October 4, 2016
And the saga continues – Part II.
All through the night into the late morning, the storm was raging. It finally let up around 10 am, that’s when we decided it was a good time to head out. Some walks around and a few pictures later we headed into a cute Láki Hafnarkaffi for some fuel, coffee. We then hit the road to tackle our first long stretch of a drive, 5.5 hours toward Godafoss. We thought we were going to stay in Akureyri, but ended up looking around and was warned by a friend not to since it cost loads, and man was he right. Akureyri is the second largest city outside of Reykjavik and the capitol of the north. After stocking up on some food for dinner, we opted for a fish n’ chips supper instead. To put into perspective the cost – 2 orders of fish n’ chips and 2 beers came out to $57 USD. We also looked up how much it is to stay, and the least expensive was $282 a night. So we drove and spent the night in the parking lot of Godafoss and woke up to quite the view. Godafoss was only a mere few feet away! One other thing the north takes pride in is the Aurora Borealis because they’re so up north. That is if it’s a clear night. For us, it was somewhat overcast that night, but we were able to catch a slight show.
It isn’t much of a photo since it was taken with my iPhone 6s, it’s to give you an idea of what we saw.
Here we are for another early morning rise at Godafoss! They say there’s a 2 mile hike around the falls, but honestly there isn’t much to hike unlike with Glymur so we did some minimal exploring at the mouth of the falls, plus we wanted to head to Myvatn.
It was our most adventurous leg of the trip! With so much to see, we decided to pop into the visitor’s center to sort out all the activities and sights. There’s so many that we decided to do everything around the lake! We also found the spots where they filmed Game of Thrones baby!
We started north and worked our way south of the lake to then spend the night there. The Myvatn area is quite fascinating, you go from walking around geothermals and lava fields to strolling around in a woodland park.
We started off seeing these colorful milky turquoise water against the various camel color tones. As you keep walking you’ll suddenly find yourself on the Leirhnjúkur Lava Field. The ground and colors change from neutral tones to black and green mossed fields. You can also see and feel the heat coming from the earth. Remarkable! This field is large and goes far out, so it’s easy spend an hour walking around.
Our next stop was the ever so sweet smelling sulphuric Namafjall Hverir geothermal area. It’s incredibly fascinating seeing the bubbly mud boiling right in front of us. That’s our earth in full action right then and there! Insane!
After inhaling all that sulphur, we were ready for our next sight. At this sight we found ourselves battling uphill against some strong winds. It’s a short trek up Víti crater, but it felt long especially when you’re battling not to get blown off. We walked around and then down the from the other side we came up only to find more sulphuric pools of boiling mud.
And now onto what you’ve been waiting to hear… the Grjótagjá Cave! The Game of Thrones site!!! When we first saw this site one, it was smaller than we imagined, and two, we just wanted to bath in here. It was so nice and cozy in there. I can understand why many used to come and bathe here. It’s no longer permitted since there apparently was too much action happening. Including Jon Snow and Ygritte’s love scene in this very cave.
As we can’t get enough volcanic rock formations, we head to Dimmuborgir Lava Formations. It’s a field filled with tall rock formations and caves. There are a few hikes a that can be anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour. We started out on the short one then of course kept following whichever path we desired. Folklore has it, it’s home of a homicidal troll and Yule Lads. What kind of exploration would it be without a hunt for some goblins and to slay some dragons. Yes, we have quite the imagination. It makes more fun!
After exploring lava fields, we headed to Kálfastrandarland Area and Höfði to see the lava rock formations. Little did we know it would be a nice change of scenery walking through a woodland landscape to reach the lava formations.
One thing we didn’t have time for was one crater close to where we stayed and the bathes, but we knew we had the Blue Lagoon. This night, after spending two nights in the car, we opted to stay at Skutustadir Farm Guesthouse, so we could also shower. I think we got lucky and got the last room in town since everywhere (which isn’t many, nor with many rooms – think small) was booked from all the tour buses. It was our fancy night in which we also treated ourselves to a “fancy” dinner at Vogafjos Cowshed Cafe, where you can dine with the cows! It’s like picking your own steak to eat. JK! They’re known for their lamb shank so we got that and the appetizer sampler all to share along with a glass of wine. It came out to about $60-ish USD each.
Note: This area’s water has a strong sulfur smell (the scent of Iceland), but don’t get discouraged, it’s delicious! We drank right from the tap from our guesthouse. Actually, everywhere. Please do yourself and the environment a favor, and don’t buy bottle water. I mean all their water comes directly from the glaciers. Can’t get any fresher than that!
Stay tuned for more in part III…