Advantages A real insight into small-town Iceland
Disadvantages The "tourist attractions" aren't all they're cracked up to be.
This was supposed to be our final full walking day in Iceland, but I opted out. Partly this was because of the combination of the plan and the weather forecast: 11 miles including stream-wading under a forecast of "light rain, heavier later"… ?Nah! Not today.
Partly it was just: it had been a busy week, and I just wanted to chill. (Our illustrious leader whispered "If I was a client I'd be bunking off too".)So, a short (two-hour) walk around town would be my limit.
Two whole hours? In Hveragerdi? How?
What you need to know at the outset is that under UK definitions the place would scarcely struggle above "village" status.But size isn't everything. Nor should you believe everything the guide books tell you.
For me, it is simply to look and to see and to ponder… what, how, why?... and sometimes just to look and admire or decry… oh yes! of course I travel with an open mind and not a preconception in my bones (yeah right!) but I also travel with my own tastes and preferences. I look at the clothes and homes and art of the natives and think "I love that" or alternatively "Bloomin' heck mate, I mean, come on..!" My point is: my "point" to travelling is basically just about being nosey. I want to see how they do it. I'm as happy looking at domestic architecture as I am great monuments; I love peering over fences into private gardens more than wandering through landscaped parks. I want to know about local myths and legends; I buy children's books to catch their fairy-stories. I want to know how folk live, how they work, what they do on their day off.All that 'wow' natural landscape stuff is only part of the equation. A major part, but only a part. Sometimes, I want to 'stay home with the locals'.
So, it was in this spirit of having a day playing hooky, a day to myself with no commitments that I set off under grey skies with "light rain, heavier later" looking entirely probable, to have a mooch around Hveragerdi and just see what might be to be seen.Idle Rambles
To begin with I headed up the main village street and around the park. Park. Now there's a word that conjures up a multitude of images. Vast landscaped expanse, or tiny enclosure of kiddies' roundabouts and slides. In this case: somewhere between the two. It's a tiny space trying to give the impression of size by having winding paths and tree-lined seating areas. It's no bigger than a traditional London "Square" – but far more fun.
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