Saturday, August 20: As we approach the end of the shallow bay, Lón, we take a detour south of the Ring Road to Stokksnes NATO radar station, which is in the Horn area south of Vestrahorn. During the Second World War the Horn area was a base for the British army. Today, the radar station is still here, although, as far as we can tell, it appears to be abandoned.
Now, we find the Viking Cafe and Stokksnes black sand beach, owned by a farmer who charges a small fee for admission to his property. The cafe also sells coffee, waffles and cake and has a small pay toilet.
On the property is a large Viking statue and a Viking village filmset built in 2009 by Icelandic film director Baltasar Kormákur Samper, who has been writing Vikings for over a decade. It should someday be made into a film.
We can see the Viking village in the distance, but we don’t feel like walking all the way to it. Cars are not allowed in this area.
We walk out to the rocky coast with a view over the bay of Vestrahorn.
We’re looking for the black sand beach we’ve heard so much about. We make our way to it, despite being buffeted about by a relentless wind.
I love the tufts of green grass growing on the black sand. It makes for some atmospheric pictures, with Vestrahorn in the background.
It really is a shame it’s so windy and cold at this beautiful spot. Sadly, with all the wind I’ve faced today, I’m feeling increasingly sick with a sore throat and a tickling cough. Mike is feeling worse than he felt over the last couple of days.
Only about 7km more down the Ring Road, heading west now, we reach our destination for the day, the town of Höfn, known for fishing and fish processing. It’s famous for its humar (langoustine, or “Icelandic lobster”), which I plan to sample tonight. 🙂
We drive to the end of town to the promontory Ósland where we have a view of Hornafjörður, a lagoon with a blend of fresh and glacial water. From this viewpoint looking over the lagoon, we can see the four outlet glaciers of the biggest glacier in Europe, Vatnajökull. From east to west, the four outlets are Hoffellsjökull, Fláajökull, Heinabergsjökull, and Skálafellsjökull. In the picture below, you can see three of these outlets.
Below is a closer up shot of one of these glacier outlets.
At the end of the promontory is a 1988 memorial for fishermen lost at sea, created in bronze and stone by sculptor Helgi Gislason.
We take a brief walk around the marina near our hotel, but it’s still awfully windy and we’re getting hungry.
We check in at Guesthouse Hvammur for one night. We plan to stay another night in Höfn, but we originally only booked one night because we thought we’d stay further west along the Ring Road. When we found there was nowhere else to stay until the town of Vik, we tried to go back online and book two nights at this guesthouse, but it was booked solid. Thus tomorrow night, we’ll have to stay in another hotel in Höfn.
This is one of our least favorite hotels in Iceland. It has a shared bathroom and no breakfast, although the room itself isn’t bad at all.
As we’re both hungry, we go to Kaffi Hornið, where we share a meal of house salad, sweet potato soup, and langoustine pasta with zucchini, leek, bell pepper, cream and penne, topped off with a beer for Mike and red wine for me.
I like the sign over the bathroom doors.
After dinner, we attempt to take a stroll around the promontory again, but it’s just way too cold, so we get cozy in our hotel room to prepare for our day exploring the southeast of Iceland.
Tomorrow, we plan on doing a Zodiac boat tour at Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. I sure hope it won’t be as cold and windy as it was today. 🙂
Total steps today: 8,328 steps, oor 3.53 miles.