Day Eighteen and Nineteen: Saturday 24th August-Sunday 25th August
Journey: Stykkishólmur to Borgarnes, Iceland
Once in Borgarnes, we quickly escaped the tempestuous winds of the outside and reached the local backpackers hostel. We would spend two nights and a day there.
We had selected Borgarnes because Borgarnes is the birthplace and homestead of one of Iceland’s most famous Vikings, the Poet-Murderer-Magician-Farmer-Soldier-Chieftain Egill Skallagrimsson. In Iceland, Egill is so famous that he has his own saga, and even a beer named after him. That’s quite badass if you ask me, but again, he was quite the badass type to start with.
Logically, in the day we spent in the town, we visited the local settlement centre which has two exhibitions, one about the settlement of Iceland and one about Mr. Egill himself. The museum’s exhibits are quite small, but very well done, interactive and multi-media. An audio guide is offered for the ride and we opted for the Norwegian one which, despite having been recorder in Bergensk proved to be surprisingly easy to understand.
Unfortunately, no pictures were allowed inside the museum and this is quite a pity because there were many beautiful sets, charts, videos and especially sculptures to be found. The one showing Queen Gunhild Gormsdóttir, Egill’s arch-nemesis as a feather-clad shaman was particularly interesting. Overall, the museum was a blast.
We wandered out afterwards, searching for food. As no food was to be found in the empty streets of Borgarnes, we went to a local Edda-themed café called Edduveröld. The café also serves as an exhibit area for some rather impressive artwork inspired by the Old Religion. The menu looked quite good too, and I opted for a “Loki Sandwich” with bacon and egg. A mighty piece of foodstuff that was!
After adding to our body mass by the means of succulent sandwiches (“Samloka” in Icelandic) we wandered out and went to the local city museum. The place was virtually deserted and had some very interesting exhibitions.
The first one was an installation of hundreds of pictures spanning a hundred and fifty years which
documented Icelandic childrens’ life. Some pictures were really good, both from a photographic standpoint and because of their cute/funny subjects. The second exhibit showed an old log house from the nineteenth-century, placed next to a contemporary (and much bigger) child’s room. The third part of the exhibit was a collection of stuffed birds. Linnea really went berserk on this one, commenting, in between two cuteness-induced seizures, about the fluffiness of diminutive baby ducklings.
After a couple of hours looking at birds, Linnea finally agreed to leave the museum in order to go buy food. We went and bought food. The food was subsequently cooked and eaten. Dishes were washed as well and ultimately dried and placed back into their drawers. We went up the stairs, entered our rooms and slept. Some packing was also done, but much less than sleeping. Tired we were and the next day would prove to be the last of our journey…