Wednesday, September 24, 2014


Day 8

Today’s the last day on Route 1.  We traveled southwest of Selfoss to find Snaefoksstadir Forest #11.  The country is flat and the tiny forest stood out – right off the main road.  It’s a modest 2-3 acre forest with a couple of picnic tables and surrounded by farm land.   

Snaefoksstadir Forest

Several miles south of the forest we came to Stokkseyri, a scenic coastal fishing village.  We discovered art galleries, cafes, restaurants serving up their lobster dish specials (very tasty), a well tended cemetery and a replica fishing hut used by fishermen for several hundred years.  The hut is approximately 18’ x 30’ and accommodated 8 people - cozy.

 Stokkseyri Fisherman’s Hut
At Stokkseyri I found another inverted tree in front of a house.  The tree trunk is buried into the ground with its roots in the air – roots simulating branches.  The inverted tree has its origins in pre-Christian Iceland.  It may have something to do with Odin (chief Norse god) self sacrificing by hanging himself upside down on an ash tree to gain “ultimate mystic knowledge”.  Christian interpretation: it’s the tree of knowledge (of good and evil) and also symbolizing man burying his head into materialism.   The inverted tree adds folk lore and mystery to the landscape.

 Inverted Tree at Stokkseyri 
(Aug 15):    Inverted Tree at Halsaskogur Forest 

We’re only 35 miles from Reykjavik and road traffic has picked up considerably.  On  our way to Gullfoss waterfall we made a stop at Kerid crater, a perfect cone shape volcano with a small blue water lake in the center - very scenic.   And we stopped off at the “Great Geysir”.   Due to the overwhelming number of tourist we decided to head to Gullfoss waterfall.

Kerid Volcano Crater 

Gullfoss waterfall is a spectacular favorite among tourist.  It’s not the most powerful (Dettifoss has that honor) but it certainly is the most dramatic and beautiful. The river has cut two cascades into the volcanic rock at ninety degree angles.  After the second cascade the water seems to disappear into a deep gorge.

Unfortunately, it was so late in the day and we had to get the Hertz car back we skipped Pingvellier National Park, a site of great historical, cultural and geological significance to Iceland.    

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