We were up early and had a nice breakfast at the North West Hotel and Restaurant. The owner and his wife were chatting with a few of us. He has only owned the hotel for a few years. In another life he sold Icelandic horses in Europe. He was telling us that the Icelandic Horses do much better in the north. They like the cold weather and don’t mind being outside in the winter. All they need is shelter from the wind. In the south they get more rain and the rain and ice make the horses miserable and damage their coats.
It was May 30th and we had a long dirve ahead of us over to Ísafjörður in the Western Fiords. We would be leaving the Ring Road and turning off on highway 68 then catch 61 to Ísafjörður.
Before leaving we decided to get some gas since the hotel is also a N1 gas station. My wife took a picture of me trying to get gas from the pump. No English instructions and it would not accept my card. The owner came out to give me a hand. We had problems with the Visa card not being accepted at a station earlier on the trip. Turns out the Visa Card would not work at the self service gas stations. However, my Visa Travel Debit Card would work. No Idea why. This would be the last gas receipt I would get in Iceland from a self service station. Most Icelanders don’t get receipts but tourists generally like receipts. It order to get a receipt you put your card in the machine again after you pump your gas. It should then print a receipt. It never did even with help for the staff. We ended up going in to get a receipt at stations that were open.
We would spend the entire day driving around fiords. So frustrating to look across the fiord and see your destination only to arrive an hour later.
Throughout rural Iceland (most of the country) we found these recycling centers located at crossroads.
In this section of Iceland we noticed that logs had been stacked up along the beach. In some cases they were stacked according to size. We asked someone later if the logs would be used for something. She said they have been used for centuries because of the lack of trees in Iceland. She thought these came from northern Siberia and would likely be used for flooring.
We reached Hólmavík around noon so we drove into town and purchased some sandwiches for lunch. The sun was coming out so we decided to drive down to the harbor area and have lunch. There was a beautiful view of the church high above us.
At Hrofberg we caught highway 61 and headed into the highlands. With the sun out the snow was melting. A scary time to hike in the highlands because the snow bridges over the rivers are unstable. Someone fell in shortly after we left Iceland.
After driving down from the highlands we started finding waterfalls as we drove around the fiords. They didn’t seem to have a name and I suspect many of them only run in the spring.
We found these Elder Ducks with chicks along the road. they were close enough to get some shots.
We happened to see a sign for Litlibær Farm so we stopped and started looking around. After walking around awhile we noticed a sign indicating they were serving coffee and waffles. It was getting later in the day so we went in to try the waffles. Very good. A young woman and her grandmother were providing the waffles. The young woman said she was going to South Carolina as an exchange student this fall. She said the house had been divided and two families lived in this small building. The fact that there are two photos of the waffles tells you what my priorities are.
After visiting Litlibær we started looking for seals but didn’t see any. They probably looked like rocks. We did get some nice shots of seaweed.
It was a beautiful day when we arrive in Ísafjörður and checked into our hotel. This was the view from our hotel room.
Later in the evening we walked around town and down to the harbor.
More photos and a complete listing of my Icelandic blogs can be found on my website.