Iceland
Hvammstangi

Here you’ll find travel reports about Hvammstangi. Discover travel destinations in Iceland of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

10 travelers at this place:

  • Day11

    The Slow Road West

    September 26 in Iceland

    Days 11-12:

    Wednesday started off with breakfast at a nice café downtown, then strolling around through the shops into the afternoon where we found some lovely trolls working in one. Along the way, we noticed small statues on stone bases and upon closer investigation, they represented the sister cities of Akureyri. These include Västerås, Sweden and Ålesund, Norway, two cities we have ties to! Most of the last Winterströms in Sweden live in Västerås and there is a statue representing one of Mama Bear's ancestors in Ålesund. We visited Akureyrarkirkja, another relatively newly built cathedral on our way back to home base. The stained glass windows each had a biblical story along with an Icelandic story, like the pagan idols being thrown over Goðafoss. That pretty much completed the amount of effort we were willing to put into the day and we were more than happy about it!

    Thursday was a planned travel day, but we did have some exciting events! Along the drive, there was some light snow through the mountains, which is a HUGE deal for Californians... Once we made it through our intense meteorological experience, we stopped in Glaumbær to see the old turf houses. This type of construction was a way for early settlers to insulate their homes. The land would be prepped with large stones, then a strong wooden frame would be built and finally, layers of sod blocks would be stacked on. And since keeping up appearances apparently was a thing even when living in homes made of dirt, the blocks would commonly be set in a herringbone pattern. Grasses would grow over the tops of the homes, further insulating them. As the turf homes evolved over the millennium they were used on Iceland, they split from a longhouse style to interconnected individual homes, windows were added and the entrances developed from small doors into full wooden fronts. It's a pretty neat design and really shows the ingenuity needed to live and thrive in such a harsh and ever-changing environment!

    We continued to the village we will be staying in for the next two days, Hvammstangi. It is a tiny little place on the Vatnsnes peninsula with a population of about 580, held together by shrimping, a wool manufacturer and of course, a blossoming tourism industry. A little to early to check in to our next home, we stopped by the wool factory because it's Iceland and wool is everything here. A short tour through the factory gave some insight into how machine made wool products are created on the island. Although they may not be traditionally handmade, the raw materials are Icelandic and the work is all done in Iceland, so that seems good to us! That being said, of course our eyes were drawn to the only thing in the shop that was, in fact, handmade... A local woman tans sheepskin and a one in particular tickled our fancy. As animal lovers, we did consider that all of the sheep here are free grazing and seem to have enjoyable lives, so we were happy to support the sustainable practices.

    Next up, we had lunch overlooking Miðfjörður, the little fjord that Hvammstangi is located on, and the uninhabited peninsula on the other side. Seafood soup was of course the dish of choice for the shellfish lovers amongst us and a lamb burger for Papa Bear. It's safe to say that we will greatly miss the seafood and lamb when this trip is over! Having not spent enough time wandering yet, we drove out along the west coast of the Vatnsnes peninsula, expecting to see a few of seals that it is know for. Instead, while bumping along the unpaved road, we started seeing the trademark misting breaths of whales in the bay. Not one or two like we saw on our whale watching tour, but numbering into the double digits. With our refreshed whale knowledge, courtesy of the tour a few days ago, we tried to figure out what kind of whales would be in a pod in this area. Semi-safely to the side of the road with telephoto lenses out, we were able to pretty confidently identify them as humpbacks. Since humpbacks are definitely not supposed to be in a pods, we are still a bit puzzled by it, but we won't complain. We spent a good hour looking a full kilometer out in the bay at the whales breaching, tail slapping and diving (the attached picture includes one whale tail slapping). It was a completely unexpected experience and another lucky part of our trip! To top off our unplanned coastal drive, we saw the Skarðsviti Lighthouse, which we know nothing about, but is absolutely stunning with a view of the Westfjords in the background.

    Tomorrow will be spent just milling around the Vatnsnes Peninsula and staying in our tiny little town until Saturday when it's back to thermal springs and waterfalls!
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  • Day14

    Hvammstangi, Island

    June 10, 2017 in Iceland

    Fahren, staunen, fahren, staunen usw.
    Leider war am Samstag bei den meisten schönen Landschaften das Bild nicht halb so schön...
    Und der eiskalte Wind wollte uns einfach nicht aussteigen lassen!
    Daher gibt's nur ein paar Schnappschüsse 😯

  • Day6

    Restoran

    January 21 in Iceland

    Öömajas seekord õhtusöögi võimalust pole, aga omanik omab lähimas "linnas" (6 km) ainsat restorani, kus kliendid soodukat saavad. Kuigi käisime päeval poes, siis otsustasime ikkagi minna.

    Restoran asub otse vee kõrval ja on üllatavalt ilus - ootasin midagi väikelinnale kohasemat. Võtsime väikse taldriku kala valikut (üllataval kombel Kadri tahtis kala) ja seejärel burgerid friikatega. Kala valikus oli: tuunikala, vaal, lõhe, krevetid ja tursk. Tegu oli värske kalaga kergelt pruunistatud kujul! Kadrile meeldis tursk kõige rohkem ja mulle vist tuunikala. Saime teada, et vaala liha on hästi tumepunane, peaaegu must.Read more

  • Day9

    Few are similar first time.

