Iceland Day 9 – Monday, September 15, 2014
Rt. 645 Loop, Westfjords, Ísafjörður
It poured down rain overnight, and the wind was so strong I thought the hotel might blow away, but by morning the rain had stopped and the air was almost still. It was partly cloudy and cooler, in the mid 40s.
From our room at Malarhorn Guesthouse
Our room, with lighthouse behind
We left our comfy room in Drangsnes at 10:45, stopping as we left town for some daylight pics of the awesome seawall hot pots that we lounged in last night.
Free public hot pots in Drangsnes
Areas of concern
Next we completed the Rt. 645 loop that took us to Drangsnes, a rough and scenic road past crumbling cliffs along fabulous fjords, and then drove the inland stretch of Rt. 61 west of the loop and towards many more fjords. En route we stopped by an emergency hut and of course passed lots of waterfalls. It was the absolute last hours of summer, but there was still snow from last winter in these low-elevation mountains of less than 2,000 feet.
Along the loop
Emergency hut on Rt. 61
At Arngerdareyri we came across a strange deserted castle-like building on the west side of the fjord of Isafjordur (not to be confused with the town of Isafjordur further to the west where we were headed). On closer inspection, it looked like someone is slowly (very slowly) trying to fix it up. Later, I Googled the place, and it turns out a German couple bought the castle in 2012 and indeed has plans to restore it.
From the castle
Litlibaer Farm is a turf-roofed homestead, now a museum/cafe, built in 1894 on the west side of Skotufjordur, not far from Ogur. It was acquired by the National Museum of Iceland in 1999 but is run by a gentleman who grew up there. The tiny house used to have up to 20 people living in it at any given time. The ceiling height maxed out at 6 feet, and the man running it was well over 6 feet himself and had to constantly stoop over. His wife served us coffee and a small delicious waffle with homemade blueberry and rhubarb jams for 500 ISK per coffee and 500 ISK per waffle. I thought the price was a little high, but location, location, location. They also had a cute, friendly dog. It made a nice stop.
In Sudavik we stopped at the Arctic Fox Center. We didn't go in but just visited young fox orphan Freddy, who was pacing around in a cage out front, waiting impatiently to be released back into the wild.
Álftafjörður, just before Súðavík
Freddy the Fox
The Arctic Fox Center, Súðavík
After an easy drive today, we arrived at 4:15 to our home for the night in Isafjordur at Solheimar Studio Apartment, a very nice, large studio apartment just a 10-minute walk from the center of town. Isafjordur is an expensive town to stay in, and this apartment tied with the hotel in Hofn for the most we paid any night, 15,500 ISK (about $130). It's also one of only two places where we had to pay in cash. I'm glad we got here early enough in the day to enjoy it!
Sólheimar Studio Apartment
Isafjordur, population 2,540, is by far the biggest town in the Westfjords, and nearly every visitor to this part of the country spends at least one night here. We relaxed in our awesome apartment for a couple of hours and then walked all over town. That only took about 20 minutes, so we did it again, to make sure we hadn't missed anything. The setting is very pretty, on a fjord surrounded by steep mountain peaks, but there's not a lot happening in this mega metropolis on a Monday evening in mid September.
Finally found a polar bear!
Though we had a kitchen tonight, since we'd hardly spent any time in towns, we decided to go out. We ended up at Hamraborg for burgers, fries, and sodas. I wasn't anywhere near my usual European vacation fry quota, so I had to make up for lost time. Icelandic burgers are okay, but they don't have enough meat on them. We probably couldn't afford them if they did! Our meal here only set us back 25 bucks.
Hamraborg, in addition to being a burger, pizza, and ice cream joint, is also a convenience store offering atypical items such as guitars. Really, they had quite a variety of Krap!
This place has everything
An Icelandic treat?
Cat with a view
Sign our guestbook