wrong with bread, cheese, salami, yoghurts, fruit and crisps! Next was the adventure of trying to put diesel in the hire care - self service is all well and good if the instructions are written in a language you understand....

The rest of the day has been a slow drive around three fjords, on roads that cling for dear life onto the side of the cliff faces. We stopped often to take photos, none of
which can reflect the grandeur and scale of the scenery.

We passed an aluminium smelting factory - its construction had caused a massive public outcry because of the environmental impact in a place of such sensitive and outstanding beauty. I can understand the outcry - but also the very real need for jobs and industry in Iceland. The cost of living is very high and people work 60 - 80 hour weeks to make ends meet - many are still unable to climb out of debt and the cynicism after the debacle with the banks has changed many people's outlook.

Still - so much of what we saw today was tranquil, with mist rolling in then burning off and more rolling in. In places this created a surreal atmosphere - something between the 'Twilight Zone' and 'Brigadoon'!

Our hotel - the Skadaborg just outside Briedelsvik is not really up to scratch - feels more like a hostel than a hotel. This would be fine if we had booked to be in a hostel but as we are in 'trip of a lifetime' mode is a bit of a let down. Having said that, it does have free wifi and when Sandy went in search of coffee supplies to placate his grumpy wife, the staff were most helpful! Perhaps dinner will shed a softer glow over my op
inion of the place!

Tomorrow we set of for the Skatafell National Park, where we will call in at the Jokulsarlon lake, into which flow icebergs that have broken off from the glacier. We hope to get a boat trip on the lake - so if the weather is good the photo's should be something special.

1 comment:

  1. I will overlook a lot if it has free wifi. Thanks for sharing your trip!