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Published: November 11th 2017
We were up, breakfasted & out into a dull misty day by 8:30am. Skipping Grjótagjá (where Jon Snow was deflowered by Ygritte!) we went first to Hverir – a “magical, ochre-toned landscape of mud cauldrons, steaming vents & piping fumaroles”. We pottered around taking care not to leave the designated paths - for reasons of nature conservation & because we like the soles of feet unboiled! After this we headed up to Krafla, driving past a steaming stream and under the pipes of the geothermal power station to get up to Leirhnjúkur, described in the guide book as the “potentially most dangerous attraction”. We were uninspired by the car park & rough track disappearing into the mist but persevered & the bubbling pool, solfataras & encrusted lava field were impressive, but less so than the fiery photos on the notice boards! The most dangerous things were the slippery & ill-maintained boardwalk with safety walk at the perfect level to fall over! This is the the location of the Krafla fires (1975-84), a smaller recurrance of the Mývatn fires (1724-29) when many of the fissure vents
opened up. We also stopped at Víti (literally "Hell") but the green pool in the crater wasn’t
as impressive on this dull day that I imagine it is at other times. We then went on to Dettifoss & Selfoss where there were lots of tourists (& filthy port-a-loos!). Dettifoss was very impressive (the greatest volume of any waterfall in Europe – 400m3
/s) but not the prettiest waterfall in Iceland. Although again it would be prettier in the sunshine. I then drove us along route 1 to Egilsstađir. This was the most boring stretch of road & the one where it was hardest to stick to the 90km/h (55mi/h) speed limit.
From Egilsstađir we took the scenic route 92 to the Eastfjords. I passed over the driving to Vicky who drove around the south edge of Reyđarfjörđur then Fáskrúđsfjörđur, Stöđvarfjörđur, Briđdalsvík and Berufjörđur (stopping at the cutest birdhide ever!) to Djúpivogar where we had fish & chips. The batter was a bit odd by UK standards (had something slightly spicy in it) & the chips were fries but had tasty garlic salt on them. Not sure it was worth the £15 each though, especially as no vinegar! Sunset had been stunningly beautiful driving around the fjords, although slightly blinding for Vicky driving at times! After supper we
(Photo by Chavaunne)
drove around Hamarsfjörđur in the dark to get to Bragdavellir Cottages where we stayed in Gustur cottage.
The night was clear so we wrapped up warm & headed out behind the barn to get away from the cottage lights to admire the green glow of northern lights. We also took out cameras & tripods to attempt photos… my little camera managed to capture the green glow just about but Chavaunne’s fancy camera managed to capture them well. She also got a photo of us in front of them – although in most of these we are blurry because we couldn’t not giggle for the long exposure!
It was my turn to get a room to myself so I had the sofa bed. I left the curtains open so I could lie in bed watching the stars and the northern lights – amazing! Although the radiator in that room was turned off so I woke up freezing cold in the morning!
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