Hello again, friends!
Pre-winter storm we witnessed a serene landscape on our drive to West Iceland.
If you recall we last left off on the evening of Day Two when Kevin and I were driving up a winding mountain road in the pitch darkness in the middle of a blizzard. We had already pushed our luck this night driving to that point. Instinct was gnawing at us that if we went up that mountain things would be rough (an understatement) and we didn’t want to challenge that. So we did one u-turn and retreated. Sleeping in the vehicle was possible but the winds were violent and there weren’t any parking lots available (never park along the road). We pulled into the Kast Guesthouse, darted in, and asked if they had any vacancies. I’m thankful I saved more than enough money for unexpected occurrences such as this. For us, it was better to be safe than sorry and we enjoyed our sardines and sandwiches after a warm shower and before a comfy bed. And now we have a story we can tell people where we almost died going up a winding mountain in the middle of a sudden snow storm in Iceland.
So after the storm passed over we were left with a very windy, seriously cold, but beautiful day. It was amazing to open our eyes to the mountain in our backyard. Due to our “tentative plan” being rearranged we decided to take different routes on the drive to North Iceland, but first one pit-stop at Kirkufell, the famous mountain that’s always photographed with the nearby waterfall.
You know which one: this one.
From here we drove around port towns. We had a simple lunch and coffee ($30) at Laki in Grundarfjörður, a small coastal town in the Snæfellsnes peninsula.
Alright, the part I’m (now) not the most proud of. The thing about Iceland is: you want to park everywhere and frolic through the beauty. You just can’t help it! At this particular spot we were just so mesmerized by the landscape that we decided to…well, run around. Okay, I know. Well, now I know, but I didn’t realize back then how sensitive lava ground is. You know when you’re just so happy you just have to let it out? Stupid excuse but that was me at this moment. So, don’t be like us and try and stay away from frolicking on the beautiful moss. This is one of those big moments that I learned from.
Driving to Akureyri
Days two and three were the most driving-filled from our ten day road trip. We ended up going up to West Iceland through Borganes on 54 then up to Kirkullfell through route 56. This we followed back on day three instead of continuing on route 54 to North Iceland (I believe the roads were hazardous due to the prior weather). Eventually, you meet up once again with the Ring Road and enjoy the snow-covered scenery along the mountain drive (in the daylight this time). We arrived in Akureyri late in the evening, tired, but excited for the next day’s festivities. Hint: Day four would be one of my favorite days in my lifetime.
Stay tuned to find out why!
P.S. If we had more time in West Iceland I would have enjoyed visiting Snaefellsjokull National Park! If you get to visit let me know how it is!