September 3, 2016
Sleep. Who needs it? That's certainly how I was feeling at this point considering the long days and nights.
Our first planned stop for the day was Goðafoss. Goðafoss isn't a very long drive from Mývatn. We arrived and of course it was already fairly busy; seeing as how beautiful it was, it's not a surprise. The waterfall is a horseshoe shape; beautiful clear, blue water pours into the river below.
Today was another day mostly focused on driving. I decided that we would take the scenic route along a few of Iceland's northern fjords rather than sticking to the main highway. We drove through the town of Akureyri, a fairly large town for this region of the country. From Akureyri, we followed the highway north around this part of the country. The road climbs next to the ocean and leaves you with stunning views. I had to pull off in on spot as there was a waterfall pouring off a cliff into the ocean - it was incredible!
We continued along the northern road, skirting around the coast. When I thought about the fact that we were basically on an island in the north Atlantic - I, personally, was in awe.. Never in my life would I have thought I would be in a place like this, but here I was and I had to remind myself on numerous occasions that I was, in fact, not dreaming.
We eventually arrived in our overnight destination town of Blönduós. Our original plan was to camp, but we inquired about the cabins and after a long past few weeks in Europe, we decided to treat ourselves to a warm building, wifi and beds for the night. We unpacked, relaxed for a bit before heading off in search of Hvítserkur - a basalt stack located off the shore.
This was my place to stay and watch the sunset. There was a path that went down to the water, but watching the group in front of me scoot down on their butts made me decide to scratch that idea; I mean if I slipped and fell, the other two people I was with wouldn't have known as they were out and about trying to find food and they were unavailable to be reached by phone, so I figured I would play it safe. I did find a nice viewpoint from above and away from the hoards of other photographers, so I'm happy with the results.
Once the sun went down and the color faded, we left. We were starving and noticed a sign for a restaurant that was "15 minutes away...", so we figured we would head that way. Well, I can safely say that 15 minutes should have been multiplied by at least two because we drove further than 15 minutes. Complaining aside, it was stunning in this part of the country. As we came around one of the bends in the road, we were welcomed with an extraordinary sight - there was a heard of horses just walking down the road; there had to be at least 15 horses. I'm pretty sure this is an Icelandic traffic jam.
After our traffic jam, we finally made it to the restaurant. It was a small, quaint, very Icelandic restaurant. Most items on the menu were seafood (surprise, right?) and the people who owned and operated it were a very nice, elderly Icelandic couple. The gentleman had served us and was very friendly and chatty; he asked where we were from and told us they love American tourists as we keep coming to Iceland [and spending money; his words]. He also gave us some history on Iceland and how long the country has been around, how and who founded it - all things you forget if you're no longer in high school. It was fascinating and I greatly enjoyed his conversation.
We finished up dinner and made our way back to Blönduós. We had another night of visibility with the northern lights, so naturally I made another stop at Hvítserkur on my way back. They weren't as bright as they had been other nights, but it was still an incredible sight to see!
Another fantastic day in Iceland!