Today continued our trend of being underwhelmed with West Iceland. The guidebooks say this area can be wonderful for tourists because many often skip it, and now we know why; the landscape reminds us too much of home. Many hills, farmlands, cows, green fields, and things we often see driving around Oregon. Perhaps if we did not live in such a beautiful state we would have experienced this part of Iceland differently. Had we to do it over, we would have driven straight from Stykkisholmur back to Reykjavik and used the extra day earlier in our itinerary.
Instead, we used the day to leisurely drive through Borgarnes, a small town with little to offer other than lunch, and then made our way further south to Akranes. Before heading into town, we drove Route 47 around Hvalfjordur, a two-hour detour circumventing a very large body of water that took us to the trailhead of the tallest waterfall in Iceland, Glymur (198m). When we arrived it was windy, and the two-hour roundtrip hike to the falls was more effort than we were able to muster. While we likely would have done it earlier in our trip, we have now seen so many amazing waterfalls that passing was not hard.
As we completed the loop, we ventured through one of the world’s longest underwater road tunnels to make our way to Akranes. Built in 1998, the Hvalfjorour Tunnel is almost 6 kilometers longs! While we have become accustomed to driving through mountains, it was a bit strange knowing we were underwater for so long.
Akranes is a nice sized town centered around the fishing industry and providing services to the surrounding farmlands. While not focused on tourism, probably because of its close proximity to Reykjavik, it did have some of the best pizza we have ate on the entire trip. After dinner we checked out the two lighthouses that secure safe passage for boats in the area. Here is one of them:
And close by, was the dilapidated fishing boat which is the image of the day above. We then made our way to the Laxarbakki Hotel just outside of Akranes. While the place looked good on paper, it turned out being our least favorite accommodation of the trip. The caretaker did not speak English, and the $40 breakfast was dismal. But close by were some more Icelandic horses that never get boring to shoot!
I finished off the evening heading back into Akranes on my own to do some more shooting, but the light was not that great so the trip was short-lived. As pulled up to the hotel, there was a bit of an afterglow on the river that runs behind the place. Here is my final shot of the evening.