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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Day 11: Hofn - Ice Lagoon - Reykjavik


After a not so spectacular breakfast (it was a let down) at our hotel, we took the 10:00 a.m. sterna bus from Höfn to Reykjavík


It would be a very long bus trip. The detour to Höfn was to see the Glacier Lagoon and today we would see it again, so we were excited as the bus stops on this route for nearly one and a half hours. Since we've been on the amphibian boat the day before, we opted to just stay on the shore this time. Jökulsárlón was the first stop of the again thankfully empty bus, and it was the same bus and driver from the previous day. My friend thanked him because he forgot his bonnet which I actually gave him. The driver gave it at the gas station knowing that we will be going there anyhow, and yes we found it there the evening before. I've learned that the Icelanders are quite nice and always helpful. Most of them speak quite good english so it was not hard to talk to them.

The weather at the lagoon was different this time compared to the previous days clear and sunny. Now we were greeted with fog and can't barely see a few meters ahead (later it cleared up fast). But this was something else, the ambience, the atmosphere and I specially enjoyed taking pictures. I probably shot over a hundred photos just at this lagoon. We didn't have the time pressure, so we kind of soaked up the scenery.


Later on we bought some postcards at the restaurant/tourist info/shop before we continued the bus trip with short stops again in Skaftafell, Kirkjubæjarklaustur and Vík. In Vík we walked down to the black beach end just enjoyed the little time we had. Another stop was again at two major waterfalls in this Ring Road, the Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss. We finally reached in Reykjavík and the driver ask the passengers for their hotels. He then brought each one next to their respective hotels. We asked to be dropped off at the Harpa Concert Hall, from where we had just a short walk to our hotel for our last two nights in Iceland, the Welcome Apartments.


The apartment was centrally located, spacious with own bathroom, flatscreen TV and a little kitchen. We had already gotten a code for the door via e-mail and also for the key box, in order to get the key via self-check-in. It all worked out smoothly. We were specially happy to see their several little luggage storage with their own keys. That was very convenient since on our last day, we could check out before noon, leave our luggage, go on tour and come back to haul them and go to the airport. Our flight would be just after midnight so it was really a huge convenience.


We hadn't really planned the evening in Reykjavík, just walked around with a help of our map. One major attraction in Reykjavík is of course their church, the Hallgrímskirkja. But before that, we went to a less prominent church, but also architecturally interesting church, the Háteigskirkja, which was about two kilometers away. Iceland was full of such interestingly eccentric looking churches.



After the long day in the bus, we decided to walk more and went another two kilometers to another building with interesting architecture, the Perlan, which was originally designed as hot water storage tank. It was quite late already when we got there so we didn't go up to the rooftop. The Perlan now houses a winter garden, a fancy revolving restaurant, some shops and next to it is the Saga Museum.



From the Perlan, we walked back to the main attraction in Reykjavík, the Hallgrímskirkja, which was conveniently located on our way back to the apartment. It is indeed a unique and impressive sacral architecture.



We were exhausted by now and gladly entered the apartment to have a very late dinner. Fortunately we already bought something at a supermarket in Selfoss during a bus stop and now had a kitchen to make noodles and microwave pizza.

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