The Liberty Gazette
October 11, 2016Ely Air Lines
by Mike Ely and Linda Street-Ely
Mike: Jet lag: the wiped-out feeling you get after making a long flight across many time zones. Sometimes it takes a couple days for a body clock to reset. Last week we left you in the town of Vik, Iceland.
We were told the best place to see the Aurora Borealis was on the hill behind the church which held the highest ground over the town. So, tired and cold, we climbed the steep roads to the church and beyond.
We waited, hoping to see the Northern Lights but they didn’t come, so marching back down the hill we finally laid our weary heads down. We were disappointed to learn in the morning that the aurora came about 3:00 AM. The show was so great the capitol city of Reykjavik turned off all the street lights so everyone there would see them much better. We were hopeful for a repeat sometime during our stay.
Linda: On to Vallanes in eastern Iceland - a difficult drive to make because there's a surprise around every corner: glaciers, waterfalls, volcanoes, beautiful mountains and ocean views, Icelandic horses, and sheep farms… oh the sheep, those adorable sheep. Everywhere our eyes gazed was postcard picture worthy, thus, the estimated drive time was out of whack with reality, because who can pass this up and not stop to take pictures?
None of the roads are super highways. The all-weather Ring Road is mostly just one lane in each direction, some of it is just gravel, and we traveled over a whole lot of single lane bridges constructed of wood or pierced steel planking, which makes unique sounds when driving on it.
Our Ring Road route followed the southeastern fjords and though there is a shortcut through the mountains, we weren’t sure our rental car could handle it so the drive to Vallanes took quite a bit longer than we expected, arriving late at the organic farm and home of our hosts Hamie and his wife Eyglo. Fortunately though, this time we caught a stunning light show of Aurora Borealis shortly after checking in to our guest house.
We watched ions stuck in magnetic love move quickly like fluid ribbons, widening, lengthening, across the sky. Sometimes they kiss and heat up enough to let off sparks. We had seen pictures but never in our wildest dreams did we expect such a moving spectacle.
In the morning Hamie and Eyglo served us breakfast of traditional Icelandic porridge with barley (their primary crop) from their farm, raisins, pumpkin seeds, cinnamon and honey, along with traditional pancakes with nuts and raisins - and great coffee.
At approximately 1100 acres, theirs is the largest organic farm in all of Iceland. They irrigate and have greenhouses, but they do not have access to the underground hot springs that many other farms and homes have for heat.
Mike: After breakfast we spent the day hiking along the trails around the farm, conversed with curious Icelandic horses who wanted to eat Linda’s new wool sweater, and trekked through the woods and down to the lake and back, stopping in at the church next to the farm to offer a prayer of thanks.
Linda: We will continue our Icelandic Saga next week.