    March 27, 2016 in Iceland

    The Aurora forecast is a 4/9, the highest it's been all week. We stayed in the Myvatn region last night, considered the Aurora Borealis capital of Iceland - but not in a blizzard.

    The snow continued all night and into the day. The night's black out became the day's white out. After a breakfast of smoked lamb, egg, peppers, and black charred bread, I headed out into it.

    When traveling in Iceland in a blizzard on Easter, be sure you have plenty of gas. Many gas stations will be closed, so you will have to rely on your American credit card with a PIN which doesn't exist. And no, your bank card is not a fitting substitute. There are many charming, picturesque, mountainside churches that will be open. By open, I mean their doors are unlocked. But please don't bother trying to find out when or even if they are having services. They are utterly empty and there are no signs.

    We emerged out of the east central storm today in Akureryri once again. I was having Jennifer take videos of the intense white out conditions as we came down the steep fjordside roads. It was still my time to drive. Drifts along the railing were up to the middle of her doors or higher.

    Easter holidays are apparently the time for eating, as restaurants were all still open, and we found a charming cafe with plenty of hot pumpkin soup. We also stopped back in Glaumbaer at the turf house cafe, which was also open. Here, they had a variety of traditional icelandic cakes, dainty china, and an upstairs exhibit on 300 years of coffee in Iceland. I opted for my first tea today, and was highly amused to be served from a selection of Celestial Seasonings Teas - Hello Colorado! Little did our hostess imagine I had been in that very factory. The Victorian Earl Gray was delightful, and I also got a cream and rhubarb jam filled pancake, which we would call more like a crepe. It was the most traditional offering, and I had just been reading in my book where the hero Bjartur, was serving pancakes at his late wife's funeral.

    The sun had come out here, the little chapel was open, and I took a moment to explore. All the trap doors leading up to the bells were open, so I examined the views from the top, as well as the hymnals below. The church is actually famous for being the place where Snorri Porfinnsson, the first European born in North America (in the year 1004), is buried. Snorri's mother, Gudridur Porbjarnardottir, was a celebrated Icelandic explorer. Statue of mother and son are at the entrance to the church/cemetery.

    We found exactly one supermarket open all day, and there I purchased a small Icelandic easter egg. My fortune, mysterious as promised, translates to: Few are similar first time.
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  • Day5

    Hvammstangi Cottages

    March 23, 2016 in Iceland

    I slept about 12 hours last night. It was glorious. Then started the day with a traditional Iclandic breakfast (so they say) in downtown Reykjavik at the Loki Cafe (Loki, the Norse god, the trickster). I had Icelandic Plate 3, consisting of trout and eggs on rye, pickled herring on hard boiled egges on rye, and rye bread ice cream. And some more strong coffee. Fish and ice cream are not my usual breakfast, but it was hearty and tasty - though the pickled herring was pretty strong.

    After picking up our rental car we headed out of town to two of the lesser known waterfalls, Hraunfossar and Barnafoss. Barnafoss means Children's Falls, and is named after two local children who are believed to have died there crossing a stone arch over the rushing river. They since knocked the stone arch down to prevent such opportunities again.

    The drive is gorgeous going northward. The clouds sat low over the valley. At one point we were driving through one. Ponies and sheep are grazing everywhere. We are traveling highway 1, the Ring Road.

    It's winter, and close to the Easter holiday, where many Iclanders travel. It's not alwways easy to predict what is in season, and what will be open. The highly recommended craft store was closed for the season. The famous farmer`s markets were no where to be found. We are undeterred. We had some tastey seafood at Sjavaborg - Tuna, Prawns, and lobster. I've also been sampling the favored national snack of licorice dipped in chocolate. While not usually a licorice fan, the bit I picked up is quite good.

    For the trip I've purchased a fabulous National Geographic map of the Island. It indicated there was a light house and a hot spring a few miles north of the city. Driving up the unpaved road in our 4WD, we easily located the light house. The fjord was instantly so foggy it seemed an absolute neccessity. The hot spring, however, was no where to be found.

    We remain undeterred. The town swimming pool was open, and fed from geothermal springs. We relaxed the night away there, waiting to see if the Aurora would peek out. No such luck yet. But Jennifer and I have made a deal. I will handle all the tricky driving. And in return she will get up nightly to check for the aurora, and wake me if it's out. A mutually satisfying negotiation.

    We are currently tucked away in a cosy cottage outside of town, and I am retiring to the top bunk.
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  • Day94

    Grettislaug

    July 14 in Iceland

    Die Hotpots Grettislaug und Jarlslaug in der Nähe von Sauđárkrókur bieten uns die Gelegenheit, uns nach dem Frühstück zu erholen und zu entspannen. Die beiden mit Natursteinen ausgekleideten Becken sind teils algenbewachsen, bestechen aber durch die Wärme, die gerade bei dem heutigen nasskalten Wetter gut tut.
    Auf der Halbinsel Vatnsnes besuchen wir die Robbenstrände. Auf bei Ebbe freiliegenden Felsen vor der Küste räkeln sich ganze Kolonien.
    In Hvammstangi übernachten wir und gönnen uns als vorzeitigem Abschluss der Reise ein Essen im Restaurant - in Island und nach dem Campingessem der vergangenen Wochen ein himmlischer Luxus.
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