Today was the longest of the road trip days, mainly because we had to rearrange our stays and places due to weather (apparently it changes every 5 minutes and that’s no lie). But first, lets review last night….
The Northern Lights website said last night was an active night for the lights and that there was a sliver of time around 3am to scope them out in Hofn. So of course we had to set the alarm and get up and go for a drive at 3am to see if we could see them. We could not. It was cold, dark (duh), icy, and LATE (or I guess early?) Our adventure took all of 30 minutes, but it was exhausting.
Lauren set the alarm for a mean 830am. And once it went off, reality struck that I would be driving for a very long time today. So we quickly got ready, packed up our tiny studio area and hit the road for Hvammstangi (say that three times fast). That was approximately 700km or about 9.5 hours of driving. We essentially started off in the Southeast and ended in the Northwest.
In order to not completely go crazy behind the wheel we made stops along the way (all the snacks) and a stop in the town of Akureyi because we had heard it was a cute little town.
Let me start off by saying Iceland terrain is ever changing and surprising. We felt like we were on Mars at times today, in the Rocky Mountains after a snow storm and most importantly in the middle of nowhere.
We honestly spent most of the day listening to Podcasts and some jams to pass the time. We chatted, laughed, stopped for snacks, laughed, stopped for gas, laughed, stopped for more snacks, tallied up our snacks (thats for a later post), laughed, had quiet time, went through three tunnels in mountains, stopped in Akureyi to adventure for a minute, then got gas and snacks and hit the road to the tiny house.
We saw mountains, snow, snow covered roads, a volcano, frozen lakes, hot springs too hot for humans, crazy rock formations, some trees (really not nearly as many as seemed appropriate for the land space), blue water, a fjord, the ocean, black sand, the sun, clouds, waterfalls, and not very many cars. It was during this extremely long stretch while my service was fading in and out that I found out I was upgraded on my flight home!! Woohoo!! That very long 9-11 hour (I dont remember which) flight will be much more enjoyable!
Yesterday the roads we were on had been closed, same with the day before. We realized today that was a smart decision not to attempt to even make it that far because there was nothing out there. We passed only a handful of towns in the 9.5 hours of driving, and filled up in almost every one of those, just to be on the safe side.
We did a short half mile walking tour in Akureyi to stretch our legs for the final 2.5 hour push to the tiny house. Not too much to see in 30 minutes, but they had cute little houses painted in weird colors and a little town square we were able to see as well. One thing that we keep noticing is the amount of new houses (or at least majorly updated) in all of the places we go. Most houses are now corrugated steal and concrete designs.
We hit the road to Hvammstangi around 530, hoping to make it to our tiny house before dark. And we got here right at 8pm, still daylight out. However, about 20 minutes later it was dark – we couldnt have planned that any better. Our little “cabin” in the woods, isnt really in the woods (Iceland doesnt seem to have many wooded areas) is hopefully going to provide us a spectacular place to see the Northern Lights! It is supposed to be an active night again tonight and the clouds are supposed to clear up by midnight (very soon). Wish us luck!!
We made dinner in the tiny little kitchenette and watched the Amy Schumer special on Netflix – and laughed even more. Our internet is extremely weak (I guess to be expected) so it made watching the special and writing my blog very time consuming tonight. I hope tomorrow we have good news to report with Northern Lights sighting, its basically the only thing left on the bucket list that isnt guaranteed.