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[personal profile] howeverbrief
Augh, I think this week is going to be crazy, so let's try again...

Day 5 (Husavik):
This day, we got to stay in one place, which I mentioned was known for whale watching. After researching whale watching the night before, mostly debating prices and what was still available from the three different companies that offered it since we really didn't know what to expect from place to place until we were there, we decided to go for it. It was probably the biggest single expense of the trip, but it totally ended up being worth it. We had some fish and chips for breakfast then boarded a boat and were offered warm suits if we wanted them (big red one-pieces that I accepted even though they looked ridiculous because it was rather cold out on the ocean). We were headed out to sea for quite a while, looking at an island known for puffin watching (though there weren't any because it was too late in the season) and mostly not seeing anything else other than other ships, until our ship noticed a rival company slowing down and following a pod of pilot whales. Pretty exciting! I didn't get many pictures of the whales we saw, mostly because they were far away and hard to focus on. Mike got more on his ipad because his phone was still not working, but I managed to delete the entirety of my memory card that contained pictures from the time I got the camera in 2012 to now, so that's fun? (Ugh, so frustrating. I'm dumb, but I was glad I had backed up pictures from the trip so far up to that point the night before.)

Anyway, the pilot whales were cool. We even saw one jump! Besides that group, we didn't see much. We saw a few blue whales, which are the biggest whales in the world if I recall correctly, diving, but we never saw them resurface. So, a lot of tail and not much action. Ha. With the cocoa and the cinnamon roll chaser at the end that we shared, it was still an adventure that was very much worth it.

After that, we stopped by the whale museum that I had been admiring the night before. This turned out to be very fascinating as well. I think one of the more memorable parts was the full-sized blue whale skeleton on display (the picture I got didn't really do the immense size of this justice) and several exhibits on stamps made from whale bones and types of whale along with how they reproduce. (They need an assist from another whale, apparently.) What I didn't really like was the slap in the face about the realities of whaling, which has been a way of life in Iceland for many, many years. (It was interesting but really sad. Up until that point, Mike had considered eating whale steak if we could find it.) Oh, that and how whales end up stranded on beaches was sad too. Woo, sadness.

Their gift shop was rather impressive, and Mike got several books for his family as souvenirs. We also got a few stuffed whales. They proved to be very nice later when we discovered that we had forgotten two of our books later in the room too. (We went back and they said they had chased after us but couldn't find us. Glad we discovered that because it would have been an expensive mistake.

Later that evening after food, I took a walk around Husavik because, despite being on vacation, I was still obsessed with fitbit. I got some nice pictures of the town, which was quite tiny, and went back to the room to prepare for leaving the next day.

Day 6 (Husavik to Egilsstadir):
The morning started out foggy and very similar to the first day we set out. I was a little worried it would be very similar and rainy to that, since the weather had been very good since then, but it wasn't too bad during the day. From here, the sun came out by the time we arrived at Jökulsárgljúfur National Park. (I had to copy and paste that because holy god, Icelandic is hard to spell.) This huge park is a very cool nature preserve formed mostly by glaciers carving out a huge crater in the craggy rocks. It also contained one of the best parts of the trip for me. We traveled a bit into the park and arrived at a huge horseshoe-shaped enclosure known as Asbyrgi. We took a short hike into the park from the small parking lot and followed the signs to a staircase that went down. Once in Asbyrgi proper, we were treated to a shaded enclosure with craggy rocks in front, a cool lake below and blue sky overlooking it all. It was the most calm, beautiful place I've ever been in my life, and I felt like I could have stayed there the rest of the trip and been happy. Unfortunately, we had a lot more to see.

From there, we continued in the park. Because not all roads in Iceland are paved, we ended up going down a very long, dusty two-lane road with one-lane bridges in places all in pursuit of Europe's most powerful waterfall: Dettifoss. Despite the windy, crazy road, there were a ton of people at this site too, which is saying something because the hike to get to the waterfall was a bit arduous for us. It wasn't too long, but it included a huge staircase made from large rocks as well as uneven stones/mud to traverse. Given our respective food injuries, it was hard for both of us to get there at times, but seeing it was something else. As for many of our experiences in Iceland, we took pictures from afar and weren't quite as brave as certain people around us. While I definitely felt the spray and power of the waterfall, I didn't want to fall in because there were no barriers between the cliff and the tourists. I tended to take pictures of the braver people rather than being one myself because I wanted to survive the trip rather than have a crazy story to tell or a picture that was just a little closer. Seemed like a good trade-off to me.

We got a little off-course from there because it was late in the day, and we were starving. We ended up detouring and stopping at a tiny town (Modrudular) for a cheese sandwich and soup that was fairly satisfying. I was glad we did because our next stop was the little cabin for the evening in Egilstadir, probably the cutest place we stayed. We also went to dinner at a local place I think was named Salt that I mostly remember for having played an original version of this song eight years in a row. (The kids behind the counter did not give a shit. Haha.)

Two days seems to be my record for the moment. I'll try again later. Thanks for putting up with my short bursts about this trip. Hopefully headed toward done soon.
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