Day 4 started out great because I awoke in a warm, dry room in a comfortable bed with my body intact and not mangled in a pile of snow and dirt next to an Icelandic back road. Sometimes it's the little things, y'know?
When I go away, I rarely say I'm "on vacation," because as you may have noticed, very little relaxing takes place when I travel. I'm never in the same place for very long, never getting enough sleep, and always moving. And while I wouldn't call what I'm doing "work," it's hardly as passive as sitting by a pool drinking a mai tai or even waking up later than 9am.
Anyway we got up and out of our haven of a guest house yet again, swiping the free kiwis we'd been given to snack on later. There was no time for kiwis this morning; we had some ground to cover.
Though a map would have you believe it's closer to qualifying as a city, Egilsstaðir proved to be nearly as small as many of the other towns we'd passed through, despite a popular sea monster legend. Most cafes were closed, so we stopped into the nearest gas station/diner combo across the road. I had a hot dog and a soup for breakfast, Caitlin had a cheeseburger. Like I said, this was hard work.
We had very little on the schedule for today, with my main to-do being to get to Akureyri before dark and avoid certain death. Seeing as the total drive time was an estimated three and a half hours, this seemed like a guarantee and so we were able to be a little bit leisurely about it. Since our route was now well off the coast, much of our time was spent crossing wide open snowy expanses; Blue Planet at its most literal.
We made brief stops at the Hverarond geothermal area near Lake Myvatn as well as Godafoss waterfall. We had hoped to stop at Dettifoss as well, but were informed that the roads were not passable (and at least were smart enough to check first this time.)
A lot of people ask me what's so special about Iceland, and why I'd go there twice in one year. Well, what I really love about Iceland is the contrast, and I'm obviously not the first one to notice it. The juxtaposition of boiling hot water and steam spurting from the earth and massive frozen lakes and surging waterfalls coated in icicles. It doesn't make any sense! It's great!
We arrived to Godafoss around 5pm or so, lucky to still be having beautiful weather and fading sunlight. After gawking at the unbelievable massive icicles that had formed on half of the waterfall for quite a while, we jumped back in the car and hightailed it toward Akureyri. Night was looming and I'd be damned if I was still on the road when the sun was fully set.
After having spent 3 full days on the road and eating most of our meals in the car or at gas stations, we were thrilled to finally arrive in Iceland's second biggest city and have a relaxing meal at one of the many restaurants in town. After a little tourist shopping we decided on Bryggjan Restaurant by the harbor, where I was just about over the moon to get a hot meal and a beer and have my next biggest obstacle to a good night's sleep be the 4 flights of stairs up to our room at the Backpackers Hostel.