The North: Many “Fosses”, Myvatn and Akureryi

We needed to leave behind Bakkagerdi and the cute puffins going back the same route we came out here, as there is only one road connection. Heading towards west, we passed by a church from about 300 years ago – not in its original state of course, but reconstructed according to old descriptions, mainly made of turf for insulation.

Driving through seemingly endless empty planes where you only find stones, harsh winds and a lot of dust the gigantic waterfall Dettifoss looks somehow out-of-place. It is an unbelievable amount of water flowing over the cliffs, while the surrounding is dry and nearly without vegetation.

However, Dettifoss and close by Selfoss make a welcome opportunity to stop, stretch and have a short hike *smiley cool*

Icelandic for beginners: “foss” means “waterfall”

Just leaving the two waterfalls behind, we passed by the turn-off to Askia and, to our surprise, the road was open *smiley surprised*

But a short discussion and the check of our food and fuel supplies made it clear, that we have no other chance, than to follow our original plan for the day and continue to Myvatn, as there are absolutely no gas stations on the way to Askia.

And this decision got reconfirmed when arriving in Myvatn by some ranger in the tourist information, mentioning, that road conditions after such a strong winter rather require a super jeep than a “normal” 4WD.

Putting up our tent once more selecting the best direction for having a nice view, we called it a day, relaxing and looking over the lake. Oh, nearly forgot to mention the best thing: It was quite windy! Yes, you heard right, here this was perfect…NO flies that otherwise bother you here in swarms of millions *smiley smiling*

Next morning was all about the geo-thermal hotspot, the area is famous for and that is very visible in two locations in the surrounding hills – Hverir and Krafla. The smell is not always pleasant (assume Iris would rank it even worse), but walking around the area you really feel what power is shortly below the surface…while the different minerals make colorful “paintings” above ground.

While Icelanders in general are not really extroverted, they seem to have a good sense of humor…or how else could you explain a warm water shower in the middle of nowhere alongside the street to Krafla?

Krafla is home of the largest geo-thermal power station of Iceland, built on a very active volcanic area. Various small craters in the area, like the comparably small Viti crater once flooded the whole plain a couple of hundreds of years ago, leaving behind a surreal surrounding.

Afternoon…what better thing to do, than once again visit a mechanic? Correct, leave the car with the mechanic and do a hike from the workshop! So,we hiked parallel to the lake through lava fields towards another extinct crater, Hverfell. It is some 500m in altitude to climb up to the crater rim – and all that, just to find out, that there is NOTHING in it *smiley sad* Anyhow, at least some sport for the day…

The good thing: A fully functioning car was waiting for us.

And even better, we had the great idea to relax in the natural hot springs at Myvatn Nature Baths. What a treat and far less crowded than the (more) famous Blue Lagoon *smiley smiling*

And our find-of-the-day was a very useful shoe cleaner “Icelandic-style” – durable and made out of easily available material.

On our last day around Myvatn we climbed up a small mountain in the south of the lake that gave us a nice view over the area and its pseudo-craters. The Vindbelgjafell mountain is quite steep and it was very windy, so just something to exercise, take some few pictures from the top and return to the car.

On the way from Myvatn to Akureryi you pass by Godafoss – yes, yet another “foss” and admittedly by now we also got a bit tired of waterfalls. Nevertheless we paid it a short visit as a) it was literally next to the road, b) it is one of the more famous ones and c) it was time for a break after a few hours of driving.

And then it happened! Out of nowhere masses of tourists, some barely able to walk, were around us…group number 16, group number 18 and group number 19…HELP! Time to leave…

Akureryi is a nice contrast after more than a week of outdoor adventures, it is a real city – small, but quite nice *smiley smiling* We could not resist camping in the outskirts, but for a difference enjoyed the amenities of city-life: Eat in a (Thai) restaurant, “go out” to a Pub and have some (really expensive) beers, spend some time in a cafe, wander through the “shopping street”, …

Enough city life? Stay tuned for our adventure through the center of Iceland…

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