Denise and David in Europe 2016
October 6-8
  Iceland - Vik, Hofn, Egilsstaoir
last updated  6 October 2016
Back to Iceland - Reykjavik, Gullfoss Forward to Iceland - Lake Myvatn, Blonduos

Thursday 6 October - Gullfoss to Vik

What a day!  From dawn to dusk, we were out on the nature trail:  a crater, several waterfalls, an unexpected glacier, 860 stairs, a Viking shoot and an arch.

On the way out of Gullfoss we head towards the mountains in the distance.

Back past the pools at Geysir where we saw the geysir erupting yesterday...

on to Kerið which is a volcanic crater lake located in the Grímsnes area, a place of legends and mythical beings.  Notice the pure blue water.  This area is reminiscent of Tower Hill in Victoria.  We walked the 1.5 km around the top of the crater.  .

Also great views of the surrounds from the rim.  A nearby neighbourhood below.

We were not too far from the town of Selfoss which has about 26,000 people (one of the biggest towns in Iceland!)

We filled up the car and dropped in at a supermarket to buy some cheap(er) food.  In restaurants and off the beaten track everything, I mean EVERYTHING - is about double the price or more than you would expect to pay in Melbourne.  In the supermarket, it is a little over Melbourne's retails price for many things.

Some example of prices.  Dinner at a standard restaurant - even if just a hamburger/chips/veges - is at least 4000 ISK for two (Icelandic Kronar) ~ AUS$50 for two.  Don't get me started on a good restaurant!

Back to our journey.  Pictured below a snapshot of the phone to show you our Google instructions...  Interesting alphabet in Iceland.

Pictured below waterfall number 1 - The Seljalandsfoss waterfall.  We could see it from about 10km away in the distance so this would be a beauty up close.  We were able to walk behind it.  It was .... how would you say.... wet!

We walked along the base of the mountain passing two smaller waterfalls and this one (pictured below).  Hard to see nested between the rocks.  But was worth the walk.

We spent quite a bit of time here and so did a lot of other people.  Although the place was not swarming with bus loads of tourists as much as yesterday.

Back on the road.  The scenery keeps on coming.  These mountains are immense and photographs do not do them justice.  The buildings to the left are an indication of how tall the mountains are.



Now here is a find.   It is as though a volcanic eruption stopped right hear and the lava set around the buildings in this photo.  The other side of the coin is that perhaps the buildings were in fact built into the terrain on purpose.  With little doubt this certainly must provide warmth in the winter and relief from the fierce code winds.

Waterfall number 3.  Skógafoss.  This was tremendously high and the volume of water hitting the ground was gobsmacking. 

We decided to climb to the top of Skógafosss... more about that in a minute.  Here is the view from the top. See how teeny weeny the cars are.

Views in all directions.

There was still a little way to go if you wanted to see another smaller waterfall that feeds into Skógafoss.  However you will have to climb a barb-wire fence.  I'm afraid David severely struggled to get over.  What you don't see is the 15 people waiting to climb over. David got stuck on the fence for what seemed like forever before Den to the rescue!.

ED:  Note that to get back over the fence, there was a point in the fence where David could get through without having to climb over the fence again.  A much easier task!  David was so happy. However as Den likes a challenge she climbed back over the fence. What you don't see is that the other side of the fence slants the wrong way so you feel like you are falling backwards and that is what threw David.

---

Finally the view from the second waterfall on top of Skógafoss.

Back to the views and ready for the climb down.  Note how high up we were.  430 steps up.... 430 steps down.

Here is a gem discovered after Skógafosss - an ice topped mountain then..............a large glacier.  We diverted to get a closer look.  Just like in New Zealand's south island but a lot bigger!  It was the Sólheimajökull Glacier.  An unexpected pleasure. 

Eileen - look.... we saw ice and snow at last!



The last stop for the day was "The Arch".  Google said to turn left on to the dirt road with a 45 degree ascent to the top.  Denise was not impressed.  We journeyed on slowly in first gear passing four cars on a 1.5 car wide gravel track to get to the top!  Gulp!  Memories of Mount Barrow in northern Tasmania on our honeymoon.

This location was more remote than others we have been to to date - even the glacier was packed and we nearly couldn't find a parking spot.

