Sad to be leaving but looking forward to our bed! A little bit of stress as the plane was out of the headphones we wanted to buy to watch Fortitude, but we managed to get the kids’ packs which had some shitty ones in them too. Also a colouring book and stickers – bingo! London grey and not so warm, missing Reykjavik already, they have sun all the time.
Beautiful sunny morning, probably the sunniest yet – not a cloud in the sky. We started by walking up the cliff of Herjólfdalur right above our campsite, to the peak of Blátindur for epic views of the whole island and many nesting seagulls. The rugged cliffs and the beautiful sea made for a magnificent setting, together with the other Vestmannaeyjar islands scattered around. We walked over the whole ridge of the crater, saw one solitary puffin too, and walked down on the other side to town.
We made our way through town to Skansinn, a 15th century fort built to defend the harbour, and a reconstructed medieval wooden stave church. From there we headed over to Eldheimar, a new a beautifully designed museum of the 1973 volcanic eruption, which altered the island forever and buried over 400 houses under lava. There is also a whole section on Surtsey in the museum, a neighbouring volcanic island and its ecology. Everything was super interesting and amazingly presented. From the museum we went up the culprit volcano crater for another set of splendid views.
By now we were getting quite hungry, and headed back to town for our carefully chosen treat of the trip – Slippurinn restaurant located in a beautifully remodelled old machine workshop (hipster’s dream!), and serving fine Icelandic cuisine. I had creamy lobster soup for starters, fish of the day (ling) with celeriac purée, mustard and pickled onions plus mashed potatoes with smoked buttermilk sweet onions and crispy rye bread on the side, while Iest had cured lamb with cheese, truffle oil and salad as a starter, with the same main, and skyr and sorrel sorbet to top it all up. It was all very lovely, and beautifully complemented by the finest beer from Akureyri – Einstok. We really did not want to walk back to camp but finally we managed, and slept like babies.