Getting to Höfn

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We are about to leave East Iceland and go to the south coast of the country. We only have to go through a tunnel – and how hard can this be.

The shore below the road over the tunnel

We get to the tunnel which has a red light indicating we are not allowed to drive through the tunnel. We wait and some locals show up and make a call which is probably to get the light to change into green – but nothing happens for a while. We see other people leaving the wait in front of the tunnel going up on a road over the mountain instead of taking the tunnel through the mountain. After a bit of a wait we decide to join the people driving over the mountain.

We go up the steep hill over the country. The road across the country is in a pretty bad condition much worse than most of the back country roads we have been on and you clearly need high clearance to cross this way. We get to the top of the hill from where there is a good view to both sides of the hill east on the one side and south on the other. We go down the steep slippery road – the gravel here is pretty loose so you need to take care navigating down to the main road. After a bit we make it back to the big Ring Road on the other side of the tunnel and we can continue driving – we only got a short drive now to the village of Höfn which is the biggest town of this part of the island – though this tells you more about the size of the other towns than of Höfn.

The main attraction of the city is the houses around the harbor of which some are pretty nice old wooden houses – but you probably won’t spend very long exploring the city itself since it isn’t overly interesting. The best attraction is a little beyond the harbor where there are a few lakes just next to the ocean. The lakes are home to a lot of birds which you can go out and have a quick look at before or after dinner.

The lakes are not too big so it is easy to just walk around the lakes to see what you can spot. There are several different ducks including the ever present eider duck and several geese which seem to have made a home in the high grass next to the lake.

When we head back to the hostel after dinner the fire alarm start because of some sort of burned food making it too loud to stay inside and we head out to the hill behind the hostel. Despite it is fairly late at night the late evening sun is still bright and there is a good view from the top of the hill so we can see the shore and a couple of islands down below. We can still hear the fire alarm up here and it is turned on and off several times before it finally seems to be turned off for good.

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