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It’s Thursday, it must be Seyðisfjörður. A 10 day Iceland road trip

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It’s Thursday, it must be Seyðisfjörður. A 10 day Iceland road trip

Old Jul 5th, 2017, 03:51 AM
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It’s Thursday, it must be Seyðisfjörður. A 10 day Iceland road trip

Iceland has been in on our radar for a while. We’d hoped to explore it before it became so popular (and so bloody expensive), but as usual, we’re a day late and a króna short.

We prefer to travel off/shoulder season, but off season in Iceland can be challenging (outside of the cities) so back in February we decided we’d better get cracking if we hoped to see Iceland during the shoulder season this year. We figured May would be a good bet, close enough to summer to have decent weather, but early enough to avoid the tourist crush.

We kept hearing about the low airfare deals on Iceland Air, but after much research we discovered that these only seem to apply to 3-7 day Iceland stop-overs. After seven days, the fares increase substantially. We wanted to stay longer than seven days, and we also wanted to incorporate another visit to Switzerland, so we booked three one-way tickets, which was less expensive than booking all flights on one ticket.

We also discovered that Iceland Air gets its fair share of bad reviews, which made us hem and haw quite a bit...but...they offer direct flights to Reykjavik from our closest international airport – Denver - so we decided to find out for ourselves. The cost of our three one-way tickets came to $1,203 each, similar to the cost of a DEN-ZRH flight on UA.

Our routing:

DEN – KEF

KEF-ZRH

ZRH-KEF-DEN

The next step was to come up with an itinerary. This was to be a bit of recon visit, an exploratory jaunt to see if we’d like to return again one day. However, we wanted a taste of the entire island. So we opted to loosely follow a Ring Road itinerary that I found online, tweaking it here and there based on our personal preferences.

As the name suggests, Iceland’s Ring Road loops around the entire country, although it doesn’t cover all the edges, nooks, and crannies. It’s an 800 mile journey on Route 1, most of which is paved.
We mapped out several route options, knowing that the viability of each would be determined upon arrival, and subject to current road conditions and rental car restrictions.

Beyond that, our research was limited to reading articles and trip reports, but honestly, all those indecipherable Icelandic words, were rather confusing, so ‘the plan’ became the ‘no plan’. We would see whatever we came across.

And here I will offer apologies in advance for the inevitable misspellings. These Icelandic words give me a serious head cramp.

Anyone who has read my contributions on the NZ forum over the years knows that I immensely dislike one night stays. So, it might come as a shock that we chose the following fast-paced, almost exclusively one night stay itinerary.

Reykjavik – one night

Reykjavik to Sauðárkrókur one night

Sauðárkrókur to Akureyri – one night

Akureyri to - Húsavík - two nights, base for exploring Mývatn & Krafla

Húsavík to Seyðisfjörður – one night

Seyðisfjörður to Höfn – one night

Höfn to Vik – one night

Vik to Reykjavik – two nights

Fly to Zurich

When I posted my proposed itinerary on Trip Advisor, I was told to book accommodation immediately, as Iceland is very busy these days, even outside the summer season. So I feverishly made reservations on Booking.com for the first reasonably priced (a relative term where Iceland is concerned), logistically sensible accommodation I ran across, most of which were guesthouses with shared bathrooms, all with cancellation dates months out.

Once the initial bookings were made, I continued researching and made a few changes here and there, selecting accommodation with private bathroom facilities and included breakfast when available. With the exception of Vik, I had no trouble finding accommodation.

Departure –

We live about 100 miles from DIA, so we picked up a local one way rental car the night before. We left home 5.5 hours before our flight, leaving plenty of time for the inevitable traffic, smash-ups and bad driving we were sure to encounter. We stopped for lunch, returned the car, took the shuttle to the airport and were at the Iceland Air check in counter more than two hours before our flight..where everything came to a screeching halt.

