Helgafell and Flatey

Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Stykkishólmur , Iceland
Today is my last full day here (sniff). After a nice breakfast at the hotel, I went to the local geothermal pool here in Stykk. The water is carried in from a nearby well, that is from the ground. Again, had it to myself, so I swam some laps and sat in the hot pot.  

 After this, I decided to climb the mountain, Helgafel (holy mountain) . The cool thing about this is some legend behind it. The mountain is near a church where local legend  Guðrún Ósvífrsdóttir is buried. If you start at her grave and walk up the mountain without looking back and uttering any words, get to the old church ruins at the top, turn East and then recite three wishes in your head, they will come true. Of course, I had to do this. I did well until I got about 3/4 up when I thought I was at the top. I turned west, then realized I was indeed, not at the top, and muttered a few expletives. Well, so much for that. I ended up finding the ruins at the top and made my wishes anyway. I can't tell you what they were, otherwise they will not come true.  

This afternoon I took the Baldur Ferry to Flatey Island (flat island), where two families live year-round. Flatey is 1.5 hours from Stykk, and it was a nice ride. It's popular in the summer with cottages and people camping and partying, according to Artie at my hotel. It's super tiny and makes you feel like you're in the 1950s . Nothing is open right now, but the woman at the Seatours office said one of the ladies, Olina, often invites visitors into her home for coffee/cake/bread for a few kroner. She called her and told her to expect me. Flatey is also home to an old church built in 1926 (with a picture of Jesus wearing a wool sweater), as well as the oldest library in Iceland. Unfortunately, it was closed. Olina tried calling the person with the key, but she was "off the island."  

It was so interesting talking to Olina. She is one of two families who lives on the island all the time. And, they don't get along with the other one. Like, they don't speak! I asked her daughter about this, and she said it's always been that way. I mentioned this was in my travel book, and they got a kick out of that. Olina said the priest only comes to the island twice a year, so she prays to God directly. I said, I don't blame you. (haha). She also said a lot of people have weddings on the island (including her own son). I wrote in her guest book, and also took a picture with her.  

Tonight I have to pack, which I am dreading. There is so much I will miss about this place. The people, the scenery, the seafood, the laid-back attitude. Artie at the hotel told me, "if you're stressed in Iceland, it's your own fault." True that.  



aunt sandy

beautiful....enjoy and have a safe trip home...I enjoyed travelling with you