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Eastern Iceland

by admin on September 3, 2011

The day we arrived in Vik, we realized that we were unprepared to deal with the rain in Iceland. Iceland is a windy country for the most part–at least while we were there we were struck by that fact. Of course, we were maybe there in a particularly windy period, but I can only go with what we experienced. When it rained, the rain and the wind…and the low temperatures(even for us thick skinned Canadians) chilled us to the bone. We had rain coats of course, but we wish we had full rain suits with fleece pants and jackets underneath. And, maybe even mitts…and, this was in July.

We were a bit disappointed with the weather for the couple of days we spent in Eastern Iceland. There was so much fog, sideways rain and 8′C temperatures which meant spending a lot of time indoors which our kids don’t enjoy as much as exploring the great outdoors. It also meant that the views were a bit limited. BUT…what we realized was how this weather made the days feel…it felt otherworldly. Someone told us that there was a unique spiritual quality to the outdoors in this part of Iceland…and, well, I think the fog added to that. It made it more peaceful. And, given how incredibly peaceful that country already felt, that is saying something. We also realized that you cannot let the weather get to you and you just have to go outside and stand in the rain. We did skip the boat tour of Jokulsarlon which was something that we all were looking forward to immensely, but we made the choice that our kids would have hated to be outside in that weather for that long. We did get out for brief little runs here and there which made this a part of Iceland that we truly explored…taking every little side road just to see where it lead. Once driving through a field of lupines as they whipped against our car until they opened up into a vast nothingness of black pebbles and fog.

We stayed at the hostels in Hvoll and then again at Hofn. The hostel in Hvoll was fabulous. An old school that had been turned into a hostel. There were three seperate kitchens I think and a large meeting area. This was the first time we realized that we would be seeing the same faces at hostels along the road. Our kids became friendly with a family from San Francisco here who we saw at two other hostels later on. They chatted with an older couple from Isreal and learned a bit about their life there. A group of young people from Japan showed Jack the movie they were watching on their iPad. It was here that we truly realized how great hostels were going to be for our kids. In Hofn, we enjoyed some time with a Swiss family who we routinely saw at other hostels, but also at some of the bigger landmarks. We also went to the annual lobster festival there and felt like the only tourists :) We ate some more lobster soup which our kids still talk about. This time it was served in a bread bowl which Jack thought was super cool. We thought is was awesome how the entire town decorated their houses and their streets with orange balloons and lobsters made from whatever they had on hand :)

Just one picture…of Jack on a beach between Hvoll and Hofn. There were hundreds of little waterfalls on this beach…the kids loved it. No. Scratch that. We all loved it :)

~ Dana

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