Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Iceland Dispatch #2
I'm writing from the Hotel Akureyri in Akureyri, which is the "capital" of northern Iceland (it takes about 15 minutes to walk end to end). This hotel was recommended because its breakfast buffet has a waffle iron, which I certainly took advantage of. I also have a great view of a massive fjord from my window. I was originally planning on spending a second night at the empty hotel (which was completely peaceful, not creepy at all, except for that weird naked woman in Room 237), but heavy snow on the ground cut into my hiking abilities in the area, so I decided to double back early. I felt a bit bad for the owners of the hotel... who knows when they'll get another guest. And the breakfast spread they put out for me was the same size as the one they put out when the hotel is full. I barely put a dent in it. Oh, and I took my first bath in years because I couldn't figure out how to work the shower and there was nobody around to explain it to me...

Yesterday I did get to explore some sulfur mud pits (much to the chagrin of my boots) and check out the Godafass waterfall. To reach the waterfall I had to trudge through snow that was at least 2 feet deep in places. But it was totally worth it, and it got all the mud off my boots. The snow here is so white and pure and vast that it sometimes hurts my eyes while walking through it. Even though the sun hasn't made an appearance in days, I wish I had brought some sunglasses. I was tempted to also drive to Aldeyjarfoss, which is Iceland's biggest waterfall, even though I was told that the road to it hadn't been completely plowed. After driving half a kilometer (of 41km to get there), I decided it wasn't worth the risk and had to drive back to the highway in reverse. Stupid 2WD.

Today I'll make my way back towards Reykjavik... it would be about a 4-hour drive non-stop, but I'll make a few detours along the way. Then I pick up my friend tomorrow and we'll head south towards Vik.

This trip is flying by!

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