southeast iceland: vestrahorn & stokksnes to höfn

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.

Viking Cafe
Viking Cafe

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.

Viking statue
Viking statue

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.

Vestrahorn at Stokksnes
Vestrahorn at Stokksnes
a Viking filmset
a Viking film set

We walk out to the rocky coast with a view over the bay of Vestrahorn.

Stokksnes
Stokksnes
Stokksnes
Stokksnes

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.

view of Vestrahorn from Stokksnes
view of Vestrahorn from Stokksnes

I love the tufts of green grass growing on the black sand.  It makes for some atmospheric pictures, with Vestrahorn in the background.

view of Vestrahorn from Stokksnes
view of Vestrahorn from Stokksnes
view of Vestrahorn from Stokksnes
view of Vestrahorn from Stokksnes
view of Vestrahorn from Stokksnes
view of Vestrahorn from Stokksnes
view of Vestrahorn from Stokksnes
view of Vestrahorn from Stokksnes
view of Vestrahorn from Stokksnes
view of Vestrahorn from Stokksnes
view of Vestrahorn from Stokksnes
view of Vestrahorn from Stokksnes
view of Vestrahorn from Stokksnes
view of Vestrahorn from Stokksnes
view of Vestrahorn from Stokksnes
view of Vestrahorn from Stokksnes
view of Vestrahorn from Stokksnes
view of Vestrahorn from Stokksnes
view of Vestrahorn from Stokksnes
view of Vestrahorn from Stokksnes
view of Vestrahorn from Stokksnes
view of Vestrahorn from Stokksnes
view of Vestrahorn from Stokksnes
view of Vestrahorn from Stokksnes
Mike at Stokksnes
Mike at Stokksnes
Me at Stokksnes
Me at Stokksnes

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.

Höfn
Höfn

Below is a closer up shot of one of these glacier outlets.

Höfn
Höfn
Höfn
Höfn

At the end of the promontory is a 1988 memorial for fishermen lost at sea, created in bronze and stone by sculptor Helgi Gislason.

statue at Höfn
statue at Höfn

We take a brief walk around the marina near our hotel, but it’s still awfully windy and we’re getting hungry.

marina at Höfn
marina at Höfn
old boat in Höfn
old boat in Höfn
marina at Höfn
marina at Höfn

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.

Guesthouse Hvammur
Guesthouse Hvammur

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.

Mike at Kaffi Hornið
Mike at Kaffi Hornið
me at Kaffi Hornið
me at Kaffi Hornið

I like the sign over the bathroom doors.

a great sign at Kaffi Hornið
a great sign at Kaffi Hornið

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.

Höfn
Höfn

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.

3 thoughts on “southeast iceland: vestrahorn & stokksnes to höfn

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