Exploring Iceland in a VW Camper – Day 8
Thursday 14th of September, 2017
We left our campground in Akureyri in the morning and headed to Hvítserkur to see the “drinking dragon.” According to our tour guide books there is a legend that Hvítserkur is really a petrified troll. When we got to Hvítserkur, it was just a short walk to a lookout point where you could see the basalt stack. When we got there the tide was out so there were people down on the beach. We looked around and didn’t see any signs telling us not to go down, so we headed down the trail next to the lookout point so we could get on the beach and get some up close photos. The climb down the hill was quite difficult. It was steep with little footing opportunities which made going down tough, but coming up was not as bad. There was only about 15 people total there while we were there. We stayed for about 30 minutes and took a decent amount of photos.
On our way out of the parking lot at Hvítserkur we Face Timed with our parents and showed them a little bit of Iceland’s scenery in real time. They really enjoyed seeing all of the sheep along the road and thought the dirt road was really bumpy, but we told them we had experienced worse roads than the one we were on. They were impressed! Since we made a last minute decision to go to the Westfjords, the majority of the day was spent looking and Googling for cool scenic pull-offs on our drive or to the Westfjords.
Our next stop after Hvítserkur was at the Kolugljúfur canyon. Driving up to Kolugljúfur canyon we wondered if we were heading in the right direction because it didn’t seem like a canyon would be nearby. We found out that we were indeed heading in the right direction when we arrived at the canyon and waterfall. This place was really pretty but because of the sun’s position creating a lot of shadows and a busload of tourists in every shot it was difficult to get a good photo of the area. It was lunch time so we decided to wait out the tourists and eat our lunch. Perhaps after lunch we would have better luck with the photographs!
The 4×4 camper worked out great again for our roadside lunches and today was no exception. We were able to use the table, chairs, and gas stove to cook up our frieze dried meals while people around us stood to eat their sandwiches. It was a beautiful day for a camper van picnic!!
After lunch we walked across the one-lane, wooden bridge to explore the waterfalls on the other side of the bridge and were able to get some photos that captured the beauty and peacefulness of Kolugljúfur canyon.
Back on the road and headed towards the Westfjords! We were running dangerously low on beer and while passing through a town found a beer store. The store was unique in that it was located inside of a hardware store. We have never seen a beer store inside of a hardware store! Regardless, we were happy to find an open store so we could stock up again. There was a limited (but good) selection. We got a six pack and some singles and we averaged $6.70 USD per beer, which we thought was a little pricey!
We continued driving after the beer store and finally made it to the Westfjord region which was absolutely beautiful and stunning! We didn’t get many photos of the region while driving because the roads were very narrow and we couldn’t find a safe place to pull over to take some photos. We planned on staying at the campground in Bolungarvik and eating a freeze dried meal but decided to stop in Ísafjörður for some dinner.
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Ísafjörður was a very pretty city in the Westfjord region. It seemed like we were driving for a very long time and didn’t encounter any traffic and very few residences so we were surprised to see the size of the city considering how far north we were in the Westfjord region. We had dinner at Edinborg, a very nice restaurant right near the water. We got there around 6:00pm and there was hardly anyone in there so we thought it was closed. We got a cheeseburger and catch of the day, Halibut. The portions were very large! The wait staff was great and the environment was comfortable. Everyone spoke English so we had no problem getting everything ordered. They also had a good bottled beer selection available. On the way to the bathroom there was a very strange sign hanging, in a frame, on the wall that said “Do not spit on the floor!” Apparently there is an indoor spitting problem at this fine establishment? The place got much busier towards the evening before we left. We were pretty tired from our long drive so after dinner we decided not to explore the city. We found a campground in Ísafjörður that accepted our Camping Card so we headed that way. The people running the campground were very nice and the facilities at the campground were very clean. This campground was much different than all our previous campgrounds because this one had trees! It reminded us of campgrounds we are used to staying at back at home where the camp spots are a little more defined and tree-lined. There was a nice waterfall and a stream through the campsite as well.
There were no Northern lights but we got some good photos of the night sky. We took the opportunity to relax this night some and we stayed in the camper van, drank some of the beers we bought earlier in the day and played cards. We raised the roof up and we were able to sit on the bed and play cards very comfortably! This would also work out really well if you got caught up in a rain or thunderstorm and needed to stay inside for a while.
Overall it was a beautiful day. The weather was warm and sunny all day about 10-12 degrees Celsius.
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