The plan for today was to check out the picturesque town of Seydisfjordur. Before making my way to Namafjall Hverir Geothermal Area and Akureyri next. But I woke up feeling nervous as parts of the roads was closed yesterday. No thanks to the recent heavy snowing. It would be a let down if I am unable to visit those places. Thankfully, Road.is indicated that most of the roads are clear to proceed. I heaved a sigh of relief that Lady luck was on my side! I left early for Seydisfjordur after a simple breakfast provided by Guesthouse Egilsstadir.
Route 93 to Seydisfjordur
The road which links Egilsstadir and Seydisfjordur is called Route 93 or Fjardarheidi Mountain Pass. It’s among Iceland’s highest mountain passes with an elevation of 620 metres. It also has a notorious reputation for the area is prone to heavy snowfalls, landslides and Avalanches. The tarmac road winding around the massive snow mountain is known to have patches of ice, making it a pain to navigate the bends. Google Map indicates a 30 minutes’ drive but it took me more than doubled of that. Still, it’s better to be safe than sorry!
There’s this Gufu Waterfall along the way which I stopped by to capture some shots. It’s not the biggest by Iceland’s standard but still worth a look.
Seydisfjordur is situated at the ‘mouth’ of a majestic fjord with the same name. Coming to this charming and picturesque fishing town in the month of April was as if that time has come to a standstill. Those colourful houses with the snowy mountains as a backdrop are seriously beautiful. But perhaps what attracted me the most were the nice reflections from the calming waters.
The sleepy town of around 700 inhabitants definitely deserves more time for a wandering around. Henceforth, it’s a shame that I did not spend much time here as I was worried about the returning way to be impassable just like yesterday due to heavy snow.
Thankfully there was no drastic change in weather as I drove along Route 93 and the Ring Road towards Namafjall Hverir Geothermal Area. The views along the way was mesmerizing and I found myself stopping for some pictures, perhaps way too often LOL. However, I was not able to visit Dettisfoss as the road remains closed since yesterday.
Krafla Geothermal Power Plant
I went on to check out Krafla Geothermal Power Plant instead. And I was greeted by the smell of sulphur that fills the air around the area. It’s not overpowering and still quite bearable, at least for me.
Iceland is known for its geothermal power given its geographical location. Kudos to the industrious Icelanders for turning this natural resource to generate clean energy for themselves. Krafla is also considered to be the country’s largest power plant. There’s even a Krafla Visitor Center for people who are keen to learn more about geothermal energy. However, it’s only open during the Summer…oh well.
Namafjall Hverir Geothermal Area
Next will be the visit to Namafjall Hverir Geothermal Area, that’s right across the Ring Road from Krafla. While Krafla is dotted with manmade structures to harness geothermal energy, Namafjall Hverir Geothermal Area is kept at it is. There are viewing platform and marked trails to prevent people from stepping into the danger zones, knowingly or unknowingly. Mind you, the temperature is well above boiling point and definitely not a place to monkey around. The ‘Iceland Perfume’ aka the sulphur smell here is few levels up from Krafla and can be unbearable at times.
But despite the pungent rotten-egg air, I find it worthwhile to be here as the landscape is truly something out of this world! The barren land looks very desert-like with no sight of vegetation. In exchange of the greens, there are mud springs (Solfataras), steam springs (Fumaroles) and a ground with different coloured mineral deposits. The boiling mud pots and the steaming fumaroles seems to be showcasing the relentless energy of this area. And with the nearby towering Namafjall volcanic mountain, Namafjall Hverir Geothermal Area looks very much like an Alien landscape in some Sci-Fi shows. It’s truly one amazing place to visit!
STAY: Hotel Kea Akureyri
I was rather exhausted and hungry upon reaching Hotel Kea in Akureyri. Henceforth, it was really nice that the friendly staff processed my check-in quickly and fuss-free. I have chosen Hotel Kea for its central location in the city. It’s well within a short walking distance to the places where I wanted to visit in Akureyri. Moreover, the Rub23 restaurant is just right across the road. Overall, the room was decently sized and very comfortable throughout my stay. I would definitely stay here again if I found myself back in Akureyri again.