A Travellerspoint blog

Cycling Around Iceland!

From Forrest falls to smokey bays : THE FULL CIRCLE!!

all seasons in one day 10 °C

From Forrest falls to smokey bays : THE FULL CIRCLE!

After leaving the comfortable little town of Vík it wasn't long before we arrived in Skógar, an even smaller location, with a population of around 25, but packing one hell of a clout! The punch been, in my belief one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Iceland. Skógafoss is a majestic sight, on your first accountance to your last, any time of the day, and I assume any time of year! The name Skógarfoss literally translates to 'The Forest Waterfall'. Which was funny, because there isn't exactly an ampleness of trees in the area! If you climb up a small trail to the right of the waterfall, it takes you up to the edge of the river Skógá, which flows down from springs at the base of the Eyjaöll mountains. There are little view points of the waterfall along the way, which are both hazardous to get to, and worth the reward. The energy in the area was bewildering. Skógafoss falls about 60 meters and is about 25meters wide. It creates a constant spray, which apparently can produce a perma rainbow, best viewed on sunny days. We were not so lucky, with the 'non existent perma' rainbow. The power of the waterfall seemed incredible. Not as powerful as some others in Iceland such as Dettifoss, but enough to make you feel everything on your body shake as tons and tons of playfully falling water crashed to the ground beneath you. We soon had to absquatulate from the scene, before soaking ourselves to death.
As many a folk story tells of there being a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, this one could (have been) be genuine?! According to communal law, Þrasi Þórólfsson was the first Viking to settle in the area. He apparently buried treasure behind the wall of water at Skógar. Many years later during the 17th century three local men managed to get a rope around a ring on the end of the box, but the ring broke off and that is all they were left with. The ring can 'now' be found in the Skógar museum, but was fashionably used for the door ring on the local church for a number of years.
Apparently this was an old folklore chant about Þrasi's gold.....

Richly stacked is Þrasi’s chest
under Skógar’s waters cold.
Who so ever goes there first
will have wealth untold.
(Translation Bernard Scudder)

After staying around the tranquil area of Skógar, we eventually managed to pull ourselves away and head back on the final stretch to Reykjavik. I would be lying if claimed that there wasn't a lure to get back to Reykjavik and a major civilisation, but I was still enjoying small town life, and clean clean air haha. We made our way leisurely back towards Reykjavik, stopping by a few towns for convenience means, and interest. The town of Hvolsvöllur, was an important post after the recent eruptions earlier this year. There was a red cross mass care centre set up here to help people affected by the eruption. Culturally however, Njáls saga or 'Brennu-Njáls saga' (The Story of the burning of Njáll) is known to have taken place around this area. Apparently it is one of the favourite saga's of Icelanders. The story tells of blood feuds in the 13th century. It was a nice little town but we were now feeling the need to let loose and party all night long again in the smokey bay.
Succeeding our time in Hvolsvöllur, we made little more stops than were needed. It was a matter of days, over a few hills as we neared Reykjavik, and our eventual finish to our full circle. It seemed ridiculous to see how far we had been, people and places that we had seen, were all now behind us. The circle road had been better than we had imagined sometimes, and more like a horror movie at others. The weather had been great to us at times and also nearly pushed you over the edge of insanity. The relief was obvious, we had just completed a trip of a lifetime, and it felt amazing. A flood of emotions came over me as we passed the Reykjavik sign. I couldn't stop smiling, maybe because I'm bordering on alcoholism and I knew I could have a binge, but I think not. I'm pretty sure that I felt proud of myself, extremely proud of myself. Not just for realising that I can actually do these sort of things, but realising that by doing this amazing adventure we have been able to help so many people through raising money for charity. And maybe this is where the sad part hit me, the fact that I felt so lucky. The fact that not everyone can just get away and go and travel around Iceland, not just because of their financial stability, but more because of their health. Then the travelling bug bit me again, and none of us were able to wipe the smile off of our faces all day. Brilliant!
The smokey bay, as we like to call Reykjavik, is a translation we were given by a guy on one of our adventures throughout Iceland, and it just stuck. On our return we managed to find the couch surfer we had stayed with over our first few nights in Iceland. He put us up for a few nights, which was great as always, to not hear the wind through the wall and to see a friendly face. Over these days spent near Hafnarfjörður all we did was relax and share memories of our adventures throughout Iceland. Afterall it had been one crazy trip. We eventually moved out of his flat and took with us our bike boxes which he had kindly kept under the stairs in the basement of his flat building. We headed down to the central camping site of Reykjavik, which was colossal in comparison with other sites around Iceland or even other towns. The location was fantastic. Not to far away from the 'Reykjavik 101', but also not to close. However we were very close to the bay area with some stunning views out towards Akranes, a town we hadn't quite made it to.
Now it was time to party............ and party we did!!!

Icelandic lesson..........

finnast - think, find
líða - feel
lítast á - like
sýnast - seem
þykja - think, find
dreyma - dream
langa í - want
vanta - need Mig vantar kaffi. - 'I need coffee.'

Football & Sport
fótbolti (m.) - football, soccer
kappleikur (m.) - match
klúbbur (m.) - club
komast yfir boltann - to gain possession of the ball
leika (v.) - play
leikmaður (m.) - player
lið (n.) - team
mark (n.) - goal
markvörður (m.) - goalkeeper, goalie
skora (v.) - score
sparka (v.) - to kick
vinna (v.) - win

Fruits
ananas - pineapple (courtesy of Rodney Martel)
appelsína (f.) - orange
apríkósa (f.) - apricot
banani (m.) - banana
bláber (n.) - blueberry
epli (n.) - apple
ferskja (f.) - peach
jarðaber (n.) - strawberry
pera (f.) - pear
rúsína (f.) - raisin
sítróna (f.) - lemon
tómatur (m.) - tomato
vínber (n.) grape

Vegetables
agúrka (f.) - cucumber (agurk)
baun (f.) - bean (bønne)
gulrót (f.) - carrot (gulerod)
hrísgrjón (n.) - rice (ris)
hvítlaukur (m.) - garlic (hvidløg)
kál (n.) - cabbage (kål)
kartafla (f.) - potato (kartoffel)
laukur (m.) - onion (løg)
rófa (f.) - turnip (roe)
salat (n.) - lettuce (salat)
sveppur (m.) - mushroom (svamp)

Posted by tchgate 12:24 Archived in Iceland Tagged ecotourism

Email this entryFacebookStumbleUpon

Table of contents

Be the first to comment on this entry.

This blog requires you to be a logged in member of Travellerspoint to place comments.

Enter your Travellerspoint login details below

( What's this? )

If you aren't a member of Travellerspoint yet, you can join for free.

Join Travellerspoint