26.10.2016 - 26.10.2016 5 °C
Today was a slower paced day.
At breakfast, the hiker joined us before continuing on his journey to Isafjordur. We chatted a little a little more with him before he headed off. After breakfast, we started the day with a walk with Stella around the farm as she told us some of the old stories. Then several of us went horse back riding around the guesthouse. While the horses we rode were trail horses, we walked, trotted and galloped when the ground allowed for it.
Afterward it was time for lunch. We had a tomato soup, a cheese and ham sandwich that was like a panini. As well as a salad. Lunch and dinner have always been served with a salad. I am not sure if I mentioned it, but there are greenhouses throughout the country. Stella also has a couple greenhouses where she grows an assortment of fruits and vegetables.
After lunch Stella had mentioned that we were going to go for a short drive (2 hours) to see a settlement area and then a salt factory. The last 2 settlements I had seen were inside so I didn't think I would need my hiking boots, however, I was mistaken. It was raining and the settlement - Vatnsfjordur was outside so I was a little cold and wished I had waterproof shoes as we walked around with Stella as she pointed out the different ruins. Nothing phases her...as we were walking with our jackets zipped, gloves on and hoods up, she didn't have her jacket zipped or her hood up. She just let it rain on her. At the settlement, we went inside the church (Stella had a key) to look around. I wasn't the only one who likes cemeteries, so we walked around the cemetery as well. The oldest grave was from 1876. The newest from 1978. A lot of people were close to 100 years old when they died. A hearty bunch those Icelanders!
From the settlement, we headed over to an artisan salt factory (Salt Werks) and the owner showed us how they made sea salt from the sea. After the salt factory, we walked, yes it was still raining, to an old swimming pool that was used in the 1850's, it was outside and was naturally feed with warm water. It was pretty wet out and we got a little worried when Stella slipped on the steps leaving the pool, but all ended well.
On our drive back to the guesthouse, we stopped to see the local giant. They have trolls and hidden people throughout the country. Just look on any mountain side and you will see people's faces in the rocks. It is pretty amazing. The giant we saw even had hair. The story Stella told was that the giant was fishing and lost track of time and didn't notice the sun coming up. When he did it was too late. As he turned around to leave, the sun came up and he turned to stone.
When we got back to the guesthouse, we had some time to ourselves to relax. Dinner tonight was buffet, however, they did start with an appetizer of smoked puffin, yes the cute little bird. It was served with blueberries and melon. We had a salad, rice and cod baked with a béarnaise sauce topped with cheese. I thought it was going to be super rich, but it was not. That was because after doing a little research, I realized it was a béchamel sauce and not béarnaise. It is a traditional dish called, Plokkfiskur. While I was full, since it was my last night here, I decided to get the apple cake. It was light and fluffy and of course very tasty.
It ended up a quite evening. We were talking that it would be nice to have a fireplace in the restaurant, however, they do not have any trees, so that would be difficult. Guess that is why the hot springs pools are so popular.