Friday, December 9, 2016

Iceland Part II: Svartifoss Waterfall, Revisiting Jokulsarlon, Hofn, something, Seyðisfjörður

The next day we woke up fairly early and to very damp and chilly weather - it had rained the entire night before, but luckily it didn't rain the rest of the morning. We had snacks in the car for breakfast while we drove to Vatnajökull National Park to hike to Svartifoss Waterfall. We visited this park last year, but only did a walk to see the glacier up close. There are many other longer hikes throughout the park and you can pick and choose whichever suits you best. It's about a 2km almost completely uphill hike, and this pregnant lady was a little out of breath as we were hiking along, but the end result was worth it. The waterfall itself is not as impressive as others, but the rock formations and the setting it is situated in are very unique and beautiful compared to many other waterfalls we've seen. We stayed for about 30 minutes enjoying the scenery and while Jon tried to capture the perfect picture.

The view on the way down
We then moved onward to Jokulsarlon, about 45 minutes away. This was one of the highlights of our trip last year so we were excited to go back. This time though, we went to the ocean side which we didn't see last year instead of the lagoon side. It was just as magical as last year! And cold!

An hour's drive later we found ourselves in Hofn, which is a quaint fishing town where we had planned to have lunch. We were starving! There aren't many options when driving through these desolate areas to eat (actually, there are no options!) and we had only had a few fig bars and cliff bars to hold us over so we were looking forward to some warm food. We had a restaurant in mind, Pakkhus, and immediately went there. We started with lobster soup with warm bread and butter and then had the best fish and chips of our entire trip. So amazingly delicious!

After some time in Hofn we took a slight detour off the Ring Road and went to Stokksnes. This area isn't well known to visitors so it was very empty, which was great since the landscape is completely gorgeous and unlike other landscapes we've seen. The black sand beach is framed by tall mountains right on the water's edge - it felt like we were part of another time period.

After the beach we drove back to the main area and then walked all the way down to "Viking Village". This is the set for an upcoming movie and it was pretty cool to see!


It was now time to continue our journey to our final destination for the night, Seyðisfjörður, about three hours away. We drove a twisty turny path on and off the Ring Road and saw some amazing scenery. Seyðisfjörður is located at the innermost part of a fjord and if you're visiting east Iceland then this is the town to see! The town is fairly small, but is decorated with colorful wooden houses, waterfalls, and mountains. The road leading down to the fjord is winding and slow and unlike anything we've seen before. It's actually the same road that Walter Mitty (in the movie The Secret Life of Walter Mitty) skateboards down and around.

Lovely panoramic shot - taken at about 10:15 at night

We were beat from the day and couldn't wait to get some food in us. We ate at a local bar and had some yummy and much needed dinner. After dinner we walked around the town a little bit, but went back to our room pretty quickly since we were so tired. We spent a couple of hours in the morning walking around and visiting the unique artsy places they had. As we were leaving Seyðisfjörður, we stopped at a beautiful little waterfall on the mountain's edge.

Seyðisfjörður is below in the background
I wish we had more time in this small town, but we needed to move on! Next up, Myvatn!

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