Saturday, 9 January 2016

Iceland 2.9: Eyrarbakki and Hveragerði

Having said goodbye to Harriet's tour group, we were then able to start our holiday proper with a very easy drive to Hveragerði.  It was a beautiful sunny afternoon, so we decided to detour via the south coast and the small town of Eyrarbakki.  In doing so we passed Iceland's largest prison, Litla Hraun: a high security institution capable of housing the grand total 45 inmates.  Eyrarbakki is charming, with beautiful painted buildings around a large grassy area by the beach.  The area is overlooked by a statue Björgunarsveitin Björg, the man of the sea, who is carrying a large flatfish in his right hand.

Eyrarbakki was the only place we saw the traditional Icelandic practice of drying cod in the open air.

Unlike many Icelandic towns, which can be rather drab in appearance, here the wood and corrugated iron buildings have been painted in a very attractive manner.

Eventually we headed to Hveragerði in order to wind down a bit and prepare for the following day's trip into the Icelandic highlands.  The hotel, shown in the first picture, was far from peaceful, however, as there was a large contingent from the Maidstone Girls' Grammar School also staying there.  Being a geothermal town, Hveragerði has large numbers of glass houses which are lit and heated by abundant green energy.  We were able to sneak a peek inside one which was currently being used to grow roses.

On the way to dinner we were delighted to see that Futtock Jumping is still a popular pastime in Hveragerði, and Harriet was keen to demonstrate that she'd lost none of her prowess.  I managed a single selfie during my previous trip, so that I felt it was important to include two on this occasion...