Pictured below the best scenic look out ever!   Not too many tourists here.  It is late in the day and extremely cold and windy so not so many people about.  It is totally in the middle of nowhere.  Look at the views of the black sand beach from several hundred metres above the Southern Coast of Iceland.  Hello Atlantic. 

Pictured below - What the heck is this?   We need a close up.....  seem to be a Viking film shoot.  WOW!

Pictured below - our final site for the day - 'The Arch' from the end of the walk.

Exhausted we slipped into Vik for the night.

Friday 7 October - Vik to Hofn

Pictured below our accommodation for the evening.  We were number 35... of course we were the last room from the car park!  The rest of the hotel was behind me.  That is where dinner and brekky would be.  Need the brolly to get there.

Take a look at this.   No it's not the moon but it may as well be.   Someone must have been doing donuts out here but David commented that it was crop circles LOL.

And when you turn to your left this is what you see.   The mountain behind us was actually an Island and is in fact called The Island.  To think this was all sea millions of years ago.....

Be careful to stay on the road.  Where is the road? 


Pictured below are the remnants of a volcanic eruption millions of years ago.  It's the Alftaver District a unique phenomena of Icelandic volcanic activity.

The terrain changes again to mossy mounds.   The moss growing over the rocks gives this area almost a non earth like landscape.

The next two picture are Fjaorargljufur Canyon - 2 million years old, 100 meters deep and 2 kilometers long.

You can see the car park on the left in the distance.  This marks the start of another day with lots of walking.

This one was taken at ground level. 

Text

Not far from the main road, another waterfall.

Scenery continues as we continue our driving. Get a load of the house. That is quite an address!

Stopping by the side of the road to take in this beauty.  The clouds have cleared.  Could this be the night we see the stars and dare I say, the Northern Lights?

Here are some curious buildings that are half buried.  There have been quite a few of these buildings, sheds and even houses that we have seen along the way. Some of them look like they are the result of an old lava flow and others look like they may have been purposely build this way.  You decide.

Our first Glacier today.  More to come.....

Pictured below - glaciers Skaflafellsjokull to the left and Svinafellsjokull to the right.

Vantnajokull National Park extends a long way and is home to many glaciers.  Here are only two of them.  Magnificent even closer.  This one is called Skaftafellsjokull.  It is a 1.8 km walk from the visitors centre for a closer view.

It was getting late in the day so we had to make tracks.  Our last scenic point of the day - Jokulsarlon - Glacier Lagoon - Magnificent!

Our view from our guest house this evening.  Not too shabby.



Finally tonight on our fifth night in Iceland, the sky was clear and there were a gazillion stars in the sky.  Looking up we saw a glow move around the sky.  Denise had finally found her "Northern Lights".  As David goes to sleep, Denise is staring at the sky in the freezing cold for several hours!  Denise was in heaven.

Saturday 8 October - Hofn to Egilsstaoir

A much easier day today.  Pity about the weather.

Pictured above... this as good as it gets. The town of Hofn.

Last night we had dinner at this restaurant in Hofn - right on the harbour.

Hofn - The dock

Pictured below - Now where was that mountain pass?   Ohhhhhhhh...... now this is what we call service!  They drilled a tunnel right through the base of the mountain.

It goes, it goes, it goes...... it just goes!  About 2 kilometers long.

Later in the day we found the sister tunnel - which was 6 kilometers long.  It just kept going.

Pictured below the rugged beauty of the East Coast.

It was pretty wet and misty today as you can see but it had a beauty all of its own.

Further along

and when I turn around ........ more views

Another fishing village follows - Djupivogur.  We thought it was the best place for lunch.  Eateries are few and far between.

Pictured below a view of a fjord. About 20 kms from our destination now.

Nice catch David..... snow not far away.

View down the Valley just before we hit Egilsstaoir.

And there she is - Egilsstaoir.  This was the final stretch and also after another tunnel drive.

It would be a quiet night tonight.  Dinner at a nearby restaurant - everything is within walking distance.  Pizza - yum and some TV.

It was pretty wet and cloudy so we doubt there will be a northern lights display this evening. There also is a lot of street lighting here and lighting around the hotel which doesn't help.

Tomorrow onto Lake Myvatn - no street lights - no nothing!

Back to Iceland - Reykjavik, Gullfoss Forward to Iceland - Lake Myvatn, Blonduos