Day 8 – September 6, 2016
Grettislaug – Natural Hot Spring
Doug and I departed from Akureyri and headed along the northern coast for our first natural spring pool. I’m not sure how Doug found this, because it was not in my travel book. The weather today was windy, foggy, and rainy. We stopped in Sauðárkróksbakarí for a quick sandwich before heading to the remote pool.
We took a right off of Road 75 on to an uneven dirt road through farms along the coast. It was a long drive with a plethora of potholes, but we eventually made it to the pool. There was a little bathroom area where Doug and I changed into our swimsuits. The pool itself was a 30 second run through the cold from the bathrooms. We immediately waded in to the hot water as the rain and wind beat down on us. The spring water is clear, but the rocks are coated in algae. There were random spots that were extremely hot, but it was a nice way to warm up!
Hvammstangi – Seal Museum
Warmed up from our quick dunk, we left the pool, algae coated to our skin, continued along the Northern coast to Hvammstangi. This village was really neat. There were beautiful houses sprawled out along the water. We visited the seal museum, where we learned a ton about the different seal breeds and the Icelandic practices of seal hunting.
Enjoying this briny town, we decided to check out the local hardware store, which was conveniently located next to the Vínbúðin. I found the first wall of horse-related items!
Next to the seal museum was a restaurant called Sjavarborg. It was crisp and clean, with a view of the bay. Doug and I indulged in some delicious seafood and bread. Here we learned that there would be a live concert at a local bar. If this bar had been closer to our hotel, we definitely would have gone!
Satiated we were ready for our Hvítserkur hike. Having not learned from our earlier mistake, we hit a brief setback halfway to the rock formation when we almost ran out of gas. We had to turn around and go all the way back to Hvammstangi, where it took us three tries to find an open gas station.
After our second fuel crisis ended, we made our way BACK up the road to Hvítserkur. There was parking at the top of the cliff, and a black sand path to the edge. The descent was tricky; it was very steep and rocky. There were parts where I literally sat down and slid down the ledges. Sweaty and dirty, we made it to the bottom. The rock formation was cool, even under the overcast sky. It definitely resembles a dinosaur.
Doug and I stopped at a small coffee shop across the street where there were also public restrooms.