Iceland Air does not offer online or kiosk check-in at DIA. They have check-in kiosks, but evidently they’re not up and running yet – we tried - all they did was print a faux boarding pass – we still had to stand in line to check-in our bags (45 minutes!), and once there, the agent asked for our passports and went through the whole check-in rigmarole again, so the kiosks were basically useless.
By the time we cleared security and got to our gates, I was rather stressed – we’d hoped to have a glass of wine and chill a bit before boarding, but all that wiggle room was shot thanks to the slow check-in process. Iceland Air failed to impress so far.

Upon boarding we were given a bottle of Icelandic water. Although we were in row 12, the overhead bins were pretty much full as they boarded from the back. We travel light, so we found room for our small day packs…just.

The flight was completely full, the seats typically squishy, but the legroom wasn’t bad. There was no meal service (they sell some food items), so we’d taken our own dinner. The flight attendants offered water throughout the flight, the entertainment system was sufficient (Bjork anyone?). Seven hours and a six hour time difference later, we arrived at KEF (6:35 am).

To be continued...
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Old Jul 5th, 2017, 04:39 AM
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Arrival:

We picked up some wine in duty free (this in addition to the wine we’d packed in our suitcases, having read that Iceland is expensive, and having checked the duty free allowance in advance (generous).

Note to those who enjoy a tipple – alcohol in Iceland is expensive; it’s only (legally) sold in state owned liquor stores (Vinbudin) and of course bars and restaurants. In other words duty free is the best you’re going to do price-wise. Most Reykjavik bars do offer Happy Hours, some as long as four hours, where house beer and wine is 50% off, but in our experience, Akureyri was the only other city that did.

Knowing we’d be in the sticks and on the road quite a bit, and having read conflicting reports about the quality of food in Iceland, we’d also done something we’ve never done before while traveling…we brought snacks from home, in the form of beef jerky, nuts, dried fruit, cereal bars, crackers and chocolate (and yes it really came in handy). We also brought our own pillows, but only because we had extra space and we’re just weird that way.

We were met at the airport by a representative from Lagoon Car Rental, who drove us to their nearby office to collect our manual Renault Clio (considerably less expensive than an automatic), which was advertised as seating five people and holding two large suitcases. HA! The only passengers that would fit into the back of this car would be those without legs. One of our suitcases and our backpacks went in the trunk, the other suitcase claimed the back seat. The price for ten days was 363 Euro, with a 54 Euro deposit (roughly USD $406). Here we also picked up a free Big Map, which would be our best friend over the next 10 days.

I’d originally booked with both Budget and Avis, but after reading some scathing reviews for both, I switched gears and booked with the highly regarded Lagoon at the last minute, which also happened to be less expensive.

Sorted, we were on our way to Reykjavik, which is about a 45 minute drive from the KEF airport (longer if you’ve not slept, it’s been nine years since you last drove a manual and you make a series of wrong turns).

About that sleep deprivation:

We’re not keen on hopping into an unfamiliar car in an unfamiliar country after a sleepless overnight flight, but that’s what we did. I’d looked into alternatives, but evidently dayrooms have not yet caught on in Iceland.

Our options were to 1) book accommodation for the night prior to our arrival, 2) drive into Reykjavik and roam the streets until we could check into that night’s accommodation at 3-4 pm, or 3) take a chance that we’d be able to check-in very, very early.

Which is how I came to switch our booking to City Park Hotel – I’d read that they were very responsive to early check-in requests. So I advised them of our early arrival and requested an early check in if at all possible. They were happy to help, if they could. Lucky us, our room was available and good to go when we checked in at 9:30 am!

http://cityparkhotel.is/

When I booked this hotel back in March, Booking.com had quoted $177.00 however, the actual charge for our stay was $188.12. In every instance, we were charged more than the rate we’d been quoted, sometimes significantly. While I understand currency fluctuations as well as any traveler, I found this incredibly aggravating, and in our case, inconsistent. Why not just quote in ISK instead of USD in the first place?

