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An Iceland Adventure-Hella

We woke up around 8am to get ready and have breakfast.  We checked out of sleep away camp and headed toward Reynisfava Black Sand Beach and Cliffs.  It was amazing that with all the snow yesterday how clear it was today. That includes the roads.  The Black Sand Beach was gorgeous. I’ve been to one in Hawaii but this was just…ominous. The surf pounded the shore a commanded attention. Listen to me!  Even the see birds were intimidating. They made a noise that was a half caw and half quack. I have no idea what these sea birds were but I do know they were not puffins.

Our next stop was Dyrholaey Beach, lighthouse and sea arch. The lighthouse was on top of the cliff which was a marshy walk. Amazing views. If you looked off to the right you could see the sea arch. Great photo op.

I needed to use the restroom at the last stop and there was a really nice facility. I got closer only to realize it was a pay for use toilet. 200$isk or roughly $1.47USD.  I honestly waited. Not that I was cheap. I didn’t have local currency and couldn’t see a point in putting that little on a card.

We made our way to the supercharger for the car that’s located in Hvolsvollur. I didn’t even realize it was the same exact stop from a day earlier. We had lunch at Bjork’s, a gas station restaurant, with a surprisingly tasty burger with Big Mac sauce and fries. Ed had the pizza which ranked higher than the previous attempt.

After lunch we hit the grocery store for breakfast food as our glass cottage tonight doesn’t provide anything for any meals. I found a little shop that had things made by locals. I picked out this cute wool troll looking thing to bring home. I was frustrated because this entire trip nothing has spoken to me, sparking the question, “should I…should I buy this troll hag?” And with a resounding “YES!” She became my new friend and cherished souvenir to add to my collection.

We’ve spent the last hour burning time until we could check into our cottage. Ed fell asleep in the car as I caught up on writing.  Today I’m feeling a little better than yesterday so this is definitely progress. When you’re sick on vacation it’s hard to not let it taint your view on such a neat destination.

As we drove to the cottage we took the path less traveled, which was the only path!  It is quite literally in the middle of nowhere. There are two cottages: one blue themed some green themed. We opted for green.  As we pull up to the cottage, much to my horror, I see the bathroom and shower fully enclosed in glass!  I began to get anxious but noticed when getting inside that there were blinds. Whew. I realize we’re in a desolate area but I like my privacy.

This quaint cottage was adorable. It was one room (minus bathroom) with a kitchenette, table and chairs, and bed.  Accented in green, it was beautifully decorated.  Outside was our private hot tub.

Hotel:  Glass Cottage-Green

This goes for roughly 128,300$ ISK or $940 USD.

We opted to nap before our dinner plans. I tried but it was so windy. I had finally dozed off when I thought I heard laughter. I open my eyes and look towards the sky to see a goose flying over the cottage, honking, which sounded like the laughter I had heard.

Dinner was at the Hotel Ranga, one of the luxury hotels on the island. With our cottage  stay, we also had a three course meal.  For starters, we had reindeer carpaccio, scallops, and sous vide puffin. Yes, puffin. Like the zoo animal.

The puffin was smoked and then cooked sous vide in beer. The meat of our feathered friend was black and in long, thin strips. It was served in a jar with a spring lid.  It tasted…horrible. I think it was more of how it was prepared versus the meat itself. Hey, at least I tried it. I can still smell it. Barf.

As we waited for the main course, lamb, the table next to us ordered the puffin. As soon as they opened the jar the smell flooded my nostrils and I was taken back to the trauma 10 minutes earlier with trying the dish.

The main course was wonderful, cooked perfectly. Have you ever had a sunchoke or known as Jerusalem artichoke? It was wonderful. Dessert was carrot cake for me with orange sherbet and he had ice cream with macarons.  Finished off with a perfect cup of coffee.

We headed back to the room and it was starting to get dark. There are no street lights here. The weather was starting to change again. Thats one thing about Iceland is that the weather always shifts. We had sunny weather in the 40’s, cooler with windchills in the 20’s, 8” of snow, rain. Tonight it was incredibly windy and loud.

We hopped in the hot tub which was hotter than any other hot tub I’ve ever been in. The kind of hot where when you jump out your skin is distinctly red and a white line on the body part that wasn’t covered.  Picture being in the middle of nowhere, just one other cabin in the distance.  Nothing around for miles. It was quite an unsettling feeling.  I could hear that odd laughter in the distance. No, it was just the geese again softly honking and ridiculing me in the hot tub.

Northern Lights would typically be visible anywhere from 9pm to 4am. The skies were a bit cloudy but we were hopeful. The wind roared outside. Ed stayed awake until 2am with no sighting of the elusive lights.  It’s pretty rare to view them. They apparently do not appear the same as in photographs. More subdued.  The magnificent colors appear with longer exposure over the clouds.

We did see a red sky near where the volcano was erupting. The sky took on an eerie glow.  We had booked tickets to go to the Blue Lagoon as it was reopened. SIKE! They evacuated it a mere 4 hours after we booked it. At least we’ll get our money back.

We called it a night. Tomorrow we’ll sleep in and fly home.

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