Saturday, August 25, 2012

Day Seventeen - The Golden Circle on Our Last Day

From September 25, 2010

The most popular (due to its close proximity to Reykjavik) sights in Iceland are all part of what is called The Golden Circle.  The Circle includes Gulfoss, Þingvellir (site of the first Icelandic parliament) and Geysir (where the word "geyser" originated). Unfortunately, it was raining pretty hard when we were at Þingvellir so we weren't able to get out and explore much. The rift between the North American and European plate is also at Þingvellir and that was very exciting to see. The earth is literally tearing apart right there.

We watched Strokkur (the geysir next to Geysir) go off a couple times. Unfortunately, Geysir is pretty unreliable now days.

Gulfoss turned out to be the most underwhelming waterfall we saw during our travels, but was still impressive.

After checking out The Golden Circle, we headed to the Blue Lagoon, another very popular tourist area. The Blue Lagoon is geothermal spa with bright blue water. There is nothing else like it! The perfect way to end an incredible adventure in the country we fell completely head-over-heels in love with. We will be back!

The Mid-Atlantic Ridge

Waiting for Strokkur to go off.


Day Sixteen - Grundarfjörður to Reykjavik

From September 24, 2010

I can't remember the name of this area or the restaurant, but it was incredible. A hidden little magical place.

We drove back to Reykjavik this day and stayed in the same hotel as we had at the beginning of our journey. That night we were out on the town and just happened to run into Peter who we had met on the ferry.

Day Fifteen - Bildudalur to Grundarfjörður

From September 23, 2010

This day we took an unexpected ferry. The man who rented our apartment to us told us about a shortcut ferry which cut off about 6 hours of driving time. On this ferry we met Peter, who is now a good friend. Do not have any photos of this day at the moment!

Day Fourteen - Ísafjörður to Bildudalur

From September 22, 2010

(Unfortunately friends, this is where I left off in the writing of this blog. I had intended to jot a few things down as soon as we returned home, but alas, it's now been two years and I never sat down to do it. I don't remember specifics about what we did for our last few days, but I'll share the photos and anything I remember.)

We stopped to talk to this beautiful couple out for a walk.
They have been married for 64 years.

The Westfjords are one of the most beautiful spots on Earth.

On the edge of the North Atlantic.

We didn't see a single person all day.

Dynjandi (see tiny me and Will down there?)

Seriously impressive falls.

Tiny Will. Abandoned ship. Middle of nowhere.


They're not kidding!

Latrabjarg. Mind blowing!

Will strapped to my back. 

John on the edge.

Day Thirteen - Hvammstangi to Ísafjörður

From September 21, 2010

After a hilarious breakfast of hot dogs (seriously, there is nothing out here!), we started our drive to Ísafjörður. Today was our longest drive of our trip.

The drive was mostly winding around several fjords and tiny roads right next to the water. It was beautiful and a very nice day, though there weren't many opportunities to stop anywhere.

For lunch at around 3, we came across the only hotel restaurant/hotel for a hundred kilometers where we had some not very good food and then continued on our way.

We also tried to go to the Drangajokull glacier but were again thwarted, even in our 4x4, treacherous road conditions (or in this case, no road). Still a great adventure!

We arrived in IÍsafjörður around 6pm and checked in to the Gamla Guesthouse. It is very sweet. All white room with a pitched roof and IKEA furniture. It's lovely (sorry for the overuse of this word! But it really is!)

For dinner we walked over to the main shopping area (about 3 minutes away) and had sort of fast food Thai food. It was nice to have some variety after several days of nearly the same 3-4 things. We also stopped at the grocery store to pick up some snacks in case we get stuck with no food again in the next couple days.

Then it was to bed for us!

Trying to decide whether or not to press on...


Gorgeous Isafjardar.

Day Twelve - Akureyri to Hvammstangi

From September 20, 2010

We spent the morning in Akureyri at a lovely cafe called Bláa Kannan (we spent a lot of time there yesterday, too!) while waiting for our laundry to be washed for us. At noon we were able to pick the laundry up and we headed out of town. Our only stop on this leg of the drive was Glumbaer, another turf-roof house museum. Unfortunately, it is already closed for the season, but it was fun walking around the buildings taking photos.

We arrived in tiny Hvammstangi in the late afternoon and checked into the Hanna Sigga Guesthouse, which is like renting a room in this family's basement. It is very nice and cozy. There are several bedrooms and they are all full -- everyone else staying here is a single guy however. There are two shared bathrooms and a kitchen and sitting area.

We were a bit surprised and dismayed when we went out to find dinner to discover that the only restaurant in town is closed (for the season?). The grocery store was also closed. We thought we were going to be spending a hungry night here but finally came upon the gas station where we were able to have hot dogs and Dr. Pepper (with no HFCS! Wow it tastes good!) The two girls (sisters) who were working at the gas station were really friendly and fun to talk to.

After dinner we came back to the guesthouse to attempt to catch up a bit on this blog! The internet isn't the greatest though, so it's slow going!


We just look out the windows in awe.
Hanna Sigga Guesthouse