The seventh day of our journey on Iceland’s Ring Road was probably the least eventful. After our travels the past few days, we were beginning to see why the south coast of Iceland was so popular; much of the Ring Road on the east and north sides of Iceland was turning out to be somewhat barren. The sights I had tagged for visiting on the north region of the Ring Road were far and few between and the lack of scenery of the road made me want to just skip ahead to the famous West Fjords.
For the next two days of our Ring Road journey, we switched from identifying sights to see and then finding a campsite, to identifying a campsite we wanted to land at by the end of the day and then planning a few stops along the way. On this day, we really wanted to end up at the seaside campground of Drangeyjarferðir in northwest Iceland.
On the way to Drangeyjarferðir, we had time to spare at a seaside geothermal spa called Geosea that had a walk-up bar and an awesome cloud-topped mountain view in the very far distance. Hubby likes to jokingly complain that I pack too many sights and activities into our vacations, but now there is proof that I don’t always do that, and sometimes I even make time for a relaxing spa and day-drinking!
On our way to our next big stop, the town of Akureyi, we made a quick stop at a very crowded and popular waterfall, Goðafoss. I had been excited about Goðafoss because several photos showed it with impressive teal blue waters below, but at the time we visited, the water was a milky green at best and we were not impressed. We snapped an obligatory photo and left quickly to Akureyi, an hour away.
Akureyi is the second largest city in Iceland, but even after being in remote places for the last several days, we couldn’t think of any reason we needed to spend time in the city besides seeing Akureyi’s famous heart-shaped traffic lights.
These traffic lights were installed in 2008 during Iceland’s financial crisis to help bring something cheery to the town. It has been said that the 2008 financial crisis might have actually been what lead to the start of Iceland’s now-booming tourism. The Icelandic Krona’s value dropped drastically in 2008, allowing Iceland to be more affordable to outsiders. Then in 2010, Iceland turned around the world-wide negative publicity they were receiving from a volcano that was spewing ash into the airspace and instead ran a marketing campaign called “Inspired by Iceland” to promote tourism to their country. Maybe those heart-shaped traffic lights were the good luck charm that helped turn things around for both the citizens and the economy!
There aren’t many traffic lights in Akureyi, but all the traffic light have these hearts, and we played classic tourist by stopping just to get a picture of them!
On the way to the Drangeyjarferðir campsite in Sauðárkrókur, we were so glad to welcome back some more lush scenery. We also couldn’t help making a roadside stop to give a couple of beautiful adolescent Icelandic horses some well-deserved attention.
Our seaside campsite that evening was the perfect relaxing spot to keep with the theme of our relaxing day. We would need the rest because the next day, we had another long day of driving!