On 24th February 15, we started our Ring Road journey from Reykjavik to Guesthouse Skalafell near Hofn, covering total of 415km which was supposed to take 5 hours. However as there are several sights where we could stop by along the way, the drive eventually took us a whopping 9 hours! We arrived at the countryside cottage at 8pm hoping for a good rest before embarking on our Glacier Walk at the Vatnajökull national park the next morning. Sadly the poor weather was here to wreck our plans again…Our scheduled tour was cancelled due strong gale… In fact we were told by the folks at the cottage that travel advisory was issued across Iceland to withhold all non-essential travel for the coming day…
Surprisingly we woke up the next morning to see a relatively mild weather. After checking with the kind lady at the guesthouse on the weather updates, she advised us to take a short 30 mins drive eastwards to Hofn if we wish to explore the area. She explained that the route between the Vatnajökull and Jokulsarlon lagoon might be closed when the weather turns bad later the day. Heeding the local’s advice, we decided to only drive to Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon before turning back and head towards Hofn for lunch.
By noon the wind started to pick up and it started raining. We arrived at the sleepy harbour town at around 1pm and Kaffi Hornid seems to be the only restaurant serving langoustines – Höfn’s prized local food, that is opened. Based on the map that we took at the guesthouse, there were 3 restaurants listed on it that specialises in langoustines, some only operating during the Summer. The interior wood paneling of Kaffi Hornid not only made me feel welcomed, it adds a rustic charm to the cozy eatery.
Once again, we decided to order a 3-course meal to be shared amongst the 2 of us since we observed that the food portions were pretty generous. Despite costing close to S$25 for a Lobster Soup, the huge portion made us felt that the price was probably justifiable. It was pretty thick and savoury; filled with some chunky bits of lobster flesh.
The highlight was the Grilled Langoustine grilled, locally caught langoustine with garlic butter, salad and toast bread which is priced at S$70. It might sound pretty expensive but if you order other normal dishes such as beef cheek/lamb shank, it’ll cost around S$30. The fish dishes such as salmon and salted cod cost slightly more at around S$35-40. The langoustine flesh had a soft and creamy texture, unlike the lobster that is more succulent and chewy. However after having chomped down half the plate, we began to feel that it was a tad too savoury for us.
We were bursting at the seams after sharing the 2-courses, but we couldn’t resist trying something more Icelandic for dessert. Frankly if I still have stomach space, I would probably try the Surf N Turf burger which comprised of reindeer meat and lobster. Nonetheless I’m happy to try Skyr, which is the traditional yogurt of Iceland. It was similar to Greek yogurt and has a smooth, rich flavour and creamy thick texture.
Photos from Part 2 of Golden Circle Tour, stops along the Ring road the day before and morning visit to Jokulsarlon
Weather cleared up on our 2nd attempt to complete Golden Circle tour.
On Ring Road, 1st stop was Seljalandsfoss. This waterfall is so huge that it is visible from afar. We were in awe as we drove nearer and nearer to the sight. While walking towards the base of the waterfall, I felt like an ant and someone had spilled a jug of water that overflowed from a table top.
We stopped to make friends with the friendly Icelandic horses when we saw some huddled at the side of the road.
3rd stop was the volcano that caused a standstill in European air traffic in 2010, the Eyjafjallajökull. Our golden circle tour guide tried to teach us how to pronounce it..to me it sounded like “Eh-yah fiak-lah yolk-kutl“.
4th Stop Skógafoss. This waterfall was apparently used as a scene in “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” movie where Walter hires two guides in Afghanistan and treks past a waterfall. There are many other sights on Iceland used for shooting for the movie. I found the movie pretty inspiring…cos Travelling is my way of escaping from my humdrum life.
5th stop was at a US plane wreckage site on Sólheimasandur black sand beach. Will need a GPS to locate the gate to turn into from the Ring road and 4×4 needed to drive through the F-road.
Felt as if I’m taken back into Ice Age period while at Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon.
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