33iceland-seydisfjordur-travel-landscape

Wow I didn't realize how much we did (and saw) on Day 4 until I started going through all the photos. So, if you are reading this, be prepared for a real long blog post with tons of photos! After a restful night in Hoffell, we embarked on our journey to Seyðisfjörður. Our first stop along the way was Hvalnes. Hvalnes is a small peninsula where you will find a black pebble beach, an old yet picturesque orange lighthouse, and the infamous "horny mountains" (Vestrahorn, Eystrahorn and Brunnhorn) in the background. The great thing about Iceland is that once you are outside of Reykjavík and Golden Circle, you rarely see anyone around, and even less as you head east. We had Hvalnes all to ourselves and it was so beautiful. One thing to note though is once you spot the lighthouse, be on the look out for the pull off area to the right where you can safely park because once you pass it, it's hard to turn around. We missed it and there was nowhere to turn around, we tried making a u-turn on the narrow road and drove off onto the black pebbles and almost got stuck! So be careful!

01iceland-hvalnes-hornymountains-travel
02iceland-hvalnes-hornymountains-travel-style-ootd03iceland-hvalnes-travel-landscape-photography
04iceland-hvalnes-lighthouse-travel-landscape-photography05iceland-eglisstadir-travel-roadtrip

We drove another hour and a half or so and arrived at Egilsstaðir where we were staying for the night. We grabbed a bite to eat, had some coffee, and checked into our hotel before driving through Fjarðarheiði mountain pass over to Seyðisfjörður. Fjarðarheiði has an elevation of over 2,000 ft above sea level, therefore it was very cold and snowy up there. We stopped and took some photos in the snow and in the middle of the road.

06iceland-eglisstadir-travel-roadtrip-coffee-latte07iceland-eglisstadir-travel-roadtrip-swisscocoa
08iceland-seydisfjordur-travel-mountains-landscape
09iceland-eglisstadir-travel-roadtrip-middleoftheroad10iceland-eglisstadir-travel-roadtrip-selfie
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Right outside of Seyðisfjörður lies Gufufoss. Again, no one was there and we had the entire waterfall to ourselves! Gufufoss is one of 25 waterfalls in the river Fjarðará and is derived from the mist that often accompanies the area. I was frolicking around the rocks like a happy little kid and I just didn't want to leave but alas we had to continue our journey down to Seyðisfjörður.

14iceland-gufufoss-waterfall-seydisfjordur-travel-landscape
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Seyðisfjörður, you are such a quaint little town! With a population of only about 700, Seyðisfjörður has a sizable harbor surrounded by snow capped mountains and is known for its rich fishing and cultural history. Although one of its most popular attraction is the rainbow road in front of Bláa Kirkjan (Blue Church) which was painted in support for its LGBTQ residents, the real hidden gem (to me) is Tvísöngur. Tvísöngur is a site-specific sound sculpture by German artist Lukas Kühne and is located on a mountainside right above Seyðisfjörður. We parked at the gravel lot across from the Brimberg Fish Factory and after a 15-minute hike passing many little streams and small waterfalls, we arrived at the sound sculpture. It has 5 individual domes/chambers constructed of concrete that are supposed to mimic the sounds of a five-tone harmony. The best part of this site though... the breathtaking view of Seyðisfjörður below!

19iceland-seydisfjordur-travel-landscape
20iceland-seydisfjordur-bluechurch-rainbowroad-travel21iceland-seydisfjordur-bluechurch-rainbowroad-travel
22iceland-seydisfjordur-travel-landscape23iceland-seydisfjordur-tvisongur-travel
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Iceland Day 4: Hvalnes, Egilsstaðir, and Seyðisfjörður (Gufufoss and Tvísöngur)

