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We had a leisurely start to the morning in our apartment. It was a beautifully sunny day, so we enjoyed a stroll around Seyðisfjörður before we set off on our travels once again. The water in the fjord was so clear that we could see an almost perfect reflection of the buildings. I really loved the colour of this blue house The town is in a really stunning location. In places we could even still see a little bit of snow on the mountain tops In fact we could see the mountains reflected in the water too Once we'd done a circuit of the town, we got in the car for another fairly long day of driving. First stop was to go back over the mountain pass and down to Egilsstaðir. From there, we rejoined the Ring Road and began to head north. The landscape became a bit gentler for a while. We stopped at a viewpoint by a river... ...then drove through a landscape of small bumpy hills.... ...before catching sight of what looked like quite an impressive waterfall from the road. We parked and climbed up a little footpath towards it. You can hopefully just make out the beautiful rainbows in the photo There was a lot of heather growing here, which was really pretty. This Icelandic sheep seemed to be enjoying it too Then we were on our way again, and our surroundings began to look more mountainous. As we got closer towards Dettifoss - the waterfall which was going to be our first main destination of the day - things began to look rather black and barren, in fact. It also began to feel really windy, as we realised once we got out of the car to take pictures. The road took led up past these mountains... ...and then finally we saw the turn-off we needed, down a side road towards Dettifoss. There is a choice of two roads which you can take to Dettifoss; one goes down the western side of the falls and one down the eastern. We took the western road, which I'd read in the guidebook was well-surfaced and easy to drive on As we drove along it, our surroundings became increasingly rocky. We parked at the carpark (parking was free here) and it looked even rockier! We followed the path for a kilometre or so before we got our first glimpse of water. Eventually we rounded a corner and got our first proper view of Dettifoss. Wow! We watched the waterfall from a viewpoint to the side first of all. There were barriers in place to stop you getting too close to the edge, although some people obviously thought it was worth ignoring them to get a better photo! This was as close as we were going Dettifoss is the most powerful waterfall in Europe. The spray coming up from the water was incredible. One of the things I hadn't expected was to be able to see so many rainbows here. They were really beautiful There were various different viewpoints you could walk to to see the falls from different angles. The paths were all quite dry here, which made it easier to explore. The wind was incredibly strong though, as you can probably tell from my hair A final look at the rainbows, and then it was time to head off to our next destination Our next destination was supposed to be a place called Krafla. We rejoined the Ring Road and continued along it, looking for the Krafla turn-off, when suddenly we caught sight of a mountain with steam coming out of it 😮 This is the geothermal area of Hverir, which I had somehow omitted to build into our itinerary There were pools of boiling mud... ...and chimneys emitting sulphuric steam. The smell was worse than the sulphuric water in our bathroom in Reykjavik The turning for Krafla was only just around the corner, so we arrived there soon afterwards. There is a volcanic crater here, with a bright blue lake inside it. There's a walking trail all around the rim of the crater. This part of Iceland is quieter than the south, so we didn't have to share it with many other people. The crater lake was a gorgeous colour. There were some good views of the surrounding countryside from the higher points of the walk as well. We could see as far as Lake Myvatn, which is on our itinerary to visit tomorrow. The path led through a small area of volcanic activity. There were clear signs showing where you could and couldn't walk. You definitely wouldn't want to walk here; the earth was literally scorched! At one point we had to jump over a stream, which I wasn't terribly happy about! We then came round to a second, smaller crater lake.... ...before climbing back up above the main lake once again. One last look at the view, and then it was time to search for tonight's accommodation That took slightly longer than expected, as one of the roads that we needed was closed. We got there in the end though; a small guesthouse in the middle of nowhere. Our room, which cost about £130, is in one of these wooden buildings. It's a nice spacious room, and we've got breakfast included tomorrow which is a bonus It's been another amazing day in Iceland and we couldn't have asked for better weather. Well, maybe a bit less wind would have been good
