Day 8 (Thursday, June 27, 2019): The long drive (from Akureyri to Reykholt)

Our "Fjord living" came to a quick end this morning. The sky turned cloudy. In the morning I walked around our guesthouse and took some pictures of the mountains looking up from the fjord.

(Click on each image to see the high-resolution version)



Birds were active in the morning. This Redwing sang its sweet songs and perched in a tree near the guestbouse to pose for me.


The cloudy day suited well for this day of long drive. Our lunch stop was in Blonduos, a town on the northern coast (it can be properly called a "town" and not a village, as it has an industrial feel to it). We stopped by Blonduoskirkja, the church that's shaped like a volcanic crater (by now I got a hang of the Icelandic language and realized that the long words are smaller words stitched together, and "kirkja" surely means "church", and "Blonduoskirkja" means "church of Blonduos").



We took a walk to Hrutey Island, an island in the middle of the Blanda River. The following picture was taken from the bridge to the island, looking upriver.

Blanda River

The river is an important salmon migration ruote and the island is a bird nesting haven. However, this was not salmon season, and most of the nesting birds had departed (we saw a lot of bird droppings on the island). We did see a Greylag Goose family with goslings, though.

Greylag Goose with gosling

I took a picture of the town of Blonduos before we left.


About half way from Blonduos to our final destination, Reykholt, we saw a parking lot with some information bulletins off the Ring Road. We stopped there. This turned out to be Grabrokargigar, or the Grobrok Volcano. This is what I love about travel -- you never know what you will find. We did not know about this place at all (granted, we could have done more thorough research and find out about it, but sometimes I don't want to be too thorough in my research such that we lose all elements of the unexpected), and it was a pleasantly surprising finding for us.

There are supposed to be three craters here, but only two are prominently visible. The park service built a nice trail up and around one of the craters. The sky was dreary and it started to drizzle, but the hike around the volcano crater was a nice leg-stretcher on this long driving day.




From here we could also see the sheep pens built with volcanic rocks by the local people.

Sheep pens at Grabrokargigar

We pushed on after the hike to the craters. For once we actually arrived at our hotel (Fosshotel Reykholt) before happy hour ended! A beer (or two) was the most welcome reward for this long day of travel.

Happy Hour

Click the following link to go to: Previous Day (Day 7): Lake Myvatn, geothermal areas and yet more waterfalls or Next Day (Day 9): Lava Cave, Snæfellsnes Peninsula and the bonus golden light.

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