The hotel was perfect for our needs – our room was narrow and small with two twin beds, but it was clean, fresh, well-equipped and quiet. The water in the hotel smelled and tasted like sulfur, but not as badly as was yet to come.

We crawled into bed immediately, and had ourselves a nice 4.5 hour nap, after which we set out to explore downtown Reykjavik, a 20 minute walk from the hotel.

As part of my research I’d compiled a short list of recommended eating establishments for each town we’d be visiting. Enter Sandholt for some nice flat whites, French chocolate cake with hazelnuts and pain au chocolat, and our first taste of Icelandic food prices (2.475, about $25).

It was cold and windy, but the skies were a deep blue - perfect weather for checking out the views from the tower of Hallgrímskirkja, the largest church in Iceland and one of Iceland’s tallest structures. Fabulous views, 900 ISK per adult (about $9).

http://www.hallgrimskirkja.is/

We poked through a Bonus supermarket, spent a few hours aimlessly wandering, took advantage of the long Happy Hour (4-8 pm) at Hlemmur Square’s Pulsa Bar (two rounds of local beer and Italian red wine, 3.100 ISK- about $31) and shared a very spicy pizza at Devito’s (2.250, about $22), then returned to our hotel around 8:30 pm, although it felt more like 3 pm, which would be a recurring theme over the next 10 days. Icelandic summer days are endless. It was still full light when we crawled back into bed at 10 pm. Prior to the trip, we’d bought some nice eyeshades, best $10 purchase ever.

We rather enjoyed our jet-lagged poke around Iceland’s biggest city.

Photos here:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/melnq8...57684919893846

To be continued...
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Old Jul 5th, 2017, 11:14 AM
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Day 2 –

We woke to another sunny day and the smell of bacon. The breakfast included with our hotel stay was excellent, and although we didn’t know it at the time, the best of the trip - bacon, eggs, Skyr (Icelandic yogurt), cereals, bread, cheese, ham, vegetables and fruit. It really hit the spot.

Today’s plan was to drive to Sauðárkrókur, a drive we’d estimated would take just under four hours, but our car had a warning light, so we wandered around trying to find a petrol station to check the tire pressure, then spent 90 minutes trying to find the Lagoon office in Reykjavik to report the problem. Once found, the young woman manning the desk just made a note in her computer and sent us on our way. We checked the tire pressure every time we gassed up from that day on.

By 11 am, we were on the Ring Road (#1) and on our way, surprised to see so many KFCs, Subways, a Ruby Tuesday and even a Costco.

We went through the six kilometer Hvalfjörður tunnel, paying the 1.000 ISK toll when we came out (about $10), then followed the straight flat road to the town of Borgarnes, speed cameras seemingly everywhere. Were it not for the sea, we could have been in South Dakota.

After a quick stop in windy Borgarnes to admire the red roofed buildings, we forged north, the landscape seeming to change every few kilometers - barren lava fields, then lush green pastures dotted with lambs (two per ewe, I had no idea twin lambs were so common), then back to brown and thirsty with not so much as a tree to duck behind.

Then suddenly, in the middle of nowhere, an N1 petrol station appeared, busy with bus traffic, and as promised, it had the requisite restaurant, as well as a shop and a food counter. We took a wee break and joined the queue for our first (and only) Icelandic hot dog. Not a fan of meat in general and lamb in particular, I was skeptical. I took a small bite. I didn’t die. It tasted like a hot dog. Bill demolished the rest (390 ISK, about $4).

We resumed our drive, the blustery wind blowing our little Clio all over the road. We detoured at 72/711 (gravel) and circled the Vatnsnes Peninsula, which turned out to be a rather long diversion. It was a pretty drive for the most part, light blue skies, distant snow capped mountains, Icelandic horses frolicking in vibrant green pasture falling towards the dark blue sea.

We hoped to find the Hindisvik seal colony, but instead found a gate with a note stating it was closed for bird breeding. We’re still not sure if we were in the right place.

