Jump to content
Clare
Clare

Day 8: Brekka to Blönduós

It was pouring with rain when we woke up in Brekka this morning, so we had a slightly damp stroll from our room to the main building where breakfast was served. The highlight of today's breakfast buffet was waffles, and there were also some very nice little twisted doughnuts, which I think are an Icelandic speciality :) 

We had to start the day by retracing some of our route from yesterday, back in the direction of lake Mývatn.

20180908_103500.jpg

Lake Mývatn is a volcanic lake, formed from a flooded lava field.

20180908_103825.jpg

As a result it's a very shallow lake - not more than 4.5 metres deep at its deepest point - and there are lots of little islands in the middle of it.

20180908_104732.jpg

Our first stop was a place called Skútustaðir alongside the lake.  Skútustaðir is home to a collection of pseudocraters, which look like volcanic craters but are formed when hot lava flows across a wet surface, causing gases to explode. The result is a slightly strange bumpy landscape like this.

20180908_103529.jpg

It was interesting to walk around and we got some great views of the lake, but the one downside was the flies.

20180908_105223.jpg

In Icelandic, Mývatn means "midge lake", and although we weren't here during the main midge season, we could definitely tell how it got that name!

 

The midges don't bite, but they were still pretty annoying! We didn't stay too long at Skútustaðir, driving on to another parking place a little further round the lake.  There were some interesting rock formations here.

20180908_110619.jpg

I liked this rock which looked like a pillar :)

20180908_110706.jpg

There were lots of paths we could have walked on here but the flies were a bit overwhelming, so we carried on a bit further round the Ring Road to a place called Hverfjall.

20180908_113736.jpg

The guidebook says that Hverfjall is a tephra cone, but I have no idea what that means xD It's basically a big black volcanic crater which looks like this.

20180908_113433.jpg

Hverfjall is about 420 metres high, and there's a rather steep path you can follow from the car park to the top. This is a photo of me looking slightly tired on the way up.

20180908_114442.jpg

And this is me with the crater once I got to the top :)

20180908_114740.jpg

It's very big and black! You can follow a path all the way around the rim, but we decided not to go the whole way round in the end (it was about 3km), because we figured the view would get pretty samey.

20180908_114754.jpg

There were some good views of the lake from up here though...

20180908_114631.jpg

...and some good views of the surrounding countryside too. Best of all, we were now high enough to avoid the midges!

20180908_115505.jpg

The weather had dried up temporarily, but it felt like it might be going to start raining again, so we set off back down the rather steep path.

20180908_120114.jpg

Our next stop was just around the corner: Dimmuborgir.

20180908_122642.jpg

Dimmuborgir is an area of unusually-shaped lava rock formations.

20180908_122732.jpg

There was a series of signposted trails to follow in between the rocks.

20180908_123041.jpg

My favourites were these two with the unusual holes.

20180908_123227.jpg

Half an hour or so drive from the lake, we came to today's waterfall: Goðafoss :)

20180908_133027.jpg

In Icelandic, the name literally means "waterfall of the gods".

20180908_133637.jpg

Around the year 999, Iceland's parliament made the decision that the country would convert to Christianity. According to legend, on his way back from making this decision, one of the local rulers flung all his statues of Norse gods into the waterfall, giving it its name.

20180908_133706.jpg

It's a really beautiful waterfall anyway :)

There are car parks on both sides of the falls and - unlike at Dettifoss - a bridge you can walk over to get from one side of the canyon to the other. As we were making our way towards that, we found that there was another, smaller waterfall, a little further down the same river. This was Geitafoss.

We climbed down to a viewpoint beside it, and someone took a picture for us :)

20180908_134407_001.jpg

Then we continued along by the river and across the footbridge to the other side of the falls.

20180908_135116.jpg

The views from this side were really great :)

20180908_140056.jpg

It's hard to pick a favourite waterfall on this holiday, but Goðafoss is definitely in the running.

20180908_140303.jpg

Our next stop after the waterfall was the town of Akureyri, Iceland's second city. It's situated in a really beautiful location, at the end of the Eyjafjörður fjord, and we could see the town looming in the distance from quite a long way away.

20180908_144726.jpg

When we arrived in the town and found a parking space, we realised that the front of our car had turned into a midge massacre xD

20180908_144807.jpg

We were able to park in an extremely scenic part of town, overlooking the fjord.

20180908_150637.jpg

The hotel we're staying in tonight is quite remote, so we took advantage of being in a large place to have a big meal.  When I say "a large place", the population of Akureyri is actually only 18,800, so it's not exactly a metropolis by UK standards :)

20180908_161235.jpg

We strolled around the seafront for a while and caught sight of the main church in the distance.

20180908_161241.jpg

This is the Akureyrarkirkja, which was designed by the same person as the enormous Hallgrímskirkja we saw in Reykjavik last week.

20180908_162116.jpg

The prettiest building in town was this bright blue one, which serves as a cafe.

20180908_162124.jpg

We had another 80 miles or so to cover before we reached our hotel for the night, which is near the small settlement of Blönduós in the northwest of Iceland.  It was a scenic drive, which took us through a valley surrounded by snow-capped mountains.

2018-09-08 17.09.31.jpg

At £143 for the night, this is our most expensive hotel room of the trip; I think because of scarcity of accommodation in this part of Iceland, although it is quite a nice room :)

20180908_184640.jpg

The hotel is in a very rural location, by the side of a small lake, and there aren't too many midges here :) All in all it's been another very exciting day in Iceland!

20180908_191254.jpg

  • Like 1



User Feedback

Recommended Comments

There are no comments to display.



Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

×

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.