Höfn – The port

View all the photos from Hofn here

The drive from Lake Myvatn to Höfn was almost stereotypically atmospheric.  We started in the darkness of 8am and drove through the volcanic mountains as dawn leaked across the sky.  Snow streaked the black ground.  As the sun came up we climbed into more misty mountains.  The main highway in the east of the country turns into a gravel single lane road.  Fair to say that not many people come this way.  Sarah did an amazing job driving for the whole trip.  We skimped by not paying for an extra driver – I had the somewhat easier job of navigating is around the island on one road most of the way.  It was a tough road, very potholed, near zero visibility, one lane, and what we assumed were sheer drops on one side.  When we did get clearer weather the scenery was stunning.  Steep mountains covered in little streams and waterfalls, gorges and winter grass.

When we got to the other side the east coast the landscape turned Scottish with huge mountains heading straight into the sea.  The black volcanic rock makes the scenery more brutal with a cold broiling sea washing over dark black sand beaches studded with black volcanic rocks.  We came across reindeer grazing by the side of the road having a black Christmas.

Nearer to the small port town of Höfn you start to see fingers of the giant glacier Vatnajökull that covers about 20% of Iceland.  It really is too big to grasp from the road.  A scenic flight would do the trick but didn’t really fit with our budget travel.  In fact, a lot of the tours shut down in the off-season for lack of tourists so we booked a glacier walk for the next day further west and closer to Reykjavik on a different (but still massive) glacier.

Höfn was a small place with a fishing fleet, a working town with a few tourists added to the mix.  They had a fantastic new library / university with fast wireless, something that always makes me happy.  The hostel we stayed in was basic but we had a nice fish dinner (cod and trout) next to the swimming pool after soaking away the day in a very hot hot pot and acting like big kids on the water slides.

View all the photos from Hofn here

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