Saturday, July 18, 2015

Day 11 - East Iceland - Hot Tubs, Lobster, and (more) Waterfalls

Town on Hofn in the evening.
Ho hum...another day of beautiful drives, waterfalls, and soaking in hot tubs.  We drove through East Iceland and explored the town of Hofn which has been dubbed, "The Lobster Capital of Iceland".  The evening ended with discovery of another set of amazing public geothermal hot tubs.  Continue reading to recreate this adventure...

Day 11 - East Iceland - Hot Tubs, Lobster, and (more) Waterfalls

Lower Hengifoss Falls
We left Egilsstaðir and headed inland on Rt 931 to see Hengifoss waterfall.  The hike is accessible by a 30 minute uphill hike.  Along the way, we also saw the lower falls which was surrounded in stunning columnar basalt columns.  Hengifoss was a tall, narrow waterfall deep in a shaded canyon.  It was a great way to stretch our legs and enjoy another beautiful Iceland waterfall.

Leaving the falls, we meant to take Rt 92/96 to Rt 1 but unfortunately our GPS took us on a "short cut" on winding, narrow dirt roads (Rt 937, Rt 938, Rt 939).  The drive was beautiful, but a little scary in our tiny 2WD car.

Ali hikes up to Hengifoss Waterfall
Back on the Ring Road (Rt 1), we enjoyed views of snow-capped mountains and fjords.  Once in Hofn, we tried Kaffi Hornið for a late lunch/early dinner.  East Iceland is know as the "Lobster Capital of the World", so of course I had to try some!  The lobsters, called langoustines, actually look like large prawns.  I ordered the Langoustine sandwich.  As a former Maine-resident, I'm a little picky when it comes to lobster. The langoustine sandwich was tasty but it's no Maine lobster roll.  Ali and Leanne both enjoyed a reindeer burger!  When in Iceland...
Langoustine Sandwich
We drove a few kilometers out of town to Guesthouse Arnanes.  We checked in and were informed that we were staying at a separate house a few kilometers away.  We drove there to find a lovely furnished house at our disposal.

Hoffell Hot Tubs
After we were settled it, we headed out again to find the Hoffell Hot Tubs.  This public set of geothermal hot pots are located off Rt 984 (follow signs).  The tubs are open to the public and there is a suggested donation (though not enforced).  There was a small changing shack, a shower, and six tubs - all different temperatures.

After our soak, we headed back into Hofn to walk around town. It was late and we were hoping to get some dessert but the only places open were packed.  We settled for a dessert of candy bars at the gas station.  All around it was a wonderful day in East Iceland.

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Icelandic Horse saying "Hello"
READ ABOUT THE NEXT DAY HERE:  Day 12 - Southeast Iceland - Icebergs and Glaciers