(13) Iceland Dreaming … “As is” (Part one)

Bright and early, we headed on to our three two day stay in Egilsstaðir

and were greeted along the way by a highway that was sometimes gravel!


the eastern fjordurs dotted with hay bales


and around one corner… this guy. Caribou!

Yeah, we couldn’t see him well enough either, so you better believe we stopped and got as close as we could.

Finally, we arrived at our first mega tunnel.. 7 km long! (that’s 4.3 miles English speak)

And eventually were ushered into Elgilsstadir … how nice of them to greet us so warmly. 🙂


But from here on out, this stay offered us a series of problem solving opportunities in a twisted humorous kinda way.

It turns out that the international phone plan we had purchased wasn’t working. And add to that, we got a $238.75 charge warning from our credit card company regarding gas we had bought the day before. Couple that with trying to get a hold of our new landlord regarding when we might arrive  – who turns out is a sheep farmer and its summer (meaning they work almost 24 hours out in the fields to get their work done while they can). So, not only was he out where they are not getting timely airbnb messages on the wifi that you can only use at the last place you stayed, but he was a bit new at the whole renting kinda thing and we had no idea how we were supposed to get the key.

Good news:  Thorsteinn (pronounce a little bit like Thurston, but with a harder ‘t’ sound) got the messages late and was waiting for us (for a couple hours I guess).

Bad news: he left without giving us the Wifi code… and so we were back to square negative one, because now we couldn’t even get a hold of him on the nightly rental Wifi, because he was our nightly rental.


(Good news: it was okay to be without wifi for a night.

Bad news: not when you need to figure out a crazy big gas charge,  and phone service glitch and are feeling a little ‘naked’ without connectivity.)


Problem Solving in a Foreign Country 101: Find someone and ask for help.

Enter stage left: Bokacoffi


Good news: I had been listening to Thorsteinn’s broken English telling us about a internet cafe down the street!

Bad news: I had to try to explain this whole series of events to an unsuspecting Bakery attendant and ask to use her phone to get a hold of Thorsteinn.


Good news: found a great cafe attendant (and a great place to come back in the morning)

Bad news: there is none.

Got a hold of Thorsteinn,

muddled our way through explanations (with sheep baaing in the background),

went back up to the house – got the wifi working

went down to the gas station and figured out when you push “fill,” it automatically pre-authorizes you for a huge amount and reimburses you later… Chris had read about this, and had been fairly sure that is what happened, (but in my ignorance I had sent a “something’s wrong” notice to the credit card company and seemingly had cancelled our card, which needed to be reversed if we were to get gas again, which is why we needed connectivity which is where this all began

sooooooo, yeah that was kinda how this two day stay went…


We were definitely ready for a vegetable infused Annie’s mac and cheese and bed at our new digs!


So let me say right here. I loved Thorsteinn’s place. I love any place with a view that I can feel like I’m still enjoying outdoors, while chilling after a long day. I love checking out new gadgetry, and glimpses of a different way of living… and I love plain ol’ setting up camp in a house.

But Thorsteinn’s house was his home –  most likely his winter home – and as such, to me it felt a bit ‘sacred.’ It was a peek into someone’s life and it came ‘as is’ much like my home would: broken outlets, dusty cluttered pantry, locks that didn’t work quite right – if at all. (Yep, got stuck in the bathroom once!) A dryer that was never meant to be used, I think (or so the burning belt smell indicated). A jury-rigged drying rack over the heater… and NO drying line outside! (Unheard of in Iceland.) Hard beds, no microwave, a very funky shower set up with a half curtain meant for standing sideways in the tub, toilets that ran, sticky (really sticky) kitchen drawers and a refrigerator without a freezer (somewhat common, I guess.) Rabbit ears on the flat screen. Ha! These things just endeared itself to me, and were causes of lots of laughter.


It was definitely a study in contrasts.

And I fell in love with the toys that were there.

WordPress won’t let me show you a video of how this toy worked. It was just a marble shoot (with one “wing” missing. Ha!) but it made the most cool sounds as the marbles made their way down from the top.

I mean, honestly, how can you just not love a real peek into typical human-ness.

We’d only have one full day to see this part of Iceland, but we had seen so much already in this one endearing home.






2 thoughts on “(13) Iceland Dreaming … “As is” (Part one)

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  1. It’s so cool to feel I’m right there in Iceland with you while I sip my coffee in my easy chair in San Diego looking out our front window at a gorgeous leafy mulberry tree on this sunny 80°+ day…. We’ll soon be on our way to our own diverse cultural adventure, driving thru San Ysidro to Tijuana to get some dental work done for a mere $140 instead of the $2200 that my stateside dentist quoted me +$2200 to do!!! Thank you, Jesus! I save a bucketful of money plus get the fun of gabbing away in Spanish w my new buddies at the dentist’s office! Jane, when do you go home to Bend??

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