Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Day 10: Höfn

This morning we left Egilsstaðir and headed south on the Ring Road towards Höfn, which sits by Hornafjörður. We had lunch in Djúpivogur, which seemed to be the only town between Egilsstaðir and Höfn.

We had considered stopping off in Djúpivogur (the first residents of which were Irish monks) and taking the ferry to Island Papey (which we'd heard had some interesting ruins on it), but the ferry ride and the length of the tour would require a four-hour commitment that we just weren't sure we had today. This turned out to be a good decision; it alternated between drizzling and outright torrential rain on the entire four-hour drive, parts of which included long stretches of twisty, unpaved gravel roads.

We did have few moments in which we could get out of the car and stretch our legs, but we took the opportunity to walk (briefly) along a beach at low tide, which meant we saw lots of black, volcanic sand. It was cold; we didn't last more than a few minutes in our boots and jackets before we scurried back to the warm car.

Our hotel feels distinctly definitively European: two separated beds (against two different walls), and a bathroom with no shower stall (read: water that sprays all over the place when showering).

We had planned to visit Vatnajökull National Park, which encompasses Vatnajökull, Europe's largest glacier, but between the rain, arriving at our hotel later than we'd thought, and realizing that seeing the glacier would involve another hour-long drive to the park, we decided instead to see it tomorrow: We'll get up a bit earlier and go on an early afternoon tour before heading west to Reykjavik, which will serve as our base for the rest of our visit to Iceland. 

Instead, we had took a mental break from excessive tourism and attempted to see the Höfn Glacier Museum, which had been listed in one of our guidebooks, only to learn that it had been closed last year and had not yet been reopened. We made a quick stop at a maritime museum before having dinner at Ósinn.

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