Our first stop of two in Iceland was today. We anchored off Isafjordor, the major town in the West Fjords area of Iceland. The weather today was mostly punk though probably not as bad as it could have been in this neck of the woods (upper forties and grey, with low clouds that receded a bit during the day and then returned later in the afternoon during our sail-away).
Since we anchored off shore it was necessary to take tenders ashore which can be rather a tedious procedure. Plus given the fact that our tour meeting time was 8:00 am I was not in the best of humors. Still the tour was pleasant and interesting. As my friend Lauren pointed out in her comment to my last post, the landscape here is quite similar to the Faroe Islands. Large geologic formations are carpeted with low lying vegetation that is punctuated by waterfalls and sheep of various hues.
Our guide who is a student at the local University was certainly enthusiastic about the place. We drove through a tunnel that was nearly ten kilometers long and included an intersection! Also for a good portion of the way the tunnel is only one lane with frequent pull-outs for traffic going in one direction to allow traffic going in the other direction to pass. Strange but it seems to work.
Life on the other side of the tunnel is even more remote than Isafjordor. We stopped in one town where at the church we were serenaded by two local youths who sang traditional Icelandic songs and wore traditional costumes. Later we went for some coffee and a bite to eat at a community center and then visited a small museum which depicted life in remote Iceland during the forties and fifties.
Afterward we drove to a botanical garden that was founded over one hundred years ago by a monk. The garden is modest, as you can well imagine, but it is maintained scrupulously and clearly well loved. It was a little oasis of green in the green and gray landscape of moss, lichen and grass.
Back at the boat we had a quiet afternoon reading and needlepointing. It's dinner time now and we are headed south toward tomorrow's stop, Reykjavik.