April 17, 2016
Today we headed back to the west, with our 4th time driving through Vik. Yes, fourth! After finding out the hard way that the wine and beer store, Vínbúðin, isn’t open in Vik on Saturdays. BUT it is open in the actual town where we saw the Northern Lights, so we drove to Vik for no reason yesterday. Ahhh well. Our mistake is your fortune. Click the Vínbúðin link before you go to Iceland and check out the different opening times.
Our goal for the day was to make it to Vogar, where we rented one of the nicest AirBnb’s I’ve stayed in so far. On our way there we had a couple of stops:
Laufskálavarða – aka funky rock piles on the side of the road. There used to be a farm in the area, but the volcano Katla destroyed it in 894. You are supposed to add a stone to the old farmland when you pass it the first time to bring yourself luck on your journey. This may have been the 4th time we passed it, or the second. I lost count. Either way, we stopped and added multiple stones.
The gubment (American southern English for government) even put more stones along the road so modern day travelers can continue this tradition.
Our next stop was Selfoss, but only for the Netto – it’s a discount grocery store – that didn’t have beer, postcards or Icelandic salt – the 3 things we were in search of. So we continued to a town called Eyrarbakki, a small fishing village.
Annie had a chance to pet a horse – something she’d been dying to do since she got to Iceland – and then we ate lunch at Rauða Húsið, or Red House. The lobster bisque was outstanding. I recommend this restaurant if you’re driving past this cute town.
Continuing our drive to the west, we passed lava fields and craters. It snowed earlier that day, but now it was just windy and windy. Did I mention how windy? WIN-DY.
We drove alongside some really pretty blue lakes, stopping at one for a photo op. Christian put his hand in the lake – AH! Of course his hand instantly froze and the wind snapped it off. Now I’m about to marry a one-hand man. It was almost that cold.
A couple of miles away, there was a hot spring sending white clouds of hot gas into the sky. We had found the hot springs at Seltan:
Of course, they stink stank stunk. We didn’t stay longer than 5 minutes because the mix of cold, wind and stanky stanky just wasn’t so enjoyable. We were eager to get to Vogar and settle in after being in the car for 4 hours. Plus, our AirBnb had a hot tub. Christian and I had fun playing with the tub thermometer. Watching the temperature gauge drop so fast while waving it in the air above the whirlpool steam provided hours (ok, minutes) of entertainment for 2 scientists.
If you are ever near Vogar, be sure to stop at the Old Post Office. It’s been converted into a restaurant and the service is super friendly. We all learned that in Icelandic a double L – or LL – is pronounced as “dL” or “tL” depending on where you are from. This means that Gull beer you’ve been ordering throughout your trip is actually pronounced “Gudl” or “Gutl”. That night we enjoyed a couple of Gudles paired with a couple of pizzas.