Iceland – Day Four: Vestrahorn and Jöklasel
Today’s adventures included Vestrahorn, Stokksnes Peninsula, Hoffellslón and a very steep off road trip up to Jöklasel above Skálafellsjökull. The Southern tip of Europe’s biggest Glacier, Vatnajökull, which is a rather impressive average of 400 metres thick! We were almost 840m up, but the road was … ummm …. very VERY steep, unguarded and … interesting (aka slightly terrifying)! Consequently, very glad we’ve hired a Pathfinder.
Vestrahorn – The Mountain of Kings
Out of Vetsrahorn and Jöklasel, Vestrahorn was probably my favourite part of the day. Most of all because – yet again – I hadn’t expected quite such exquisite beauty. We’d come to Hofn because we were told by friends that had spent a year in Iceland that it offers a very good chance of seeing the Northern Lights. And when I looked into it, I did notice that in addition, the surrounding area looked beautiful. But my, oh my. Nothing can beat actually being there and I think it’s probably my favourite place so far. Stunning mountains and a huge great bay area of massive volcanic deposits and boulders to explore, which as a result makes it exciting for children.
The sun was shining down with a bright blue sky when we visited and it was rather magnificent. The girls loved roaming around and jumping from boulder-to-boulder alongside the shore, but were equally as happy when we walked down into the ‘Village’ – the residue of a film set from many years ago that has been maintained by the local landowner. The Village is a replica of an ancient Icelandic community and offers a fascinating glance at how things would have looked. If you’re into Game of Thrones then you’ll love this place.
Jöklasel and Dizzying Heights
We then moved on up to Jöklasel and as I’ve said – what a ridiculously steep road that is, particularly when you get more than a couple of miles along. It’s also single lane and probably the locals think nothing of pulling over to the passing places, but they’re terrifying! They are literally on the precipice. Consequently, Miss GMT#1 who is petrified of heights, was squealing in the back and praying – first for everything! While Miss GMT#2 was asking to go faster. In addition, we were caught in a swirling incoming storm, which was impressive when you looked down across the bay. Less impressed was Miss GMT#1. Much as I’d have liked to spend more time there, the storm meant that it was probably a bad idea, so we came down.
Throughout the day and our trips around the local area we had sun, rain, storms, hail, sleet, snow and wind, almost every condition. Beautiful scenery but in conclusion, the weather in this place is bonkers!
Tonight, I’m hoping that the lights might make an appearance. The aurora forecast has moved from 7% and is now showing 30% likelihood, which still seems low. But as much as that seems low to me, the locals seem like they are very hopeful and I’m hoping that they know best. It’s been a lifetime ambition of mine to see these lights …
To see our Northern Lights article and photos – click here – you won’t be disappointed!