Iceland Day 4: Northeast Iceland and East Fjords

We knew planning our Iceland trip that our highest priority sights were around Lake Myvatn and also along the southern coast. This gave us a dilemma for a moment as they were on opposite sides of the country basically. What we ended up with was visiting both and spending time in both areas, but almost sacrificing a day with a ton of driving to better enjoy those areas. Most people planning a Ring Road trip over 10 or more days spend a night along the eastern shore of Iceland. We opted not to as it would have cut short our time in the places we wanted to focus most on. Driving through some of the East Fjord towns, they are beautiful but they are definitely a quieter atmosphere and I definitely can see the appeal (and if we were to spend longer in Iceland, we would have liked to stay in Seydisfjordur), but for this trip we made the right decision for us.

We started our day pretty early, eating breakfast at 7am when the breakfast opened at our hotel then hitting the road a little before 7:30am. We had plenty of plans to break up the drive with lots of mini stops along the way. Our first stop was at Modrudalur Farm. It’s known to be the highest inhabited farm in Iceland (1,539 feet or 469m above sea level). There is a small church on site as well as basic lodging and a restaurant, where we picked up a homemade cake/donut type thing and coffee. It made for a nice little break early into our drive.

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Iceland Day 3: Jokulsargljufur National Park

After leaving Saltvik Horse Farm, we made a quick stop in Husavik to get some gas and pick up a couple hot dogs for a snack. After that we were on our way driving along the coast towards Jokulsargljufur National Park. But first, we had some amazing scenery on the Tjornes Peninsula overlooking Oxarfjordur to see during our drive. Some of the pictures of the coast you wouldn’t even guess it was Iceland. The sun had come out and the water was so blue, you would guess Australia or California or somewhere not Iceland probably. It was an amazing almost hour long drive to the entrance to the national park.

Tjornes Peninsula

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Iceland Day 3: Horseback Riding

After finishing our whale watching tour, we drove the short distance to Saltvik Horse Farm. We had booked as part of our whale watching tour, a horse ride in the surrounding area. We were booked on the Seaside Tour (2 hour ride), but Saltvik which is a family owned farm also offers longer horse rides lasting several days, as well as an 2 hour ride option at Lake Myvatn. We had a private tour just the two of us plus a guide. Not sure if it always works that way when you book the Seaside tour in combination with whale watching, but it worked out great for us.

We arrived slightly before our ride time and there was no one around in the barn, so that enabled me to giggle with delight at all the horses and take hundreds of pictures of the always photogenic Icelandic horses.


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Beijing & Xi’an: Summary

As I finish up my multiple days left about Iceland, here’s a summary of our recent trip to Beijing and Xi’an. As always, this is just a quick thoughts upon our return from China and will post a more detailed wrap-up and follow up to my planning information eventually!

  • Countries Visited = 1 (China)
  • Favorite meal = Toss up between the best food and the most unique experience. The best food was probably during our Lost Plate Food Tour in Xi’an, while the most unique experience was the Peking Duck dinner at Siji Minfu in Beijing.

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Iceland Day 3: Husavik

We started out Day 3 in Iceland, by waking up early and driving north to Husavik. Husavik is a small town located on the Skjalfandi Bay. The main thing Husavik is known for is being the so-called whale watching capital of Iceland. They almost 100% guarantee a whale sighting in the high months (June-August). Now I usually avoid wildlife sighting tours because I have had horrible luck in the past. For example in Belize on a manatee watching trip we saw just barely a glimpse of one,  in Hawaii on a manta ray snorkeling trip not a single ray appeared, and on a previous whale watching trip in Alaska we didn’t see any but all the other boats that day did. But with almost 100% guarantee and in the middle of the high season, how could we not take a chance and go whale watching?

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Photo of the Day: Goodbye Beijing

Visited the Temple of Heaven this morning then wandered around till time to head to the airport.  Fell in love with these lateens at our lunch place.