August 16, 2019

33iceland-seydisfjordur-travel-landscape

Wow I didn't realize how much we did (and saw) on Day 4 until I started going through all the photos. So, if you are reading this, be prepared for a real long blog post with tons of photos! After a restful night in Hoffell, we embarked on our journey to Seyðisfjörður. Our first stop along the way was Hvalnes. Hvalnes is a small peninsula where you will find a black pebble beach, an old yet picturesque orange lighthouse, and the infamous "horny mountains" (Vestrahorn, Eystrahorn and Brunnhorn) in the background. The great thing about Iceland is that once you are outside of Reykjavík and Golden Circle, you rarely see anyone around, and even less as you head east. We had Hvalnes all to ourselves and it was so beautiful. One thing to note though is once you spot the lighthouse, be on the look out for the pull off area to the right where you can safely park because once you pass it, it's hard to turn around. We missed it and there was nowhere to turn around, we tried making a u-turn on the narrow road and drove off onto the black pebbles and almost got stuck! So be careful!

01iceland-hvalnes-hornymountains-travel
02iceland-hvalnes-hornymountains-travel-style-ootd03iceland-hvalnes-travel-landscape-photography
04iceland-hvalnes-lighthouse-travel-landscape-photography05iceland-eglisstadir-travel-roadtrip

We drove another hour and a half or so and arrived at Egilsstaðir where we were staying for the night. We grabbed a bite to eat, had some coffee, and checked into our hotel before driving through Fjarðarheiði mountain pass over to Seyðisfjörður. Fjarðarheiði has an elevation of over 2,000 ft above sea level, therefore it was very cold and snowy up there. We stopped and took some photos in the snow and in the middle of the road.

06iceland-eglisstadir-travel-roadtrip-coffee-latte07iceland-eglisstadir-travel-roadtrip-swisscocoa
08iceland-seydisfjordur-travel-mountains-landscape
09iceland-eglisstadir-travel-roadtrip-middleoftheroad10iceland-eglisstadir-travel-roadtrip-selfie
11iceland-eglisstadir-travel-roadtrip-snow-mountains
13iceland-eglisstadir-travel-roadtrip-snow12iceland-eglisstadir-travel-roadtrip-snow-ootd

Right outside of Seyðisfjörður lies Gufufoss. Again, no one was there and we had the entire waterfall to ourselves! Gufufoss is one of 25 waterfalls in the river Fjarðará and is derived from the mist that often accompanies the area. I was frolicking around the rocks like a happy little kid and I just didn't want to leave but alas we had to continue our journey down to Seyðisfjörður.

14iceland-gufufoss-waterfall-seydisfjordur-travel-landscape
15iceland-gufufoss-waterfall-seydisfjordur-travel-couples-love
16iceland-gufufoss-waterfall-seydisfjordur-travel-ootd17iceland-gufufoss-waterfall-seydisfjordur-travel-ootd
18iceland-gufufoss-waterfall-seydisfjordur-travel-ootd

Seyðisfjörður, you are such a quaint little town! With a population of only about 700, Seyðisfjörður has a sizable harbor surrounded by snow capped mountains and is known for its rich fishing and cultural history. Although one of its most popular attraction is the rainbow road in front of Bláa Kirkjan (Blue Church) which was painted in support for its LGBTQ residents, the real hidden gem (to me) is Tvísöngur. Tvísöngur is a site-specific sound sculpture by German artist Lukas Kühne and is located on a mountainside right above Seyðisfjörður. We parked at the gravel lot across from the Brimberg Fish Factory and after a 15-minute hike passing many little streams and small waterfalls, we arrived at the sound sculpture. It has 5 individual domes/chambers constructed of concrete that are supposed to mimic the sounds of a five-tone harmony. The best part of this site though... the breathtaking view of Seyðisfjörður below!

