Iceland Day 4 / by Julian Chokkattu

DSC_7031 We woke up around 5:30 a.m. at Hofn Hostel and left around 6 a.m. It was day 4 of our trip and we were making our way into the mountains on the north east part of Iceland. Our destination was Seyðisfjörður. Along the way we saw mountains enveloped by clouds, roads blocked by sheep, a tunnel built through a mountain, and fog — lots and lots of fog.



We stopped by this small waterfall near Seyðisfjörður called Gufufoss.


Seyðisfjörður was by far my favorite place in Iceland. It has a population of nearly 700 people and sits in a fjord, with snow-capped mountains surrounding it. We decided to stop at a cafe at Hotel Aldan, which was featured in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. We looked for things we could do in this town, and we decided to do something different — kayaking in the fjord. I asked the waitress for Hlynur Oddsson, and she said, "Oh! The kayak guy! He's probably on a tour, but he always answers his phone." She dialed a number and handed me the phone, and I was then talking to Mr. Oddsson, who was currently kayaking with a group. He sounded incredibly friendly and we set a tour time of 1 p.m.


Ms. Chan and I worked on our blog posts while we waited and decided to eat at the hotel. We had a reindeer burger and some soup, both of which were delicious. We proceeded to go to Oddsson's kayak store, which had a pirate flag flying at the back. Oddsson, who looked like he was around his 30s, was charismatic and flirty. He prepped us with the proper gear and we made our way to the kayaks. There were 3 others joining us, but Ms. Chan and I were the only ones to share a kayak. DSC_7160DSC_7167DSC_7184DSC_7189

Oddsson gave us a brief introduction into the history of the town, which was once bigger than Reykjavik. Below us in the water is also a oil tanker that sunk after Germany bombed it during the second world war. Who could bomb a beautiful place such as this?

Oddsson told us to go see Tvisongur, a sound sculpture up near the base of the mountain by the town and so we did after we parted ways.


Naturally we passed a waterfall on the way.


Tvisongur! It's a sound sculpture by German artist Lukas Kühne that amplifies sound made inside the domes.

According to the town's website, "each dome has its own resonance that corresponds to a tone in the Icelandic musical tradition of five-tone harmony, and works as a natural amplifier to that tone."

We spent a bit of time finding the lyrics to a few songs and singing them, such as Enya's May It Be and Danny Boy.


Afterwards, we headed to Skaftfell Bistro, a popular and well-reviewed eatery for dinner. Again, more delicious food.

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Unfortunately we had to leave. Sad as it was, we headed off to our next destination which was about 2 and a half hours away: Dettifoss. Located in the Vatnajokull National Park, Dettifoss is "Europe's mightiest waterfall."DSC_7223DSC_7224

We had a spot of trouble on our way to Dettifoss. I had pumped gas into the car, but oddly, the fuel meter wasn't displaying it. Thinking there was something wrong with the digital display, we went on our way. After a while, the fuel meter went up one bar, so we figured we were right. Unfortunately, we didn't notice it going down to 2 bars until a while later, when we were in the middle of no where, heading to Dettifoss. When we got to Dettifoss, we were at 1 bar, and we asked everyone we passed for gas. No one had any.

Two girls offered to lead us to the nearest gas station they knew of in Myvatn, which was 50 miles away, and then drive us to the gas station if we ran out midway. Fortunately, someone else we asked came back to us and told us there was a gas station north of Dettifoss in a canyon called Asbyrgi. We ended up following them and luckily, we made it there without any problems and filled up. We asked the owner of the diner there where we could stay and he gave us directions to a little cottage called Keldunes. It was adorable, but unfortunately, I forgot to take photos. DSC_7240DSC_7248

That's how day 4 ended. Day 5 and 6 will be up soon!