As we departed Hofn, we knew our day was going to contain quite a bit of driving. Navigating through the fairly uninhabited parts of the Southeastern Iceland and the Eastern Fjords didn't led itself to many stops along the road. The scenery was spectacular though:
After a few hours on the road we broke for lunch at a place that came highly recommended from a local guide. It's called Klausturkaffi. Literally the ground floor of an old family house this place is real, authentic, Icelandic food. Complete with reindeer pie, fish stew, and the absolute BEST mushroom soup I have ever had in my life. If you're traveling anywhere near here this place is worth a trip. Served family style you can choose to enjoy just the soup, usually the mushroom soup and one other, or eat buffet style.
After we were full (I was 3 bowls deep on the mushroom soup at this point) we piled back in the car and headed to our next stop. Even though we were full to bursting we decided to hike up a trail to a famous series of waterfalls called Litlanesfoss and Hengifoss. While the hill was quite steep these waterfalls were unlike any I had ever seen in my life, including the 4 we had already seen in Iceland...
Litlanesfoss and Hengifoss are lined by bands of bright orange rock and flanked on either side by massive basalt columns. The basalt columns are truly unique because each forms a nearly perfect hexagon! The columns are formed when lava contracts and slowly cools inwardly, in a process called columnar jointing. I did a little research on this and to be honest, I'm still not quite sure how these form (geology isn't my forte...), but they are truly a wonder to behold. How can something natural form such solid and perfect shapes?
Here is a handy article if you just dying to learn more about columnar jointing.
Finishing our hike, we headed towards our stay in Egilsstaðir. Hearing of a neighboring puffin colony though, we decided to head back in the car to go check out these adorable little birds. Easily an hour and half drive from our stay in Egilsstaðir and through some gnarly fog, we finally made it to the port of Borgarfjörður eystri affectionately nicknamed the Puffin Capital of Iceland. We walked up the dedicated pathways onto rocks where the puffins were nesting. They would pop their little heads in and out of the rocks, calling to each other, and flying down to catch fish.
We made a quick pit stop along the way to check out the world most remote vending machines! Randomly placed along the 94 highway, this tiny green shed (Coke Sjalfsali) is home to some quick treats if you ever find yourself in a pinch and just need a kitkat.