Tuesday, November 29, 2016

1 Week in Iceland: Day 4

True to our pattern, we woke up nice and early on our fourth day in Iceland but for a bit of a different reason than to just hit the road. The farm we were staying on allowed guests to watch them milk the cows in the morning. So, we got dressed and wandered over.
The photos of the cows being milked weren't exactly glamorous so I'm not really sharing any (but I share some footage in my video diary, if you're really interested).

DIMMUBORGIR
So, we hadn't planned on visiting Dimmuborgir because I had underestimated the power of the twilit sky but because it was already pretty bright by 8:00, we took the ten minute detour from our hotel to check out the lava fields. I think they're probably much more majestic with stronger light, but I appreciated how eerie they looked in the quiet morning.
GOÐAFOSS
Our first real stop of the day was at Goðafoss. It's a shorty, but it's really wide and I have to say, it is really beautiful first thing in the morning.
It was really cold that morning and everything was iced over from the mist of the falls so we carefully braved the trails to attempt to get a bit closer but eventually abandoned them in the name of safety. And then we sat in our car to warm up and ate a bit of chocolate cake for breakfast. So, it was a pretty good start to the day.
AKUREYRI
This charming little town is the second largest urban area (after Reykjavik). It's a port town located at the base of  Eyjafjörður, which is the longest fjord in Iceland. We parked in a free lot (free for 1 hour) and got ourselves a little 'clock' (per the signage instructions) at the nearby bank to set in our window. Basically, you mark the time you've arrived and you're given an hour past that time to either move your car or update your clock.
AKUREYRARKIRKJA
AKUREYRI BOTANICAL GARDENS
AKUREYRI FISH & CHIPS
For lunch - this was the only sit down lunch we had in Iceland - we went to Akureyri Fish & Chips and got two orders, which was more than enough food for the three of us. The fish was deliciously prepared. The fish inside was moist and tender while the batter was light and crisp. The malt vinegar was served in little spray bottles, which I loved, and it came with the most generous portion of fries. My mouth is watering thinking about this fish right now.
NORTH ICELAND
After lunch, the next few hours were spent driving along the north of Iceland, stopping to admire the mountain views here and there.
VÍÐIMÝRARKIRKJA
This little turf church was just a few minutes off of Route 1 so we stopped by for a peek. I'd read that when it's high tourist season, someone stands outside and makes you pay admission but there was no one else there when we went. That is yet another benefit of traveling in Iceland in the off-season.
BLÖNDUÓS
Our fourth night in Iceland was spent in Blönduós, which I chose because it looked so cute in photos.
KILJAN APARTMENTS
We stayed at an apartment that night because it was pretty much slim-pickings when it came to lodging choices in this town. The apartment was clean and perfectly fine to stay in but we were confused by the purple theme that existed throughout the entire studio. My sister said it seemed like some little girl who loves purple decorated this place, while I thought it gave off weird bachelor vibes, like a sleazy bachelor who thinks he's really slick or something (kind of like Quagmire).
SAMKAUP
We did a bit of grocery shopping but instead of just stocking up on road trip snacks like our previous two trips, we actually bought ingredients to make dinner.
BLÖNDUÓSKIRKJA
Inspired by the coconut fish soup we'd enjoyed in Hofn, we made a curry with some arctic char. The supermarket fish was fresher than any fish I'd ever bought stateside at the supermarket. And because restaurants in Iceland seem to skimp on the vegetables, we loaded up on veggies that evening.
Again, the aurora forecast for that evening was grim (it was raining buckets and windy as hell) so we called it a night after dinner.

Here's my travel map:

Here's my video diary:

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