Fish Tacos in Iceland

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John and Lynn Salmon -- Spring 2013

The Salmon with Brooms joined Matt and Sharon Gallegos for a few days of fun curling at the 2013 Ice Cup held in Akureyri, Iceland. Our team, Fish Tacos, was one of two teams on the ice from our local Ardsley, NY curling club.

We took a few days before and after the bonspiel for sightseeing in Iceland, and put 2299 km on our rental car. Our attempt to circumnavigate the country on the Ring Road (Route 1) was thwarted by roads blocked with snow north of Hofn (between #5 and #6 on the map). Undaunted, we turned around and drove back clockwise and arrived in time for curling in Akureyri (#4 on the map).

The extra time on the road allowed us to see some great spots in the south of Iceland including fantastic ice bergs on the glacial river lagoon, Jökulsárlón. Numerous waterfalls dotted the landscape, and our stops included secluded Svartifoss, popular Seljalandsfoss, and magnificent Gullfoss.

We spent two nights at the Geysir Hotel across from geothermal features including the Great Geysir from which the English word geyser was taken. Geysir hasn't erupted for a while, but energetic little Strokkur spouts off every few minutes. We could watch Strokkur erupting from the dining room during our meals, and enjoyed morning and evening walks around the geyser field.

A full day was spent at the World Heritage Site of Thingvellir. The historical Althing site is where Iceland's first parliament was established in 930 and the general assembly met until 1798. It is situated on the mid-Atlantic ridge where the North American Plate and the Eurasian Plate meet.

We learned of Egil's saga in Borgarnes, did some tanning on the black sand beach of the North Atlantic in Dyrhólaey Nature Preserve, and found our way out of Raufarhólshellir Lava Tube.

Our first curling match against the Icelandic team Üllevål was scheduled for evening allowing them to play host and visit Mývatn with us for a day. Lake Mývatn was formed after a massive eruption 2300 years ago, and it remains geothermally active today. We spent some time hiking through an area of lava formations known as Dimmuborgir where we heard tales of the Icelandic Yule Lads. The area around the lake is huge, and we only had time to pop into a few sites and break into one lamb farm.

Returning to Akureyri, we spent the next three days curling and were treated to special Icelandic treats including rancid shark and black death. A great time was had by all, and the Akureyri Ice Cup is definitely the best curling bonspiel we have ever attended.

We ended our trip in the world's northernmost capital city, Reykjavík. Our comfortable room on the top floor of a hotel overlooking the harbor afforded views of ships near the Harpa Concert Hall. On a day with beautiful weather, we explored the city on foot and ended our loop around the large pond, Tjönin next to City Hall which has a large 3D map of Iceland. On our last day in the country, we had time to visit the National Museum of Iceland, and shop for some fashionable salmon leather.

Lynn Salmon <>{