It was embarrassing to admit that today we made several wrong turns and wasted hours getting the right routes even in a country that has one of the world simplest road network! (Thanks to Big Map available in the Information Office) Honestly, there is no need to buy a driving map or use GPS in Iceland. Roads are pretty simple. We have been following the Big Map until today. At the end the Map of Iceland saved us time and pointed the right direction.
In the morning we visited Kolugljufur waterfall off route 715 recommended by the host of the farmhouse we stayed last night. It is a small waterfall (small in Icelandic standard). The wind was so gusty that we could hardly stand upright. Yes, this confirms again the advice from the car rental company about car doors being blown away by strong wind! Frankly, we would not recommend anyone who has had a cosmetic surgery to visit Iceland. It could be disastrous!
After a wrong turn, we finally managed to get back to route 1. The way to Akuyeri along route 1 is one of the most beautiful roads in the world (ok, maybe it is a bit exaggerated because we haven’t seen the whole world!). But it definitely is one of the best of the countries we have visited. One moment we thought we were in Switzerland, the next we were in the Rockies in North America. We made countless stops along the way to take photographs. It took us double the estimated driving time to reach Akuyeri.
Akuyeri is the largest city in northern Iceland and the second largest in Iceland, with a population of 18,000. It is a truly beautiful city. The main street is full of colourful buildings, restaurants and pubs. The church at the end of the street on a slope is an incredible piece of art (honestly many churches in Iceland were built in a unique design in their own character). We wish we could spend more time here to appreciate this beautiful township, but our time did not allow us for such a luxury. After getting some useful information at the tourist information centre, which is another master piece of architecture, we continued our drive to Godafoss, one of the most impressive waterfalls of the country situated in the 175 km long glacial river Skjalfandafljot, 40km from Akuyeri.
Thanks to Big Map, we spent more than an hour to drive to Godafoss. It was supposed to be a quick 45 minutes drive from Akuyeri! Anyway, we were standing next to Godafoss finally. It was magnificent! Now we understand why it is called Godafoss – the waterfall of God. It’s Icelandic and we felt so privileged to be able to stand so close to this powerful waterfall. It reminded us of the Niagara Falls in Canada, although Godafoss is in a smaller scale.
After we left Godafoss, we continued to follow route 1, then route 85 to Husavik. After driving about 9km into route 85, we found that the road ahead was blocked (which we learned later was caused by mudslide). Great, it was nearly 7pm and we had to make way through another route. Not that it matters to drive in the evening when the sky would never turn dark, we were disappointed by the lack of official warning in details.
Eventually arrived at Husavik at nearly 8pm, we were extremely exhausted after an eventful day, but the charm of Husavik in the dusk awakened us. Husavik is situated on the eastern shore of Skjalfandi Bay. The town centre and the wharf are facing a mountain range capped by snow across the fjords. The beauty of it is beyond words.
We had a late dinner at the restaurant recommended by the hotel receptionist. The fish was too salty and the soup was terrible. On the way back to the hotel, we saw a hotdog stand near the wharf. The ISK400 hotdog tasted a million times better than what we just had in the restaurant.
That ended the seventh day of our Icelandic journey.