Hvítserkur beckoned, we walked down to the viewing area accompanied by a ferocious cold wind to see the ‘bizarre rock formation’. We thought we were in for a real treat when we saw several photographers lined up with their tripods, but we found it rather underwhelming. The conversation went something like this, ‘Oh, a rock’. I’ve since read that Hvítserkur is a 15 meter high basalt stack with two holes at the base, giving it the appearance of a dragon who is drinking. Huh.

We eventually cut back on 74/744, the landscape suddenly dry and brown. We cruised through Sauðárkrókur - which seemed much smaller than its population of 2,635 - and followed our convoluted Google directions to our home for the night, Hofsstadir Farmhouse. Or so we thought. We actually found ourselves at Hofsstadir Guesthouse, owned by the daughter of the proprietors of Hofsstadir Farmhouse. I suspect this happens a lot. So, we drove down the road to mom and pop’s and got settled into our room.

http://www.hofsstadir.is/index.php/en/

Nice place this. Quiet countryside, expansive views, and wafting horse smells, in a good way. Our room was in a wing of the owner’s home, complete with private bathroom facilities (this is indeed a treat in country Iceland). It seemed huge after our room in Reykjavik. It was spotless, comfortable, completely private and the best part – incredibly quiet ($190).

We’d been in the car for seven hours....and we were done.

We broke out a bottle of duty free wine, settled into some chairs on the porch and gazed at our lovely surroundings. We were joined by Miley the cat, who wasted no time curling onto my lap.

We eventually moseyed back over to the guesthouse for dinner, which also houses the only restaurant for miles. I’d read good things about it, and we weren’t disappointed. This is a small family run operation and so the menu is understandably very limited. Today’s offerings consisted of Arctic char, lamb and soup. Bill went for the Arctic char with birch syrup, accompanied with a few small potatoes and salad (4.400 ISK, about $44). The non-fish, non-lamb eater went for the broccoli and birch leaf soup (2.000 ISK, about $20). Yes birch leaves. The owner told us they obtain their birch from the biggest birch tree grower in Iceland, which we found rather amusing, as we’d not yet seen many trees. Dinner with one Viking beer – 7.400 – about $74. We decided to pass on the $20 dessert, returning to our porch for more duty free wine, where we watched the sun refuse to go down.

Photos here:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/melnq8...h/34449021684/

To be continued...
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Old Jul 5th, 2017, 11:21 AM
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This is great! Planning our trip right now so Thank You!
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Old Jul 5th, 2017, 12:10 PM
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Mel, joining you on this fabulous adventure. Love your writing style. Thanks.
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Old Jul 5th, 2017, 12:18 PM
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Thank you both. I'm long-winded, but that's just how I was made.
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Old Jul 5th, 2017, 12:48 PM
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"the landscape seeming to change every few kilometers - barren lava fields, then lush green pastures dotted with lambs then back to brown and thirsty with not so much as a tree to duck behind."

That is what we will always remember about Iceland. The contrasting colours - brown, green, black, white, all with the blue ocean not very far away.
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Old Jul 5th, 2017, 06:14 PM
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I'm loving your trip report. More please

I'm heading to Iceland later this summer, so your notes on costs and wine are very helpful. Would love your thoughts on where you would go outside the city if you only had half a day to do a day trip. Cheers!
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Old Jul 6th, 2017, 02:56 AM
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Enjoying your photos and experiences.
Especially looking forward to your Switzerland report
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Old Jul 6th, 2017, 03:37 AM
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Bostonblondie -

Most would suggest the Golden Circle.

We felt it was over-hyped and underwhelming, but...if it's your only chance to see some of Iceland outside of the city, it might be ideal for you. It would give you the chance to see some landscape, a geysir, Gullfoss waterfall and possibly have lunch in a geothermal greenhouse.

