So, after a lovely breakfast buffet, we left the Reynihlið Hotel and drove off westward, to Akureyri, then more or less along the northern coast to a little guesthouse near the southern end of the Skagafjörður. We had about 276 kilometers to cover. The first scenic stop was at Goðafoss, "The Waterfall of the Gods." It is difficult to get a sense of how large this falls is, but look closely at the far right of the picture for the people wearing red coats. That should give some sense of scale.
Our next stop was at Akureyri, the largest urban area outside Greater Reykjavik, with a population of about 17,000. The town was first settled in the 9th century, and is a cultural and recreational center. Nearby is also some of the best skiing in Iceland. Here's a view over the city from the front of the very handsome and well-known church.
The next photograph is of that church, the Akureyrarkirkja. This Lutheran church was consecrated in 1940; the views from the grounds are impressive, since the church is just about the highest point in the town.
We walked around the town for just a little while, since it was cold and windy, and we found a nice bookstore and coffee shop where we could window shop and get a little lunch as well. Once we got warm, we left Akureyri and drove essentially north, along the west side of the Eyjafjörður fjord, through Dalvik and up toward Siglufjorður. This route was scenic, but fairly bleak most of the way. Here are a couple of photos of the scenery along the way.
The drive was interesting, but uneventful until we reached the longest tunnel of the trip, almost 17 kilometers long, one lane all the way. I know, I could duck into the pullouts as needed, but I sure didn't like driving toward another set of headlights in my lane, looking for the next pullout! Anyway, after driving through Siglufjorður, we turned south and went down the east coast of the Skagafjörður., through Hofsós, to our hotel for the night, at Hofsstaðir. This hotel was new; so new that it really was not quite finished, but it was comfortable enough and very clean. There were lots of horses in the adjacent fields, but my notes for the stay say only one word: "WIND." The cold wind blew hard all the time we were there, so we spent little time outside!
The next morning it was still windy and cold, so we spent a little time looking at the area and the horses. Here's a photo of the horses grazing.
We didn't hang around too long this morning; the wind was continuous and strong and cold, so we set off on the day's drive. Today we started out going westward, with about 370 kilometers driving to Hellnar, our next hotel. Today we will start by cutting across the skagi peninsula, then stay somewhat inland until we reach Laxárdalsháls. From then on we will be driving on or very near the northern coast of Iceland.The next picture was taken near the mounds of Vatnsdalshólar, near the coast.
Finally we reached the coast once again and drove on out on the Snæfellsness peninsula. Here's a photo along the way.
We continued on around the peninsula to the western end then back around to the south, where we were able to see the Lóndrangar. This coastal feature consists of two prominent rocks, remains of volcanic plugs, like pillars on the southern coast of the Snæfellsness peninsula.
Just up the road from this view of the coast, looking inland, is the Snæfellsjökull glacier, which is said to be visible from Reykjavik on clear days. As you can see below, this is a very dramatic glacier.
After spending some time here, looking at the glacier and the coast, we drove over to our hotel at Hellnar, and had a nice dinner. Tomorrow we will drive back to Reykjavik.