Iceland (Day 4 of 8): Hofn to Lake Myvatn

This is part 4 in a series of posts recapping our trip to Iceland in October 2014.

Wednesday morning, we walked outside to the bathhouse to take piping hot showers before going back inside for breakfast. I mention this detail because I unexpectedly loved going out into the cold air to go to the bathhouse early in the morning – it reminded me of camping trips taken as a kid!DSC03503

Breakfast at Dynjandi Guesthouse was one of our favorites – Inga is a great cook, and I was a big fan of her chocolate cake.DSC03499

Well-fueled, we packed up and hit the road for a long drive up to the north. When planning the trip, we knew this would be one of the longer drives, but we wanted to spend as much time in the Lake Myvatn region as possible – there’s much to explore there. The drive went by quickly, aside from a nerve-wrecking hour on a bumpy dirt road (not all major roads are paved in Iceland!), and we began to see snow-covered ground and mountains as we continued north.DSC03515 DSC03535 DSC03537

After a short stop in Egilsstaðir to get gas and eat lunch (more ramen noodles!), we decided to make a short detour to see Dettifoss, the largest waterfall in Europe! Dettifoss is located about 30 km off of the Ring Road, and it was the worst 30 km of road we’ve ever driven – extremely bumpy, snowy, and pot-hole-ridden, we weren’t sure whether our little rental car would make it and considered turning back several times.
I’m so glad we didn’t.DSC03539DSC03553

I think we appreciated the beauty of this great waterfall all the more because the drive was so challenging! And yes, we drank the water :) Ice cold and so, so good.DSC03559

We braced ourselves for the drive back and both heaved sighs of relief when we were back on the Ring road, on our way to Lake Myvatn. We had about two hours of sunlight left after we checked into our hotel in Reykjahlíð – Vogafjós Guesthouse – so we decided to check out the Viti (translates to “Hell”) lava crater lake nearby, formed by an explosion of the Krafla volcano in 1724.DSC03568 DSC03569 DSC03570

It was extremely cold up on the mountain, so we were eager for a hot dinner when we headed back down to Reykjahlíð. We decided to eat at the café associated with our guesthouse, the Vogafjós Cowshed Café, which came highly recommended by a coworker.

This region of Iceland is known for hverabrauð, a bread baked underground using geothermal heat, also known as “geyser bread”. We ordered some with smoked trout as an appetizer, followed by lamb for our main. All the food was excellent, and we speculated during our meal about how they had gotten all the ingredients for the kale salad – greenhouse grown, or imported?Iceland (day 4) blog

Our room at the Vogafjós Guesthouse was my favorite of the trip – it was basically a log cabin with heated floors; can you imagine anything cozier in the wintertime? The one downside was the return of the sulfuric smell of the hot water (experienced in Reykjavik as well), but we found it a pretty minor inconvenience.DSC03566 DSC03581

More adventures in Myvatn tomorrow!

Have you ever been camping? We took tons of camping trips as a family when I was younger!

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