It it were me and I only had half a day, however, I'd spend all of it in Reykjavik. And I don't even like cities

The distances are just too vast to to anything else in so little time IMO.
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Old Jul 6th, 2017, 03:44 AM
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Adelaidean -

If this trip report is any indication, it might be awhile before the Switzerland report is finished. I'm simultaneously planning a December trip back to Germany and Switzerland, so the Swiss report has been nudged aside. I shall do my best though!
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Old Jul 6th, 2017, 09:34 AM
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Day 3 –

Our stay at the farmhouse included breakfast at the guesthouse – it did the trick, but it was certainly nothing to get excited about.

We left under partly cloudy skies, a chill in the air. After consulting with the owner of the farmhouse regarding the closest place to gas up the Clio, we set out on 76, making the five km detour to Varmahlíð, dodging goats and seeing our first Icelandic cows.

Our little rental didn’t have automatic headlights, and we kept forgetting to turn them on - which is illegal in Iceland - a reminder posted on the dash would have been an incredible help.

A note about petrol stations:

Gas was about ~$2 USD per liter, ~$8 USD per gallon. Most of the stations we used (N1) were unmanned, so the only way to pay was to use a credit card with PIN, an ATM card, or a pre-paid gas card.

We chose the latter, because using our credit card would have resulted in a cash withdrawal charge AND interest would be charged from the moment of the purchase AND we had to know in advance how much we were going to spend filling up the car, as the only options given were set amounts – 10,000 ISK, 20,000 ISK, etc.

The same set amounts applied to ATM cards. We never did figure out what would happen if say, we choose 50,000 ISK and only needed 42,000 ISK to fill the tank. So, we purchased prepaid gas cards as we went, buying smaller amounts later in the trip, so we’d not be left with an unused balance.

We wandered alongside green pastures, surrounded by distant flat-topped, snow-capped mountains. Churches dotted the landscape, but few houses.

Then it was back to the Ring Road. The drive was ever changing, sections reminding me of Lindis Pass in New Zealand, dry, brown and barren with spiky ridged mountains adding relief.

We stopped at Jónasarlundur, a pretty picnic spot alongside a river and the first long drop we’d seen, but unfortunately it was locked.

We’d estimated today’s drive to Akureyri (pronounced ah-koo-rare-ee) at a short 120 km, and we'd hoped to incorporate the two hour return walk to Hraunsvatan mentioned in the itinerary we were loosely following, but alas, my lack of detailed research caught up with us – we couldn’t find it. And so goes the no-plan.

I’ve since found some details that might help others:

http://icelandreview.com/stuff/multi...-mountain-lake

As we approached Akureyri, Iceland’s northern capital and second largest urban area with a population of about 18,000, we turned towards Dalvík, beautiful snow-capped mountains directly in front of us. This section of the drive was gorgeous, and dare I say it, very New Zealandy, complete with a long white cloud hugging the base of the mountains and foals napping in the fields. The only things missing were possum road kill and wineries.

The seaside town of Dalvik sent me into a photo snapping frenzy, the boats rocking in the blue water against a backdrop of snow covered mountains – beautiful.

We popped into the Vinbudin (state run liquor store) just because it was there and so were we, gasping a bit as we took in the prices.

Public toilets in Iceland are thin on the ground; I had to tuck into a whale watching tour office to use the loo. It wasn’t the first, or the last time I’d wish for a pay toilet in remote and sparsely treed Iceland.

https://www.icelandtravel.is/about-i...-guide/dalvik/

We continued along skinny and winding 82 towards Ólafsfjörður, reminding us once again of NZ, this time Milford Road, with its waterfalls and one lane tunnel, this one feeling much longer than its 3.5 km, and wee bit unsettling.

Ólafsfjörður is yet another lovely fishing village, which led us through yet another tunnel (7 km), and another, (4 km), where we encountered a very large truck spraying water on the ceilings headed directly towards us.

