After some stress over an almost empty gas tank (5km left until the tank was completely dry) in what looked like 100 miles of Mordor-like wasteland in every direction, we found a gas station and headed to Skaftafell National Park. This park is the home to the glacier called Svinafellsjokull. We made the hike over to the glacier (but weren’t allowed on it) and were treated to more incredible views. This time, they were of an icy nature:
It started to rain a little, so we turned tail and headed off to a glacial lake just off the road. The view of the lake was equally beautiful. It, like all the others, was created by the melting of the glacier (no duh), and because the glacier is melting, the ice caves we wanted to see are gone. Sad truth, but at least we got a good view of where the James Bond car chase took place in “Tomorrow Never Dies.”
We stopped at another glacial lake that feeds directly out into the ocean, and the views were pretty similar. It’s jaw dropping standing at the foot of these things, and getting to see how absolutely massive it all is.
That night, we stayed in a little town called Hofn. Hofn is the lobster capital of Iceland. So we strapped on our bibbs and dug in. I actually decided to try something a little unique and ordered a reindeer burger. Rudolph was delicious, and he was topped with fried lobster tail. That burger is quite possibly the best thing I’ve eaten in my entire life. We stayed in some cottages just outside of town, and again were treated to a wonderful breakfast the next morning, complete with pickled herring. It’s much tastier than it sounds.
After breakfast, we headed down to the harbor to see the monuments and fishing boats. One of my buddies got attacked by a flock of birds, and we had to speed off in our cars to avoid getting pecked to death. We made our way to an abandoned movie set (laid out like a Viking village), and explored a little bit. There were some fjords right behind the faux village, and we decided to climb them. We had to cross a minefield of sheep and horse excrement to get there, and I ended up twisting my ankle before we got to the fjords. A few of the guys went on without me and got some great pictures from the top, but I stayed at the foot of the fjords and rested my ankle. I missed out, but I would have been in a lot more pain had I tried to keep going.
We walked back to the cars without further incident and embarked on the most scenic drive of the trip (which is saying a whole lot). The further we went, the more incredible the views got. Back in Reykjavik, we had met a geologist who told us about a mountain pass called Oxi that we had to check out if we were fortunate enough for it to be open. Luckily for us, it was, and we made a steep climb up the mountain. That geologist couldn’t have given us better advice. Here’s the view from the top of the road:
We drove across the mountain tops, and eventually found our way to a little town that looks like it would only exist in a fairy tale. To get there, we crossed a frozen lake, and (Spoiler Alert Again!!!) went down the road Walter Mitty longboards down in the movie. Here’s what the town looks like:
Ridiculous. After a fun ride down the mountainside, we got a delicious fresh haddock dinner at a pub across the street from the house we were staying in, then turned in for the night.
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