Before the Ring Road was moved to tunnel under Hvalfjörður instead of driving along its shore (shortening the drive to Akureyri by about 40 minutes), the route along the coast of that fjord was part of the main road. As fun as it could be to drive in good weather, it was incredibly tedious when it was foggy, raining, or snowing or the narrow and winding road was covered with ice.

These days it’s a scenic route and mostly travelled by locals, tourists and people visiting some of the many summer houses in the area. I went berrying there with my mother last weekend and was shocked to discover one of the routine stops, the Botnskáli diner, was still standing, but in terrible condition. Not even the colourful, brand new graffiti could hide the fact that it is badly weathered, with peeling paint and rusting metal fixtures. I dread to think what it’s like inside.



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