anyway, in the time it took for dave to go from the rental car into the apartment and check the internet for car seat installation instructions he got a parking ticket. what a great icelandic souvenir. it was a grim start to the morning. also, after packing the car we had to go back to the laundromat cafe to use their dryer. the diapers washed in the hostel the night before werent able to air dry overnight (not surprising). but, at least we got to have a solid breakfast before we hit the road. and X got more play time in. she actually played while we ate. the first peaceful meal weve had in a long time.
leaving reykjavik was a bit unpleasant. we hadnt planned our route (we were driving the famous/touristy "golden circle") out of town in advance, the signage is not so hot in iceland, and X was hating life in the car seat. oh joy. we did maintain enough sanity to get us out of town, but at the first scenic pulloff we NEEDED to stop to restart the energy of this trip. X was able to wander among the alpine lupines and we changed her diaper. she nursed and then finally seemed more capable of driving at this point. thank goodness.
afternoon: X dozed in the car while we drove to laugarvatn for lunch. we ate at the linden. there arent many food options once you leave the city, so these places have you by the balls in terms of pricing, thankfully the food quality was actually worth it in this instance. we got a lamb dish and an artic char sandwich. they were tasty, and filling, and X enjoyed them right along with us (minus the fish). unfortunately, we had to skip their famous chocolate mousse. :(
after food, we drove over to Þingvellir (the "Þ" is pronounced like a "th") national park. it is a world heritage site and is the center of icelands history. its the location of icelands first parliament, back in 930. crazy. its also the fault line where the eurasian/north american tectonic plates are moving apart from each other at a rate of 2mm per year. what a gorgeous place. its weird how the landscape looks impressive in one way while driving, but its totally impressive in more ways when you get out and walk. the green, the moss, the water, the rocks, the calm, the quiet. its peak season and while there were tour buses, it was nothing like tourist season at the american national parks. and lucky for us, the weather held out the whole time we were at the park and we had a great time.
(the beauty of the parks and the rocks; a view of pretty flowers growing among hardened lava flow)
evening: after a diaper change and snack at the car, we drove off to our hotel. X dozed (thankfully) and we navigated the rocky roads. its construction season in iceland too! apparently there are so few people on the roads that they dont bother with detours or flaggers at construction sites. its up to you to determine when to pass a bulldozer, or dump truck, or gravel roller. bizarre. after being bumped and jostled around for what felt like an hour, we arrived at our hotel in flúðir.
after all the rustic roads it was odd to check in to our 3 star hotel. one of the only places to eat in town was at our hotel. the prices were, again, not cheap, but we decided to ignore prices from here on out and do things up vacation style. we were here for fun and relaxation (ha) and adventure, not for budgeting. things cost money here, and as long as we are being reasonable in what we eat/do, we will just happily pay the prices.
so, for dinner dave got the lamb and i got the zucchini dish. both were tasty. this lamb was even better than lunch. icelandic lamb is good! after food, dave went in the hot tub and we met some women from winnipeg there. X was splashing the water (clothed, from outside the tub) and having a fun time being chatted up by the winnipeg ladies. she was also extra rowdy, in general, due to taking two car naps, rather than one real nap. bedtime was a bit of a circus.