Iceland - Day 4: Sauðárkrókur loop (by bike)

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Sauðárkrókur to Hofsós (57km): First day of riding! We biked together all day, from Sauðárkrókur across the valley at the base of the fjord, and then inland to our lunch stop at Hólar, where we encountered more sod houses and other interesting features. We drove up the coast to Hofsós, which should have been our stop for the night, but it didn't have a hotel big enough for the group. So instead we went to an outdoor swimming pool and hot tub, and looked at the basalt cliffs, after which Will met us with the van and drove us back to our hotel in Sauðárkrókur. Dinner was a reasonable but random fusion restaurant, followed by some board games back at the hotel.

view to the water in the morning

milling about: Gina, Bill, and Sarah

milling about: Dana, Tom, and David

standing with bike: Scott

my bike, sadly without kickstand

down the street in Sauðárkrókur

mountains and clouds

looking at our cue sheets one last time...




and away!

Tom and David underway

mountain and shadow

our road, for a little while

the group, riding route 75 across the bottom of the fjord

mountains and clouds

looking across the water

road across the water

an island in the fjord

Bill, Gina, and David encounter a hill

mountain at the water edge, in light and shadow

looking back to the west

mountains and snow

Scott is taking a picture too

Bill and Scott enjoying the view

Joe is clearly not in this photo

water and mountains

steppes and mountains

a horse by the road

the road, winding

field, mountains, water, clouds

a farm on a hill

also more mountains

the group, riding

horses, running

much horses

cliffs and mountains

grass between the road and the water

a water feature

the group, about to descend

horses, hanging out

horses, looking at the camera

a horse eating

looking back at road and water

bridge over a river in the valley

more water features

side of a mountain

riders, stopped after the turn north onto 76

fields and mountains

a mountain pass

many horses at a hilltop farm

Bill arrives at the muster point, and off we go

except one picture of this mountain pass first

We are not going to any of these three places

water, mountain, cloud

horses outside of a metal-roofed building

snow pattern on mountainside

the road behind us

cyclists on the road ahead, approaching our first purple mountain

sign on the road to Hólar

look at that mountain pass

Gina, looking at that mountain pass

view back, towards an island in the fjord

let's examine these purple mountains a bit more closely

we are going in one of these directions

patch of snow at the top of a mountain

road back towards the fjord, with bonus horse

forget the road, let's look at that horse more closely

much horses

one lane bridge

Bill riding over the one lane bridge in the shadow of a purple mountain

we'll stop just across the bridge at Hólar, but the valley continues

hay bales, equipment, looming clouds, at Viðines farm

Scott reads a sign about Viðines

the one lane bridge goes over the Viðinesa

look more closely, there's a sheep just hanging out in the middle of that river

cyclists approaching the town of Hólar

Gina and Scott on the road to Hólar

there are sod houses here too

map of every structure in Hólar, literally shows the picnic table at which we ate lunch

mountain view inland from Hólar

mind if we have a closer look at that snow?

The Icelandic Horse History Center (closed, sadly)

farm equipment and a mountain

view back towards the river

bell tower

Hólar University

close-up of that map, to demonstrate that i wasn't kidding about the picnic table

stone wall and plants back towards the river

sod between two houses

informational sign, possibly about some people who lived in the sod house in the 19th century

Gina in the sod house

attic of sod house

cooking area of sod house

an informational sign about sod house construction

sod house interior, with some light this time

close-up of sod

another built-in bed situation

close-up of attic floor

Dana, Sarah, and Bill wait with our bikes

Gina naps on the famous picnic table of Hólar

wall around the church and cemetary

a stone in the church

another stone in the church, possibly having something to do with 16th-century resident Halldóru Árnadóttur

church interior

I don't think we ever learned what Jon Arason was up to from 1550 - 1950, but good for him

mosaic at the base of the belltower

little mosaic bells

religious books at the base of the belltower

stones in the belltower

square staircase in the belltower

Gina at the bell

view from the window of the belltower (giant fly for scale)

engraving on the bell

another bell

we all feel safer just knowing this grate is here

the university, seen from the belltower

town buildings and valley, seen from the belltower

trees and mountains, seen from the belltower

we were very excited to look at this house, which someone's guidebook had reported as being somehow affiliated with a sorceress

it's not, it's the bishop's house, named after 14th century bishop Auðun the Red. but it was still cool to look at

Gina tries the door cautiously

that's just what a sorceress would say

a loom, looming

interior corner of the bishop's house

book on display in the bishop's house

prayer bench in the bishop's house


fields and mountains and water and sky and things

Bill crosses a bridge in a field

little flowers beside the bridge

this is the emergency backup bridge

Gina checks out Gvendarbrunnur well (it is important to note that none of us got giardia on this trip)

i didn't even drop my camera down this well

marker next to the well

church in front of mountain

we saw a lot of these flowers

leaving Hólar and heading back to the coast

Gina embarks on a treacherous gravel road

we didn't like the gravel road very much, but here we are on it

at least the gravel road was next to this cool river

looking back at river and mountains

a little farm across the river

riders, progressing along the gravel

still excited about the purple mountains

the river going under a bridge

Scott, with river and mountains

many little trees

plains and mountain

we're actually going to both of these places!

the river east

the group, ready to be done with gravel roads

more group assembling

horses! and the fjord!

a different ratio of horses to fjord

many marshmallow hay bales and an island

farms inland

sheep climbing around

approaching Hofsós

view back along the road

mountains and grass inland

last cow grate on the road to Hofsós

speed limit 70 on the infinite highway

at the coast in Hofsós

more fjord coast

before hot-tubbing, we went to take a look at these basalt formations

view north along the coast

look at all those hexagons



a belt of green rocks by the fjord

basalt cliffs and hillside

top of basalt cliffs

reference unit church above the slope

sunlight on one patch of mountain

the coast

reference unit church in front of mountains in light and shadow

driving back to Sauðárkrókur

the road to the valley

fjord and cliffs

looking back northeast along the coast


a number of motorcycles parked in front of our hotel

just a hexagonal planter

informational signage at the Hard Wok Cafe

calzone at Hard Wok Cafe

the Nail Soup folktale in three languages

table surface decorated with coins

Sauðárkróks Bakari, where we intend to pick up baked goods in the morning

my shoes on the hotel windowledge

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