Dave & Shannon Iceland Hot Pot

Honeymoon, Days 4 & 5 – North Iceland & Westfjords

I didn’t get a chance to blog yesterday because we were busy having the best time ever. I am sure everyone has been sitting in suspense wondering what we have been up to. Sorry to leave you all hanging like that. ¬† ūüėČ

Akureyri has been our favorite place so far. Yesterday started with a dip in a hot pot thanks to a tip from Alex… Which reminds me, we haven’t even mentioned all the incredible people we have met. I won’t list everyone in detail, don’t worry, but here are a few highlights. While exploring¬†M√Ĺvatn we met a couple from¬†Chicago who were also on their honeymoon. They were driving the ring road the opposite direction as us, so it was just a quick chat at lunch and an exchange of tips for the journeys ahead. So thanks to directions from Alex and Jenny we were able to find the hot pot.¬†And while we were there, we met Phil and Jenny, who live in Switzerland (where Phil is from, Jenny is from Minnesota). And Phil¬†gave us a tip for another hot pot we are going to try to find tomorrow night. Also, last night we met Mike and Aimee from Ireland and had a fantastic time. We will definitely need to visit Ireland now. Also, they had some authentic Irish whiskey and it was so good (and I don’t even like whiskey). Side note, they said Jameson is not real Irish whiskey and they hate it. She also got my address and said she was mailing me a bottle of real whiskey, fingers’ crossed that wasn’t the drinks talking.

I digress. Back to yesterday.

Yesterday was the first day that wasn’t freezing cold and raining. In fact, it was gorgeous out so we took full advantage and explored¬†the Hjaltadalur peninsula. We hiked around a waterfall, went in the hot pot and stopped by the¬†town of H√≥lar and checked out the church, built in 1763 (the town has historical/religious ties, more on that here if you are interested), and also walked around the college there. It was the smallest college I have ever seen.

Oh, and yesterday wasn’t even supposed to happen. We were supposed to stay in another town but Saturday night we really wanted to try this restaurant call Rub 23, however, without a reservation we were unable to get a table. And since we loved Akureyri so much, we stayed another night. And it was definitely worth it, dinner was fantastic. As soon as we sat down I was trying to decide on a wine and Dave noticed there was a six-course tasting menu (with wine) so we went for it. The first course was three different kinds of sushi, second was three kinds of nigiri, third was reindeer tartare, fourth was a seafood sampler (salmon, shrimp and scallops), fifth was a perfect cut of lamb and then dessert was a whole platter of like seven different things. Each was perfectly paired with a different wine. I fear I lack the ability to accurately portray how incredible it was, but just know it was indescribably delicious. Dave even put his phone away for the entire meal. When we were leaving we asked to meet the chef and this 20-something kid came out. We can’t decide if he is actually the chef, or if the chef left and one of the kitchen staff members was all “i’ll go meet them.” I kind of hope it is the latter.

Today was a day of driving. It was only about five hours but that is the longest we have spent in a car and it felt like forever (the hangover probably didn’t help). The drive was gorgeous but slow as a lot of the highway was not paved and very steep (with huge cliffs and no guard rail). We stopped at the Museum for Sorcery and Witchcraft and had a little history lesson. It was interesting, sad and a bit¬†weird.¬†Then we continued¬†our way around the eastern Westfjords to Drangsnes, which is a tiny fishing village, and checked in to the cutest inn¬†yet. It is owned by an older couple that barely speak English and is the only business in town (aside from a very tiny gas station that is only open for like six hours each day). We are in a cabin again and have a fantastic ocean view. I would include a picture but it is dark and raining. Again. We thought the bad weather was over but apparently not. We are supposed to be in the ocean side hot tubs right now but have decided to wait and go at sunrise, hopefully it won’t be raining still. Oh, and there is a troll right outside our room. And not just any troll, a famous one, Kerling (more on that here).

Tomorrow we are headed to stay at a horse farm on the Snæfellsnes peninsula and hopefully see some northern lights (it has been too cloudy the whole trip).

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