Once we got ourselves together after our second rough night in the rooftop tent (cold and very windy despite layering up with basically everything we owned… something isn’t adding up), we set our sights on the drive to the quaint little seaside town of Stykkishólmur (population 1,100!).
This was one of the towns used in Ben Stiller’s Walter Mitty. A beautiful picturesque place with snow-capped mountains as a backdrop, supposed glaciers floating just off the shorefront (movie magic? perhaps a snap winter event?) and a quiet seaside town vibe.
This was also where Walter supposedly skated down the mountain to Stykkishólmur although that was actually shot on the other side of Iceland (see Day 5). More movie magic!
Our first stop was a beautiful space-age church on top of a hill – Stykkishólmskirkja, a ‘Church of Iceland’ church. I had a quick kip while the missus and toddler investigated in and around. Bold and intimidating on the outside, and reportedly nice inside too.
Lunch was the next order of the day! Ravaged by hunger as our bodies tried to adjust to the cold. We meandered down to the coast with a short 5 minute drive to the Norska húsið parking, followed by the guidebooks recommendation of Sjávarpakkhúsið. Their specialty of blue-shell mussels was delicious, never to be forgotten. A family friendly, seamless friendly service, good cappuccino (and they gave me another gratis! After I spilled the first…) and delicious food. What more could we ask for? If I ever make it back to Iceland and Stykkishólmur I would be sure to go again. Thank you Sjávarpakkhúsið!
We were finally feeling in tune with our nomadic vibes (must’ve been the effect of a ton of blue-shelled mussels!) so decided to explore the great outdoors with a brisk walk to the lighthouse, where we were suitably rewarded with a spectacular view from the top of the basalt islet over Stykkishólmur towards to the western region ice caps.
Feeling reinvigorated our next target was Hofsós, for a dip in the infinity pool after almost three days sans shower!
The journey was a reward in itself with another picturesque drive and hills of epic proportions. See the full size image of one of these mountains and see if you can spot the caravan, it is miniscule by comparison.
I didn’t realise that the actual drive around Iceland would be a tourist attraction in itself… jaw-dropping!
It was generally a smooth drive and I would visit here again once driverless cars are in full use everywhere, just so I can gawk at the scenery.
Hofsós arrival: We made a beeline straight to the local outdoor Swimming pool (and infinity pool!) which was heated to a balmy 34’C. Beautifully designed (by BASALT Architects) with spotless amenities and toasty showers at a reasonable cost — just what the doctor ordered. While frolicking in the pool with the little one and his model whale we even met a lovely couple from NYC (and seeing them again on Day 5. Hello Stephen!).
Clean and dry, we then drove to the Hofsós Camping Ground, where we only saw two other campervans/cars. Unfortunately the weather took a turn for the worse (more wet, cold and miserableness), but it wasn’t enough to dampen our spirits after that lovely pool sessions earlier. Feeling refreshed by the swim, hot shower, and spectacular scenery, we anchored for the night in our rooftop igloo.
Today was an especially eventful day for Mr Toddler — 4 hours 51 minutes of driving across 370kms (most of which he slept through luckily), a lighthouse, lunch and a dip in the pool (the lunch venue and infinity pool’s were especially child-friendly which was a bonus!)
On to Day 3 via Iceland’s Northern Capital…