Soon we were in Siglufjörður, on the northern coast of Iceland, and, we’d learn later, the filming location for the series Trapped, which we watched in its entirety on our return flights to the US.

This pretty little village is home to a few turf-roofed houses (complete with dandelions), brightly painted buildings, and weirdly, a hostel flying a giant American flag.

It occurred to us that had we not been following the itinerary that promised the two hour walk we never found, we probably could have driven north from the farmhouse and looped down to Siglufjörður, Ólafsfjörður, Dalvik and Akureyri without backtracking, Oh well.

We detoured to the nearby ski area, the highest point of which is a whopping 650 meters (we’re from 14er packed Colorado, we’re hard to impress).

Then we retraced our steps, a few cars in the one way tunnels playing chicken, not yielding to those of us with the right of way. Soon we were back on the Ring Road, and some 5.5 hours after leaving Hofsstadir Farmhouse, we were looking for our accommodation in Akureyri, the red street lights of which are shaped like hearts.

We’d booked an apartment with sea views, within walking distance to town. What we got was a spacious apartment overlooking a construction site in the process of obliterating that sea view... and the sound of moving rock from 8 am until well after 9 pm.

http://www.visitakureyri.is/en/accom...r-guesthouse-1

Our apartment, room 7, had some very good points, but was disappointing none-the-less ($166). Pros – space, space, space, generally well equipped, large bathroom, comfortable bed, huge TV for those inclined. Cons – noise, noise, noise – construction, traffic, bad acoustics - we could hear the conversation of our neighbors as if they were in the room with us.

There’s not much to Akureyri, but we walked through town, walked up to the church, had drinks at Hotel Kea (Happy Hour! 1.300 for one drink each, about $13). Bill was chuffed to learn the town had an Indian restaurant, and then bitterly disappointed when we rocked up for dinner to find it seemingly abandoned.

So, we walked up to Kaffi Ilmur on a hill overlooking town and had paninis instead – tasty, basic nourishment (2.300, about $23).

It had been a pretty drive day, but Akureyri wasn’t rocking our world.

Photos here:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/melnq8...57682252722332

To be continued...
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Old Jul 6th, 2017, 06:31 PM
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Great pictures, I am enjoying following along. Thanks for your response above, to clarify my question, I have 3 full days in Iceland, but am looking for manageable, not too difficult day trips. I think I'll probably do 2 days in Reykjavik and then one day or half day out. Maybe we'll just stick to the trusty Blue Lagoon...
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Old Jul 7th, 2017, 01:30 AM
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Interesting landscape

(... where are you going in December?)
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Old Jul 7th, 2017, 01:31 AM
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...I meant to ask, where in Switzerland are you going in December?
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Old Jul 7th, 2017, 04:02 AM
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Adelaidean -

That's up for discussion. In June we spent five nights in Ilanz and five nights in Kandersteg. Loved the area around Ilanz and want to return.

We're seriously considering renting a car this time (first time ever in Switzerland) and driving to/from Munich and into Austria and beyond.

Contenders for Switzerland at this moment are Ilanz, Locarno, and Sils Maria, but we change our minds every five minutes.

We're also considering a few nights in Kitzbuhel, Austria, but nothing engraved in stone yet.
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Old Jul 7th, 2017, 04:09 AM
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Bostonblondie -

In that case, you might want to get yourself on a tour that incorporates Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon (if possible, it's a bit of a trek).

It was probably the highlight of our 10 days in Iceland, all the more so because we were there on a spectacular sunny day.

Can't speak to the Blue Lagoon experience, we didn't visit, not our thing.
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Old Jul 8th, 2017, 07:41 AM
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Clever title!
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Old Jul 8th, 2017, 09:20 AM
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Thanks Peg. I had to check the spelling about four times
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Old Jul 8th, 2017, 09:52 AM
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Day 4 –

With a short drive day ahead, we walked into town for breakfast at Kaffi Ilmur – eggs, toast, meat and cheese for Bill (1.470 ISK, about $15), a Belgian waffle with jam and whipped cream (890 ISK, about $9) and a huge latte (580 ISK, about $6) for me. It was good, and decent value by Icelandic standards.

