Riding at Skjaldarvik

Riding at Skjaldarvik

We keep seeing really cute places where we are not staying and wish we were. Here are three. All are farms, two have horseback riding (which means you can get up and go see the horses in the morning) and two have killer restaurants, at which we ate. And enjoyed immensely!

First: Gauksmyri, on the Vatnsnes Peninsula. They have 120 Iceland horses and here we discovered the extra paces Icelandic horses have–the tolt and the flying pace, which I, an extremely cautious rider, loved!! We are talking an exhilerating ride over brilliant green fields in the sun. I hope I never forget that image of my husband and daughter, along with our very able guide, Bidna, flying across the fields together.

Then, outside Akureyri, Skjaldarvik, where we enjoyed what they call the “Ride and Bite.” Go for it–but stay there, too, for its seaside views. We had another wonderful ride here, a great dinner, plus a dip in the hot tub.

Vogafios--view from The Cowshed

Vogafios–view from The Cowshed

And finally, last night: Vogafjos, on Lake Myvatn. It’s called the Cowshed. You eat right next to the cow stalls! (Separated by glass, of course). It’s very clean, Icelandic minimalist, with views of the lake and farm out of the restaurant’s windows. Excellent dinner, great service!

I loved my grilled Artic char and potato pancake but still lusted after my husband’s hamburger.

My 12-year-old drank three glasses of the milk. Straight from those cows on the other side of the glass wall, of course. Then she and I perused desserts. One of the servers is a daughter of the family that has owned the farm since the 1800s. She has the kind of translucent skin I believe is due to the fact that she has never eaten anything that came from outside of a five-mile radius around her.  We consulted with her on dessert. I was drawn by the lava cake but she recommended the Vogafios cake (essentially, the house cake). Having seen the amount of whipped cream delivered from a stainless steel unit (fresh cream whipped in the container by CO2 cartridges, yeah!), I say, “we’d like whipped cream, please.”

She looks at me. “We serve all of our desserts with whipped cream.”

photo(2) And then, of course, you can pet the cows.

Iceland is my kind of dairyland.