19iceland-seydisfjordur-travel-landscape
20iceland-seydisfjordur-bluechurch-rainbowroad-travel21iceland-seydisfjordur-bluechurch-rainbowroad-travel
22iceland-seydisfjordur-travel-landscape23iceland-seydisfjordur-tvisongur-travel
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01iceland-hoffell-glacierworld-guesthouse-travel-style

After traveling from Vík, stopping at multiples place and had dinner over in Höfn, it was nearly 10pm when we arrived at Glacier World Guesthouse in Hoffell. We walked to the entrance and OMG IT'S LOCKED! Before I could even think about what to do next, a car approached. A nice man came up to us and opened the door. Apparently he was looking out his window occasionally waiting for our arrival! How nice! It was late so we checked in and went to sleep. The next morning WE WOKE UP TO SNOW! ON A FARM! WITH HORSES! I grew up in California so snow is a rare sight and quite magical for me. On top of that I've been looking for horses since arriving in Iceland (you will see more horses as you go north). So yeah, needless to say I was pretty darn excited! We watched the snow fall over a delicious breakfast (talk about farm to table!) and then had the pleasure to tour the property with Fríða (daughter of this family-run guesthouse). She shared with us her family history and the story of Hoffell (we found out the kind man who opened the door for us was her father!) Before checking out and continuing our journey northeast, we stopped by the geothermal hot tubs down the road (these are free if you are a guest at Glacier World Guesthouse) and checked out the horses. They were so friendly and came right up to us! Overall, we love this minimal yet cozy little guesthouse in the middle of nowhere and thank you Fríða and your family for such hospitality!

02iceland-hoffell-icelandichorses-horse-travel-style
03iceland-hoffell-icelandichorses-horses-farm-travel04iceland-hoffell-icelandichorses-horse-travel-style
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Glacier World Guesthouse, Hoffell, Iceland

August 6, 2019

01iceland-hoffell-glacierworld-guesthouse-travel-style

After traveling from Vík, stopping at multiples place and had dinner over in Höfn, it was nearly 10pm when we arrived at Glacier World Guesthouse in Hoffell. We walked to the entrance and OMG IT'S LOCKED! Before I could even think about what to do next, a car approached. A nice man came up to us and opened the door. Apparently he was looking out his window occasionally waiting for our arrival! How nice! It was late so we checked in and went to sleep. The next morning WE WOKE UP TO SNOW! ON A FARM! WITH HORSES! I grew up in California so snow is a rare sight and quite magical for me. On top of that I've been looking for horses since arriving in Iceland (you will see more horses as you go north). So yeah, needless to say I was pretty darn excited! We watched the snow fall over a delicious breakfast (talk about farm to table!) and then had the pleasure to tour the property with Fríða (daughter of this family-run guesthouse). She shared with us her family history and the story of Hoffell (we found out the kind man who opened the door for us was her father!) Before checking out and continuing our journey northeast, we stopped by the geothermal hot tubs down the road (these are free if you are a guest at Glacier World Guesthouse) and checked out the horses. They were so friendly and came right up to us! Overall, we love this minimal yet cozy little guesthouse in the middle of nowhere and thank you Fríða and your family for such hospitality!

02iceland-hoffell-icelandichorses-horse-travel-style
03iceland-hoffell-icelandichorses-horses-farm-travel04iceland-hoffell-icelandichorses-horse-travel-style
05iceland-hoffell-glacierworld-guesthouse-travel-style
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08iceland-hoffell-glacierworld-guesthouse-travel09iceland-hoffell-glacierworld-guesthouse-travel-style
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01iceland-svartifoss-skaftafell-waterfall-travel

We woke up bright and early and embarked on an ice cave adventure (you can read about that here) before leaving Vík. From South to East, we began our journey to Höfn and stopping at Svartifoss, Skaftafell, and Jökulsárlón along the way. First stop,  Skaftafell Nature Reserve in Vatnajökull National Park! When Vatnajökull National Park was founded in the summer of 2008, the former Skaftafell National Park became part of it. There are many hiking trails but since we were on a time crunch, we only did the hike to Svartifoss. The hike (in and out) took about an hour and a half to do and please note that there are many inclines. The trail crosses through rivers and you will come across other waterfalls in the gorge. It was raining softly the entire hike but it just made everything 100 times more mystical. This is one of the most beautiful hike I have ever done and after half an hour or so, you will spot Svartifoss from away and it will slowly get closer and closer. You can get right up to it! Svartifoss, "the Black Waterfall" is one of the most incredible and glorious waterfalls in Iceland. The narrow cascade drops 20m (65 ft) from a cliff composed of surreal hexagonal black basalt columns. I have never seen a waterfall like it!