We spent the morning walking through town, meandering up and down residential streets, taking in the colorful houses and the healthiest dandelions I’ve ever seen. We eventually wandered down to the waterfront where we poked around and watched the whale watching boats depart.

Akureyri seemed a nice enough town with a heck of a lot of construction...and excellent tap water.

Back on the Ring Road, we left Akureyri behind, passing field after field of blooming lupines and one red roofed church after another. Before long we were working our way along the opposite side of the Eyjafjörður, the longest fjord in Iceland, surrounded by rolling pastures, grazing sheep and snow covered mountains.

We made the 22 km detour on 83 to Grenivik...just because. As we stopped to take in the views, I wondered, for the gazillionth time, what bird we kept hearing. Well, I’ve just this minute figured it out – it was the common snipe:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ImGcEaQ7As4

We backtracked to the Ring Road and forged on, amused by frolicking horses and lambs, and eventually found our way to our first real Icelandic waterfall – Goðafoss - “waterfall of the gods”, known as one of the most spectacular waterfalls in Iceland.

http://www.edgeofthearctic.is/places...oss-waterfall/

It was certainly impressive, I’ll give you that. All the more so because it just appeared in the midst of a lot of nothingness. As a bonus, the nearby shop offered a pay toilet; lucky me, because as usual, I needed one.

We then backtracked 4 km to the Ring Road and worked our way to Húsavík, wondering what was growing in the fields, and cracking up every time we saw a horse rubbing its head and/or butt on whatever it could find.

Some three hours after leaving Akureyri, we were cooling our heels on the pretty wharf in Húsavík, our nostrils assaulted by the overpowering odor of fish gone bad, sipping full price drinks (no Happy Hour here) while waiting for a respectable time to check into our accommodation.

On our drive through town, we’d unsuccessfully looked for the Phallological Museum, which my (evidently very dated) borrowed itinerary indicated was in Húsavík. Suddenly, that advert for the Penis Museum we saw while wandering the streets of Reykjavik came into focus. As it turns out, the museum had moved back to Reykjavik...in 2012. Oops.

The itinerary had also suggested two nights at Lake Mývatn as a base for exploring it, Krafla and Húsavík. But we tweaked, and chose Húsavík instead, a decision that we’re glad we made, although it didn’t knock our socks off (and it smelled pretty bad).

Which brings me to apartment #2, Skjálfandi, where we occupied Floi, a king studio situated above an old pharmacy, next to the owner’s apartment, walking distance to the waterfront (as are most places in Húsavík).

Ours was the smaller of two units for rent as holiday accommodation (steep at $407 for two nights) and was accessed via an exterior narrow spiral staircase that proved a challenge where our old knees and luggage was concerned.

It was compact, clean, comfortable and well equipped. The patio was large and had a fill-as-you-go hot tub, which we didn’t use. The views were of neighboring buildings. Fortunately, our room had room darkening shades, which encouraged sleep in this land of the midnight sun.

The shower was wonderful, but a bit of a waste, because the water smelled (and tasted) so overpoweringly of sulfur that we took very quick showers (and purchased bottled water). The immediate neighborhood was a bit noisy, but we slept fine once it quieted down around 10 pm.

When we asked about a fridge, our lovely host went next door and brought us a cooling unit that she had just purchased for the unit, but not yet installed. Our white wine would now be cool!

https://www.booking.com/hotel/is/skjalfandi.html

Dinner that evening was at Salka on the waterfront. Bill said his baked cod was excellent (3.100, about $31). Too bad I don’t eat seafood because my margarita pizza was pretty darn bad (1.500, about $15).

We just chilled in our room that night, content to relax and listen to the rain.

Photos here:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/melnq8...57682711131693

To be continued...
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