Iceland – Meeting on Another Planet XVI
25. 8. 2013
Vík, Skálakot,Skógafoss; Dyrhólaey
The farm is set in beautiful area of Eyjafjöll, southern Iceland. As of the present, they hold 150 horses and 300 sheep. The success in breeding horses support well-known stallions Klængur or Skýr. Every year, they train 10 colts of the best lineages. Johanna is the boss here. She is the engine to the whole project. She will accompany you on trips to the surroundings, and prepare great meals for you. The owner of the farm is Guðmundur Viðarsson, also the main guide. He is referred to as Mummi. No one calls him different. He knows everything about horses and the mountains. You can say: "What Mummi dosent know is not important at all."
Unfortunately, when we arrived at the farm, the weather was awesome. Rain was pouring, and the wind was blowing hard. It is not very safe to ride horses to the surroundings. We had to accept an offer to ride horses for 30 minutes in the circus ring for 3000 ISK. My horse is called Fjala.
Icelandic horse, or Icelandic pony, is very resilient breed. It came to existence as a mixture of Norse pony and horses from Scotland and Ireland. At the present, it is forbidden to breed different breeds to keep Icelandic pony untouched. The maximum height of the horse is 125-134 cm. So it is among horses not ponys. Icelandic horse has short legs and very firm hoof. Perfect body construction allows it to carry heavy duty weights, and it has no problem to carry a grown up man. Its life span is also unusual as it lives up to 30 years. Icelandic pony likes people, is calm and friendly. Even families with small children can breed it .
Our journey continues towards another fabulous waterfall - Skógafoss which is to be found near the town of Skógar, and the water cames from the Skóga River. The waterfall is one of the largest in the country. Its width is 25 meters and height reaches 60 meters.
Iron staircase goes up along the waterfall. You can comfortably get to the top. Yet you shouldn’t end your tour there. The road going off the waterfall goes in beautiful landscape. It follows the river until in reaches another massive cataract. You can enjoy the vistas while you go. With some luck you can see a nearby glacier. Our group ends the hike at the upper waterfall. The trail, however, continues to Þórsmörku (its is a natural reservation refered to as the Thor’s Forest, one of the most beautiful places on the island, according to the locals). Unfortunately, we have not necessary equipment and time to undergo this journey. On the other hand, it is another reason why come back to Iceland in the future.
As I have already said, we are about to go back. It is really pleasant walk. The weather is good. Some go closer to the river, and submerge tired legs into cold water. We descend by staircase. The waterfall accompanies us to the very bottom of the river. Now we can admire how majestic it is from up close. Some are lucky enough to see beautiful rainbow created by water reflecting in sun rays.
The schedule is really full. Next we are going to the Skogasafn open-air museum of folk architecture which enables us to learn about the life in the south The museum consists of couple of agricultural buildings, and small houses with grass roof (entrance 1200 ISK).
We are incredibly lucky as our guide is going to be Þórdur Tómasson himself. Despite his 92 years of age he is a great guidy. He colorfully talks about the life in the area. He is the very founder of the open-air museum. He can talk in detail about every item there and explain how it was used. A school and a church are part of the compound. We enjoy the tour and also the music. Þórdur Tómasson is singing in the church and Magda with Zdenek, our guide, later in the school. , The last building we visit is the museum of “connection” that presents with various items used for communication in the whole world – mobiles, walkie-talkies, etc. I highly recommend you to visit the open-air museum.
We will sleep in the town of Vík. We are going there right now. For a while, we are going to stop at Cape Dyrhólaey. But more on it next time.
Text and photo: Magdaléna Radostová
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