02iceland-skaftafell-nationalpark-gorge-waterfall-travel03iceland-skaftafell-nationalpark-travel-style
04iceland-svartifoss-skaftafell-waterfall-travel
05iceland-svartifoss-skaftafell-waterfall-travel-style
06iceland-svartifoss-skaftafell-waterfall-travel07iceland-svartifoss-skaftafell-waterfall-travel-couple-love
08iceland-skaftafell-nationalpark-basaltcolumns-travel

We hiked out of Skaftafell and continued our journey east to Jökulsárlón. Also known as the Glacier Lagoon, this "tourist attraction" might be visually beautiful and magical but the story of how it came into existence is rather depressing. The lagoon didn't really exist until the 1940s when the climate started to get warmer and the lagoon has been increasing in size pretty fast since then. Roughly 11 billion tons of glacial ice melts every year due to the effects of global warming in Iceland. It breaks my heart to see this beautiful Earth slowly fading away. I feel like climate change is a topic that everyone is aware of, but not everyone is making changes in their lifestyle to lessen the problem. CLIMATE CHANGE IS SERIOUS! In about 30 years, the human civilization can crumble if we don't stop it NOW! Let's do something today to make a change!

01iceland-jokulsarlon-glacier-lagoon-travel
02iceland-jokulsarlon-glacier-lagoon-travel-style
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10iceland-jokulsarlon-glacier-lagoon-bridge-travel-couple-love
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Iceland Day 3: Svartifoss, Skaftafell, and Jökulsárlón (Glacier Lagoon)

July 31, 2019

01iceland-svartifoss-skaftafell-waterfall-travel

We woke up bright and early and embarked on an ice cave adventure (you can read about that here) before leaving Vík. From South to East, we began our journey to Höfn and stopping at Svartifoss, Skaftafell, and Jökulsárlón along the way. First stop,  Skaftafell Nature Reserve in Vatnajökull National Park! When Vatnajökull National Park was founded in the summer of 2008, the former Skaftafell National Park became part of it. There are many hiking trails but since we were on a time crunch, we only did the hike to Svartifoss. The hike (in and out) took about an hour and a half to do and please note that there are many inclines. The trail crosses through rivers and you will come across other waterfalls in the gorge. It was raining softly the entire hike but it just made everything 100 times more mystical. This is one of the most beautiful hike I have ever done and after half an hour or so, you will spot Svartifoss from away and it will slowly get closer and closer. You can get right up to it! Svartifoss, "the Black Waterfall" is one of the most incredible and glorious waterfalls in Iceland. The narrow cascade drops 20m (65 ft) from a cliff composed of surreal hexagonal black basalt columns. I have never seen a waterfall like it!

02iceland-skaftafell-nationalpark-gorge-waterfall-travel03iceland-skaftafell-nationalpark-travel-style
04iceland-svartifoss-skaftafell-waterfall-travel
05iceland-svartifoss-skaftafell-waterfall-travel-style
06iceland-svartifoss-skaftafell-waterfall-travel07iceland-svartifoss-skaftafell-waterfall-travel-couple-love
08iceland-skaftafell-nationalpark-basaltcolumns-travel

We hiked out of Skaftafell and continued our journey east to Jökulsárlón. Also known as the Glacier Lagoon, this "tourist attraction" might be visually beautiful and magical but the story of how it came into existence is rather depressing. The lagoon didn't really exist until the 1940s when the climate started to get warmer and the lagoon has been increasing in size pretty fast since then. Roughly 11 billion tons of glacial ice melts every year due to the effects of global warming in Iceland. It breaks my heart to see this beautiful Earth slowly fading away. I feel like climate change is a topic that everyone is aware of, but not everyone is making changes in their lifestyle to lessen the problem. CLIMATE CHANGE IS SERIOUS! In about 30 years, the human civilization can crumble if we don't stop it NOW! Let's do something today to make a change!

01iceland-jokulsarlon-glacier-lagoon-travel
02iceland-jokulsarlon-glacier-lagoon-travel-style
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