Tuesday, June 17, 2014


I keep forgetting to mention that we have been joined on our Icelandic adventure by Steve's sister, Chris and her husband Fred.  So there will be some stories about these two from Minnesota, I am sure!
And I know this is a boring subject, but just let me say Iceland has Sheep..a LOT of sheep.  They are everywhere, even in the middle of the road.  There are no preditors here,except the restaurants,  and lamb is on EVERY menu.  They aren't in herds, there are no fences and they are just all over the place...on the lava rocks,the fields,roads, hill and dale and enjoy a fairly peaceful,life until the fall round up, and then....well, you know...lamb chops!  The reason I even mentioned this is yesterday we were headed down a dirt road to see some site and this crazy sheep and her babies decided to run down the road in front of us...for about a mile! They would not scurry over to the side or the fields.  Sheep are dumb.
Then we visited a Shark Farmer.  Well, he really isn't a hunter, but he is a fishermen and a farmer on the Snaefellnes Peninsula.  We went there to taste rotting shark meat.  There is a huge lave bed that goes down to the sea and a big wooden shark on a pole letting the familiar know where to turn and drive thru more lava  until one comes to the "Shark Farmer". Hundreds of years ago,when things were really tough in Iceland...the people were tougher!  They caught and ate shark to supplement their meager diets.  Now, it is restricted to catch them, but these huge "Greenland sharks"  get caught in fishing nets by commercial fisherman, and the Shark Farmer buys them so their death doesn't go to waste.  This meat is actually poisen, but someone long found out if you just let it rot for a few months, it can be eaten and the oil is actuallu good for you. So after a tour and a short talk about all things "shark" we were invited to sample this.  Now days it is served at celebrations and to idiot tourists. The farmer explained that you spear a piece of shark and put it in a little jigger filled with a clear potent liquer called "black death".  You let this fermented shark meat soak for a few seconds then eat it, followed by gulping down the rest of the black death and then a piece of dark rye bread.  Quite ceremonial.  Guess who was standing in the front with a crap grin on her face? So I was given the honor of going first.  I could not let my fellow travel mates down, so I did it.  The outcome was: the shark wasn't all that bad, but the "black death" white lightening was horrid.  My call is that the liquer is to take one's mind off the putrid shark.  Thank god no one took a picture of me, but I got a few of Steve and Chris.
Well, the fellow informed us that he was very sorry they didn't actually sell the shark meat there but they did sell it at the airport in the "Made in Iceland" shop.  Yeah...right.

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