The plan was to tour tha lake and then drive to Husavik but the weather forecast was bad for the next day and there might be no whale watching tours. So we changed the plan and decided to sleep in Akureyri and leave Husavik for the day after. We failed again to start early. Efie went again to the baths, while we were having breakfast. She really enjoys this smell. The plan is tour the lake and go to Akureyri.
We passed through Hverir and took a left to the nearby Krafla, a 10km wide volcanic caldera that last erupted in 1984. On the way, in the middle of nowhere, we passed the most surreal piece of “art” that I have ever seen. On the right side of the road there is a toilet bowl under a running shower. It is snowing and windy which makes it all the more surreal. I think that the pictures speak for themselves.
We entered the geothermal station area and continue to the Krafla Viti crater lake. The crater slope is not high, about ten minutes, climb, but it was below freezing, windy and snowing which made it challenging. The view from the top is totally worth it though. The crater is about 300m wide and contains a lake with crystal blue water. We went around the crater and had to walk through sulphuric mud and fuming earth. Do not do it without hiking boots, otherwise you will destroy your shoes. On the east side, there is second smaller crater lake surrounded by yellow earth.
It was so cold that we did not date to visit Námafjall with its fumaholes and vivid colors, anyway the colors were not going to be anything close to vivid with this weather.
We took the road back to the lake Mývatn and turned south to reach our next stop: The cave Grjótagjá with the underground lake. We entered through a small opening to see a truly amazing underground lake (about 10x3m) with hot steaming waters where you can swim. The two small openings on the roof allow for the light to paint the cave with vivid blue and green colors.
The Hverfjall crater is pitch black. It is ten minutes walk to the top of the crater, bit tiresome since the path is relatively steep. It was still snowing and windy so we decided not to go around.
Instead we drive to the nearby Dimmuborgir area (means “Dark Castles”). Lunch – hot soup of course – and then a 2.5km tour, following the church circle, between tall lava formations with the most unusual shapes.
Ten minutes drive to Höfði, a beautiful peninsula on the Mývatn lake, with dense vegetation, gardens and lava formation, looking like English country. A totally unexpected landscape from what we have seen so far in Iceland.
Moving to the western side of the lake, we visited – and climbed – the pseudocraters, volcanic formations which resembles true volcanic craters, but are the results of steam explosions as flowing hot lava crosses over a wet surface and traps the water under.
After circling the lake, we headed north west to Akueryri. After thirty minutes we saw Godafoss, one of the most spectaculae waterfalls of Iceland, 12m high and 30m wide. The sun was low, giving beautiful light but it was still very cold.
Akureyri is the largest city of the north with a population of about 17’000 and colorful nordic houses. We settled in Saeluhus Gesthouse, near the entrance, a pleasant surprise aa the rooms were very larger with fully equipped kitchen. After a short rest, we went to the center for a walk and dinner. We chose Bautinn and did not regret it. I had whale. I know, it is a pity that they hunt and kill these intelligent animals and I should not contribute to this non sense, but I was very curious to see how it tastes. I figured out that if I taste once the damage will be minimal. Now say I am stupid, but I was very surprised to see that the whale entries were under meat and not fish. Of course a whale is an animal, but it had not occur to me that it is meat. It is dark red and tastes like gameand served just like it, with jam and sweet garnish. We went to one of the lovely downtown cafes for desert and coffee before calling it a day.
Next: Still in the North