Akureyri - Grettislaug

Trip Start Aug 05, 2012
Trip End Aug 19, 2012

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Where I stayed
Grettislaug Campground

Flag of Iceland  , Northwest,
Thursday, August 16, 2012

We leave Akureyri at 5:15pm and make our way to the west, through a thick fog. The road crosses high mountains we can not see, and we finally arrive at Skagafjordur which is where we leave the road N1 to take a trail towards Grettislaug. At the end of Reykjaströnd is the deserted farm Reykir and it is just below it that Grettir Ásmundsson came ashore after his swim from Drangey according to Grettir's saga. 

Grettislaug is an amazing deserted place, looking like the end of the world. The place is at the feet of beautiful mountains and face Drangey, a large and flat island. There are just a few farms on the way to Grettislaug and on that day, we are the only one sleeping here ! There is a hot pool, which the sagas tell Grettir bathed in after his swim. The pool has now been built up and it is possible to bathe in the same manner as when Grettir came to shore.



Despite the drizzle, we set up the camp, cook the fresh fish on the bbq, and then enjoy the Grettislaug's hotspring with the arctic ocean's waves as lullaby... 




-- A bit more about Grettir's saga
Latest of the Icelander's sagas, written c. 1320, it tells of the brave and wellborn Grettir, who at 14 kills a man and is outlawed. He spends his years of exile performing brave deeds. Returning to Iceland, he saves the people from a ghost that is ravaging the countryside, which in dying curses him with a growing fear of the dark. Outlawed again, his increasing fear keeps him from hiding himself, and he is finally overwhelmed with the aid of witchcraft. The saga's distinction rests on its hero's complex character and its skillful incorporation of folklore motifs.

The Grettir’s Saga tells us about the almost five years Grettir the exiled, his brother Illugi and the slave Glaumur spent on the Drangey Island. Once the slave had neglected watching the fire and it burned out. In the evening Grettir prepared for the long swim to the nearest farm, Reykir, to fetch fire. When he eventually arrived there, he was cold and tired and relaxed for several hours in a natural hot pool. Then he entered the farm and found everyone asleep. He found a place to rest and lay down stark naked and fell asleep.

He was wakened by a maid and the farmers daughter, who had entered the room, where he slept. They immediately recognized him and wondered why such big, strong man had such a small penis. 

The maid came closer to inspect and then turned back giggling to the farmers daughter. Grettir seized her by the arm and told the women, that his tools had proven satisfactory on many occasions regardless of their size. To prove his point he had sex with the maid, who soon stopped screaming and eventually left the room totally satisfied. Grettir then went to find the farmer, who agreed to take him and the fire back to the island.

It's said to bring good luck to those who bathe in the hotspring. 
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