And we’re onto day 5! This is a pretty standard day, a lot of stop and go. Today’s route is…
- Egilsstadir -> Dettifoss
- Go westbound on Highway 1
- Exit onto Highway 864 northbound
- Dettifoss -> Lake Myvatn
- Go southbound on Highway 864 back onto Highway 1
- Westbound on Highway 1
- Exit onto highway 860 (or just look for the giant sign)
- Lake Myvatn -> Akureyri
- Westbound Highway 1 all the way
First off, the drive on highway 864 is probably the most boring drive in all of Iceland. It’s long, speed limit is slow, and the usual cool lava rocks are absent. If you have a sedan, you’ll want to drive slow. So what is the dettifoss? It is the largest waterfall in all of Europe. Which sounds pretty cool, but unfortunately if you’ve been to the niagara falls, this is probably 1/10th the size and a little disappointing (yeah, us people from toronto are spoiled). The only cool thing is you could literally walk up right beside to the water (and potentially fall off). There are no barriers, no gates, no guards, so it’s ultra dangerous, be careful!
Fun Fact: My buddy pointed that this is the same waterfall in the movie prometheus, which btw was a piece of shit)
The next is the great Lake Myvatn, which itself is sorta boring, but I went to the Myvatn Nature Bath, which is a giant hot spring / geothermal spa. If you’re more familiar with the Blue Lagoon, It’s basically a smaller version up north. We were in a bit of a rush so I only went in for about half an hour. It’s pretty nice and way cheaper than the blue lagoon, so if you’re in the area and have nothing to do, it’s not bad for like 30 bucks CAD. Though when i went they were on the day where they were changing the water, so I got 20% off. (Water levels were about half of what they usually are)
On our drive to the destination, we saw what I believe at the time to be a really tall hill. My girlfriend later corrected me that it was Hvalnesfjall, a volcano crater. We saw a clearly outlined hiking trial so we decided to climb up for a picture.
Fun Fact: When I thought it was a hill I said i could easily walk up there in 30 minutes or less. Alison called me a noob and said I could not. We got up there in 15.
I feel the photograph doesn’t really do this crater justice but it’s the only one I have. It’s really cool to just know you hiked up a volcano and now you’re at the top looking at the crater. There are clearly marked paths so you can actually hike around it. But much like everything else in Iceland be careful because there’s no barriers, no guards nothing….. So if you fall down or drop something, well there’s no clear hiking trial back up from the middle, so good luck climbing.
Right next to Lake Myvatn is the boiling mud pots. I’m not actually sure if that’s the name, but to my understanding, these boiling mud pots is what “powers” the geothermal spas. I’m not going to give you a specific explanation as I am unsure myself, but it’s something along the lines of, the mud holes are boiling, and the left over minerals get washed over to the spring, and that’s what us humans enjoys. I tell you though, these mud pots smell like complete ass (like someone took a big crap on the floor). In retrospect I should have went here first before washing off at the spa but oh well.
And now finally we’ve arrived at Akureyri. With a population of about 18,000, this is the SECOND largest city in Iceland. It’s pretty hippy and very well decorated (has a bit of san fran vibe to it). This is the only blog post where i’ll actually put up a picture of my hotel, as the rest were very normal.
- Name: Saeluhus ( https://www.saeluhus.is/en )
- Cost: 117 Euros
- Review: 3 words, super special, and awesome. The complex has a lot of cool features. It has a laundry unit (free) and a ski shop at the complex so you can store / have your skis repaired. There’s a couple of different unit styles but we got the studio (cost reasons). But it’s very spacious and comes with a full kitchen. Has a fridge, plates, pots, pans and pretty much everything you need to do whatever you need aside from baking a cake or doing some masterchef madness.
So with a kitchen, we went to the nearby mall, got some groceries and decided to “cook”. Yes! The first night where our meal didn’t cost 150 dollars CAD. YAY! It was getting late and we were tired, so we opted to just boil some pasta and have some veggies. Pretty good stuff!
So that’s it! It’s a shame we didn’t get to spend more time here and it did look like it had a lot to offer (in fairness we spent the last 4 days looking at mountains and waterfalls, so seeing a city with a population of more than 10 was a refreshing feeling). Oh wait! I almost forgot, the coolest part of this city? The traffic lights are HEARTS!