Friday, September 17, 2010

Day Nine - Þorshöfn to Húsavík

Today was full of some majorly exciting things! First, we drove to the very most northern tip of Iceland which is just 2.5 kilometers from the Arctic Circle. John walked out to the lighthouse at the very end of the land while I stayed with a sleeping Will in the car.

We then drove a seriously rough road to the waterfall Dettifoss. If we didn't have a 4x4 we never would have made it. The dirt road was like a washboard, and then every .5 km or so there would be a deep puddle to drive through. The effort it took to get there was totally worth it though. Very impressive! There is a lot of water coming down that fall! I think it was my favorite waterfall of the trip so far -- and we've seen A LOT of waterfalls.

The plan had been to backtrack our way back the way we had come but at the last minute we decided to take the road all the way through to the Ring Road. It ended up being a great decision as that portion of the road was newly paved! It was a huge difference – no giant ponds to cross or boulders in the road -- and took about 1/4 of the time to drive out as it did to drive in.

We arrived in Húsavík at dinner time and checked in to our little cottage at Kaldbaks-Kot. Our cottage had two bedrooms, a living area and a tiny kitchen and was right on the edge of the water with an amazing view. So perfect!

We had dinner at Gamli Baukur which was adorable, cozy and delicious. The restaurant is right on the harbor and since it was Friday night it was packed with a bunch of ladies drinking beer and hanging out. They were all in their Icelandic sweaters and it was cute how much fun they were having.

I ate the fish soup which was INCREDIBLE (probably the best thing I ate the whole trip) and Will and I shared a pulled pork sandwich which was also very good. We took advantage of their free wi-fi and then headed back to our cottage.

As we were driving back to our cottage, we noticed how clear the sky was. It had been quite cloudy when the sun went down but now we could see tons of stars. As I watched out the window, suddenly a green glow started in the middle of the sky and started to grow brighter and larger. We could not believe it!! It was the Northern Lights again!! We rushed to our cottage and scrambled out of the car. The lights just continued to get bigger and change. John got the camera and tripod set up and we took some photos. After a little while the lights faded away and we went back inside the cottage.

We kept checking out the windows as we got ready for bed and the lights came and went. After Will was asleep, we looked out the window again to be met with the most spectacular display of lights we could have possibly imagined. We stood outside for an hour or more just in awe. At one point the lights arched from one horizon, directly over our heads, and down to the opposite horizon. It was insane!! It was such a dream come true and we never expected to see anything like it. The experience of a lifetime to be sure!

Get ready for a ton of photos, starting NOW!

Ytra-Áland: the farm where we spent the night.

Breakfast room at Ytra-Áland


Kálfshamars lighthouse at the very most Northern tip of Iceland.
You could throw a rock from here to the Arctic Circle.

The mystical and magical Ásbyrgi cliffs. This is the capital city of the "hidden people".
Odin's giant flying horse stomped his hoof down here and created the massive, horse-shoe shaped Ásbyrgi cliffs. Pure magic. They rise up out of the ground like the runway for an alien ship.

Walking the desolate moonscape to Dettifoss. Rad.

Dettifoss. It is dizzyingly huge.

Can you see me all tiny over on the right?

One of my fav waterfalls in Iceland.

There is NO ONE here.

The clouds here are always incredible.

And are you ready for this??

The three of us as the light show was just beginning.
We had no idea what we were in for yet!

The lights across the fjord from our cabin.

The lights -- plus John and I -- behind our cabin.

Straight overhead.

The view from our bed. The most magical experience of our lives!


in dreams said...


i found this site via sheena, and am completely enthralled with your blog!

i just wanted to tell you how lovely it is to have a real-person blow-by-blow description of a visit to iceland. and the photos! totally incredible. this is the trip of a lifetime! it looks so lovely i can't wait to go myself.... thank you for posting about this, it's completely opened my mind to iceland as an amazing travel destination! :)

Sijbrich said...

Hmm. I think I need to go to Iceland before I die, thanks to you.

Amazing photos, by the way.