Driving in Iceland is pretty chill for the most part. The Ring Road is a tarmac road. The speed limit is 90 km/h and almost everyone sticks to that.
So far, all living animals that have passed us have refrained from jumping in front of our car suprisingly – our rental car insurance advisor would have called that ‘unforseen circumstance’.
There are a lot of Einbreið brú, which are bridges with only one lane, and Blindhæð, which translates to blind bend (small hill you can’t see across). Aside from that, traffic isn’t too bad. The further you’re away from Reykjavik, the smaller the number of cars you encounter.
BUT. Gravel roads are the worst! And sadly, you can’t completely avoid them.
This is standard for non-asphalt roads. Loads and loads of potholes. Today we drove more than 50 km on those bastards. It was a lot of fun! *cough*
The first gravel road we encountered today, was this one.
It got worse and worse the further we got. And then, all of a sudden, it ended in a gate. Nice. We are using the Google Maps app for navigation, which works quite well – most of the times. On this glory Sunday it tried to send us a little further than necessary. We were already past our target location – somewhere in the middle of nowhere – when it proclaimed: “You have reached your destination”.
We turned around and used our eyes instead. That helped. We were trying to go to Raudanes Point, which turned out to be quite a big area with a 7 km path to hike. We went a full 20% on that one. The weather was superb and we met this guy and a few of his fellow sheep.
And this was the main attraction:
And also overgrown humps. They’re nice.
Next up: A redwing.
We met this fine specimen in Ásbyrgi, a wonderful canyon with a beautiful autumnal touch to it.
The leaves of the birch trees were glowing in 50 shades of red. And then suddenly …
… we were at home. A conifer forest, covered in blueberry plants and in between: a fly agaric. What is your favorite kind of mushroom? If you think this is a random question, go back to day 2, or don’t, your choice.
Fast forward: Dettifoss. Foss – remember – means waterfall.
Dettifoss is said to be the most powerful waterfall in all of Europe. 400 m³ of water (or more, depending on the weather conditions) flow over the edge every second to drop down 45 meters.
It was magnificent. You can actually get very, very close to the water. And people do. People with cameras.
A little further upstream lies Selfoss – yet another beautiful waterfall. Actually it’s a lot of waterfalls right next to each other. And I’m guessing that the total volume of water that flows over the edges here is somewhere close to 400 m³ per second as well. It has to go somewhere, right?
On our way back, we found a little leprechaun’s den. It smelled like potatoes.
We spent all our newly gained riches on a ticket to travel across the fellas private gravel road. He built it with his own leprechaun hands, or so he said. And that’s what it felt like for the next 25 km.
Next stop: Godafoss. If you’re asking yourself: “Doesn’t it get boring, looking at waterfalls all day?” No. No, it doesn’t.
And in case, you have already forgotten what we look like, that’s us wearing hats because it was like 6°C:
Just before we could leave, we heard a strange grunting sound. It was a bird landing. That bird was a Rock Ptarmigan.
I call it the Hinterseer bird. Why? In German it is called Alpenschneehuhn and it has furry legs. That’s why. And this one was not alone:
We are now staying in Akureyri for the next two nights. We have checked in at the nicest Airbnb ever! The kitchen is awesome, and so is everything else. Except for the window that you cannot close.
We had pasta for dinner (to explain the first half of the title). And now we sleep.