Day Ten: How to Run Away from Civilization

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Day Ten: Saturday 17th August
Journey: Akureyri to Holmavik, Iceland

The steep gravel roads were a little intimidating, but Linnea managed to stay on the road in the cute little red-orange car.

The steep gravel roads were a little intimidating, but Linnea managed to stay on the road in the cute little red-orange car.

After a rather strange night, filled with agonizing screams of young party-goers and a heat-wave not unlike what must happen in the Grand Canyon, we managed to wake up, pack our stuff and enjoy a light breakfast before leaving the hectic guesthouse.

Our plan (or rather, Linnea’s plan that I dutifully followed) was to rent a car and drive to the Westfords. But before that, there was some more back-breaking walking to be done and it was in ignominious pain that we finally reached Akureyri’s Europecar station where we were given the care of a cute little carrot-colored car. We subsequently put our stuff in the car and (or at least Linnea did) drove away towards the great unknown.

Fun fact, there are 500,000 sheep in Iceland and 330,000 humans.

Fun fact, there are 500,000 sheep in Iceland and 330,000 humans.

And unknown we indeed met. Soon after leaving Akureyri, we discovered that Iceland definitely is a fairly desolated place. Bar tons and tons of sheep, some horses, cows, and the occasional farm here and there, we didn’t see a village, or even a hamlet for that matter, until fairly far from our starting point.

This wasn’t a big deal though, as the landscapes were still incredibly beautiful. As being unable (but by no means unwilling) to drive, I was given the task of taking pictures along the way, here you can find some of the less horrible ones.

We saw this car when driving, another warning to take it easy on the roads.

We saw this car when driving, another warning to take it easy on the roads.

Anyways, after more than two hours driving, we finally reached the little touristinfo/fastfood/boutique of Stadt, just at the entrance of the Westfjords. We bought some cheap, yet delicious Icelandic Meat Soup (with free refills, yeay!) and finally entered the fabled Westfjords.

This pair of Icelandic horses seemed quite interested when we stopped.

This pair of Icelandic horses seemed quite interested when we stopped.

What welcomed us was a narrow gravel road, with no guardrails, and overall third-world driving conditions. Being a passenger, I didn’t mind at all, but Linnea, stuck, by her refusal to let me drive, to the role of sole driver seemed somewhat concerned that the numerous one-way bridges, blind head spots and other mountainous zig-zags might be dangerous.

This was of course complete fantasy (Linnea here: no it wasn’t, I am just an excellent driver 😉 ) and we made it without any problems to the village of Holmavik which we selected as our first stop in the Westfjords because of the presence of the rather unique Icelandic Museum of Witchcraft which Linnea will surely enjoy telling you more about it.

Enough for now, be sure to stay tuned for some more gruesome adventures at the end of the world!

 

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