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July 24, 2015

Two Weeks in Iceland, Day 9: Horse Riding, Hólmavík, Hotpots at Drangsnes

Horses! Today we finally rode Icelandic horses! The Icelandic horse is such a beautiful animal: gentle, sweet and very relaxed. Native to Iceland, they have five natural gaits (as opposed to regular horses with only three) and are smaller than other breeds. They are the only breed of horse allowed to live in Iceland and once a horse leaves Iceland it is not permitted to return again (the horses are not vaccinated so they can't risk any diseases coming in from overseas).

We were happy to learn that our horse riding trip was a private tour, not a group experience, and we had our own guide. The three of us spent an hour of bliss riding our horses around the beautiful countryside. We also tried out one of the Icelandic horse's unique gaits called the tölt - a "running walk". It was incredibly fun. My pretty brown horse was called Björk, I couldn't believe my luck. Kamil's was a beautiful caramel male horse with a flowing blonde mane, named Stjáni. They were both so sweet and fun to ride.

Still blissed-out from the horse-ride, we didn't think the day could get any better until we got back on the road and started driving around the West Fjords which are absolutely stunning. We stopped over at the small town of Hólmavík, where they were having a summer festival, and visited the Museum of Icelandic Sorcery & Witchcraft which was interesting and we learnt alot but it left us with a little bit of a dark cloud above our heads (learning the awful history surrounding accused "witches" being burnt at the stake, and the infamous necropants on display amongst other things). 

We skipped the Vatnsnes Peninsula in favour of a dip at free hotpots by the sea in Drangsnes. This was another to add to the list of the best hotpot experiences we had in Iceland - lovely views, and nice chats with some Icelanders and tourists.

We had dinner in the same town, a lovely fish stew, before more West Fjords driving and checking into the Laugarholl Guesthouse for the night. 

To be continued

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