A Day in Iceland: Kirkjubaejarklaustur – Hof

pseudocraters iceland Kirkjubaejarklaustur
Sarah and Dokna in the pseudocrater field near Kirkjubaejarklaustur.

Dokna could easily allow herself to be the world’s saddest dog. She loves sticks – but some cruel twist of fate has put her in Kirkjubaejarklaustur, Iceland.

Klaustur, as it’s often called, has as many sticks as Arizona has native species of whales. Trees? The people at the Hotel Laki Efri-Vik where Dokna lives have planted some, but that’s about it. They rarely shed branches. Those that fall to the ground are limp and perhaps a bit unsatisfying. When she does find a stick, she bounces side-to-side on her front paws until you throw it for her. This happens often enough to keep her happy.

Dokna – whose name I am probably misspelling and is the Icelandic word for "Spot" – also amuses herself by latching onto hotel guests and walking around with them. Continue reading

Nordic Chihuahuas and Glacier Dogs – Pets in Iceland

"Spot" takes a break while exploring the pseudocraters.

NOTE: To see more of Iceland, see my Flickr Photostream.

People in Iceland really seem to love domestic animals – from the smallest yappy dog to the stoutest horse. Being an animal lover myself (domestic and wild), I take a lot of notice about pets’ role in a society I’m visiting. Here are a few things I noticed about pets in Iceland.

A Nordic Chihuahua?

I noticed an astounding number of chihuahuas in Iceland. Most of them were around Reykjavik, but I spotted a few in smaller towns, too. This really shocked me, since I associate them with the Southwest – wear it’s an advantage to have barely any fur.

These little dogs must spend the entire winter shivering or kept indoors. Unless Zo-On makes some cool winter clothes tailored for small dogs! To give them credit for adaptation, none of the chihuahuas I saw were nervous, shivering or yappy. They were certainly more calm and friendly than the ones who lived next door to me (I don’t miss being barked at every day!).

“Spot” Roams the Lava Flow

In the small town of Kirkjubaeklaustar (Icelanders got a lot of laughs out of hearing me try to pronounce this), we stayed at the Hotel Laki Efri-Vik. A dog lived at the hotel, and seemed to be in a permanent state of bliss. She met all sorts of people, and she was pretty successful at following them for short walks around the nearby lake and enticing them to throw sticks for her (though there are not many sticks on the old lava flow that constitutes the entire area). The dog, whose name is the Icelandic word for “Spot,” even followed us on a 5-mile walk through the pseudocraters dotting the landscape.

She seemed the most carefree dog ever, given full range to roam the land. There was barely any traffic to worry her, and all the guests were happy to be her friend during their stay.

Continue reading