The dramatic landscape continued to surprise us as we continued around the northern region. Lake Myvatn turned out to be more beautiful than I expected. We even found an amazingly unique cafe to relax at for lunch and get out of the wind for a bit.
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Hverfjall is a 1,300ft high tephra explosion crater located near the eastern shore of Lake Myvatn. It erupted 4,500 years ago and spewed ash all over the area. You can hike up the steep slopes and around the crater’s rim for some beautiful views of the Dimmuborgir rock formations and Lake Myvatn. The wind at the top was horrendously strong!!
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A dramatic expanse of lava covers this area from an eruption 2,300 years ago, creating the Dimmuborgir Lava Fields (Black Fortress). The lava had flowed across this area and over a lake, causing it to boil. This both quickened the cooling of the lava and caused pillars of steam to shatter parts of it. After it solidified, Dimmuborgir became defined by large stacks of rock and many caves and caverns, caused by bubbles of intense steam. ** In Icelandic culture, lava caves are said to be the homes of trolls. It is here that the Yule Lads live and sometimes you can find one of their caves! **
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Vogafjós Cowshed Café is such a gem! This farm to table restaurant is located inside of a cowshed on a family farm that has been owned by the same family for about 120 years. The menu offers homemade local food using mostly their farm’s own products, such as beef and lamb, homemade cheeses, Geysir bread, smoked arctic char, and homemade cakes. While enjoying your meal, you can watch the cows being milked or experience great views of Lake Myvatn. Of course, we tried the fresh cow milk, the Vogafjós special platter, and the homemade ice cream duo dessert.
The Vogafjós special platter included their own mozzarella, raw smoked lamb, smoked arctic char and dill-cured arctic char, Geysir bread, and fresh salad with their own salad cheese. It was served with shots of the house angelica schnapps.
Besides the fresh cows milk, I wanted to try something else with the delicacy platter that was local. I chose the handpicked lava tea.
The homemade ice cream duo was angelica ice cream and geysir bread ice cream served with whipped cream.
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Leaving the Lake Myvatn area, we headed towards Godafoss or “Waterfall of the Gods.” Known for its godly beauty, its water falls from about 40 feet and it spans 98 feet wide! There are trails to view this beauty from both above and below. The blue of these waters is phenomenal! We arrived as the sun was setting low which made it difficult to see the blues so vividly unless the photo was taken from above or facing away from the sun. But no matter the view, Godafoss was gorgeous. It reminded me of Niagra Falls- anybody else?!
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Akureyri, also called the capitol of the north, has less than 20,000 people but its scenic surrounding makes it feel more spread out. There is a relaxing attitude in the people, it’s a charming size to explore, and their traffic lights are heart-shaped. I mean, what’s not to love! We didn’t spend too much time here though, just enough to grab some groceries, drive around, and take a short walk. We also found a super fun candy aisle in their grocery market!
Our roots will forever be from here, America, born and raised. Yet, life requires us to move more frequently than we care to count. Whether living stateside or abroad, you can always find us traveling somewhere. We scout out places that you only think you can dream of one day seeing and we seek out those that aren’t found in guidebooks. We then bring them to life here in our travel memos, so hopefully, one day you too can visit them or at least be able to live vicariously through us. This blog isn’t just about crossing off places from a bucket list. It’s about absorbing and learning how other cultures grow and fit into the same world that we do. Life is short and the world is big. Enjoy and get out there!