Culturenator

Iceland road trip (day 2)

Today it really got going. After checking out of our Reykjavik accommodation we headed towards the town of Akranes, which took around an hour. And wow do Icelanders like roundabouts, it felt like we were in Milton Keynes for the first half an hour or so. I had set the SatNav to Akranes lighthouse, a key location in Eva Björg Ægisdóttir´s The Creak On The Stairs.

As you can see from the photo – there are two lighthouses, the old and new. There was also a small information hut / museum type place but it didn’t open until 1pm and we couldn’t wait that long. We took some photos and headed off in search of lunch.

We found a highly recommended cafe via Foursquare – Cafe Kaja that turned out to be veggie and had some pretty interesting options. I chose the Red Sandwich which had red pesto, cheese, cashew nuts and I think chilli jam, my other half had sourdough with cheese and jam.

It was just what we needed to warm up before heading out towards our accommodation near Reykholt. We made an obligatory stop off at a waterfall which was both Hraunfossar (lava waterfalls) and Barnafoss (children’s waterfall) – named after a gruesome accident involving kids.

The water was this amazing pale greenish blue that you can see in the photo, no editing required!

Our room for the night was at Fossatún country hotel as well as the hotel rooms which are like small pairs of chalet/cottages they also have a campsite, what we in the UK call ‘glamping’ pods and a standalone guesthouse for rent. Set into the hillside overlooking a series of small (by Icelandic standards anyway) waterfalls, and the river Grímsá in Borgarfjörður. This has to be one of my favourite places I’ve stayed so far, it has the Rock n Troll cafe where the owner has a substantial vinyl collection which gets played during dinner in the restaurant, there are 3, count ‘em three! hot tubs under the stars. In the surrounding landscape there is a troll trail mainly aimed at kids but interesting enough for those without.

Some of Steinar Berg’s vinyl collection

The restaurant does some hearty food, if you’re wanting to try a bit of everything like we did, we got both duos and swapped. The duos are traditional Icelandic fare, with mushroom or lamb soup starters with plokkfiskur or a lamb stew for the mains. A nice surprise was that they had an exclusive beer for the restaurant brewed by Stedji who are just down the road (but unfortunately not open for brewery tours when we visited).

Lamb stew and Plokkfiskur

After dinner we were lucky that the Northern Lights showed up, aside from a potential catastrophe when I realised I had left a fastening on my camera requiring an allen key to remove before I could use my tripod luckily the hotel owner had a good selection of tools to hand saving the day.

Aurora above Fossatún

After this it was definitely time to relax in the hot tub before another day’s driving.

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