The second part of our journey around Iceland’s Ring Road took us out into Iceland’s eastern fjords. We spent a couple of days off the beaten path, and thoroughly enjoyed our adventures through this area.
We left Höfn early in the morning and headed east along Iceland’s Highway 1. It ran along the coastline, showing us more of the beautiful black beaches we saw during the first part of our trip. At the end of the south-easternmost point we stopped for a quick sandwich lunch near a lighthouse and huge black rock beach.
Heading north, the road and countryside began to quickly change. The road climbed up the side of the mountains and sheer cliffs fell on the coastal side. It felt like we were back home for a little bit, driving along our very own Highway 1 along the California coastline.
Turning farther east, we left our beloved Ring Road behind and drove along Highway 96, then 92. The road followed the coastline, weaving in and out of various fjords before we made a turn that took us along a windy mountain road and through a one-lane tunnel over a mountaintop before leading us down into the tiny fishing town of Neskaupstaður. The windy road down reminded us of a scene from the movie The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, but after looking it up, found out it was actually filmed in the next fjord over, ha!
Checking into our hotel was easy and we had a beautiful view of the fjord and surrounding mountains. After dinner we took a stroll through the quaint town and decided we should have stayed a couple more days. Teens from around the town chipped in to maintain the city grounds, and amongst the traffic through the main (and only real) road included a tractor and more kids pushing a motorboat down the road on a trailer.
The next morning we had breakfast at a small coffee shop and drove back up out of the fjord. We briefly returned to ring road before heading East yet again for our next destination. The road consisted of bumpy gravel and after driving for what seemed like hours we came to a massive mountain, that we (of course) needed to cross.
On the other side we took a lunch break and continued on our way to a small marshmallow farm near Vopnafjörður where we’d stay for the night. To say it wasn’t in a town is an understatement, as there was barely any other houses around. I met the first person during our trip to Iceland who didn’t speak english and we did our best to communicate otherwise.
After checking in we cooked a simple dinner and had quiet time together as a family. I saw my first moon rise in the land of the midnight sun and it did not disappoint.