There wasn't a breakfast buffet at the place we were staying at last night (it was more of a guesthouse than a hotel), but there was a shared kitchen with things like coffee and cereal which people could help themselves to. We had been to the main supermarket in the town last night and bought some pastries of our own as well. It looked like it was going to be another dry day, so we were soon off on our way to make the most of it. Today was going to be one of our heavier days of driving, with nearly 200 miles to cover before we got to our base for the night. Our first stop was the Stokksnes headland, which is only about 10km outside of Höfn. A small road leads down off the Ring Road, onto private land. We had to pay 800 ISK each (about £5.50) to get a ticket and be able to park. It seemed worth it, because we knew it was a really scenic location. This big black mountain in the background is the Vestrahorn. It's only 454 metres high, but it looks a lot bigger and it really dominates the landscape here. The location has been used for filming, and what we were walking towards was a film set of a Viking village. It was quite a surreal place to wander around. Definitely an amazing location though. From outside the village we could see back to yesterday's glaciers The ticket we'd bought allowed us to drive right to the end of the headland, from where we had a great view out to sea... ...as well as more great views back towards the mountains. The other remarkable thing about Stokksnes is that it is home to sand dunes made from black sand. Lots of them were just tiny little bumps like this... ...with jet black sand. There was just time for a final look at the Vestrahorn... ...and then we were on our way again, about to lose our view of the glaciers as we went through a tunnel in the mountains and emerged into Iceland's eastern region. Eastern Iceland is the remotest and least populated part of the country. Settlements are few and far between here, so we'd made sure to get a full tank of petrol yesterday. There aren't any absolute "must-see" sights in this region, but we had a day of stunning views ahead of us. We pulled over to take photos whenever we could find suitable parking places. This was at the Hvalnes nature reserve, where there is a huge lake inhabited by swans. They were staying well away from the tourists though, so we didn't get any photos! The eastern coastline of Iceland is home to a series of fjords, and we were about to start driving up and down them. It was getting a bit cloudier, but the views were still great. As we approached the village of Breiðdalsvík, we drove across a long bridge over the water. The guidebook had said there was a turn-off at some point after here towards a waterfall, but we didn't manage to find it. Instead we left the Ring Road behind for a while and began to follow a smaller road around the coast. We found someone to take our photo again Then we were back in the car and on our way once more. We had this road virtually to ourselves. As we travelled further along, we could see a small island out to sea. Tim had to concentrate on the driving though, because the road soon turned from a normal tarmac road into a gravel one. Gravel roads are quite common in Iceland (even the Ring Road is gravel in parts) and pretty much the only bit of Icelandic I know is the "Malbik endar" road sign which announces that the paved road is coming to an end. The gravel road was replaced by a normal one again as we began to head inland. We were soon following a pretty steep road into the mountains. We stopped at a parking place with a good view There was a series of tiny little waterfalls coming down the mountain here. Once we got over the top of the mountain, the landscape changed completely and became a lot softer. There were some beautiful autumn colours on the hillsides. We were now quite close to Egilsstaðir which is the main town in these parts. The Ring Road continues through it, but we needed to turn off onto route 93, a smaller road which leads over the mountains and down to the small town of Seyðisfjörður. The road was pretty steep, but when we got to the top of the pass there were some spectacular views back down. Eventually we began to descend and got our first glimpse of Seyðisfjörður. The name Seyðisfjörður might not ring any bells, but this is the town where the Icelandic TV series 'Trapped' was set. Part of the series was filmed here, with the rest being filmed in the village of Siglufjörður in northern Iceland. Seyðisfjörður is the town where the Norröna ferry featured in the series arrives from Denmark and the Faroe Islands once a week. It sails from Seyðisfjörður on Thursday mornings, so accommodation in the town is normally completely booked out on Wednesday nights. Luckily we were visiting on a Thursday evening, so hadn't had any problems finding a room for the night. And after approaching the town on this road, we can definitely see how it would be possible to get trapped here in the snow! We made one final stop at a parking place above the town... ...because we'd caught sight of this beautiful waterfall from the road. This is Gufufoss, and I guess as Icelandic waterfalls go it isn't anything special (no mention in the guidebook!), but I was still pretty impressed We arrived in Seyðisfjörður and found our accommodation (the building in the picture, with the "studio guesthouse" sign). It's a small studio apartment, with two large beds, a kitchenette and dining table, so we were able to cook our own food tonight. I paid £105 for the night, so this is one of our better-value stays. The town itself is really pretty, with colourful wooden houses. It's surrounded by mountains on all sides. I got excited when we spotted the ferry terminal at the edge of the town More scenic though was the town's beautiful little blue church It's a lovely place to stop for the night, after what has been yet another really scenic day in Iceland