Water... From Rain to Glaciers
Falling asleep next to a waterfall is pretty awesome. You get to hear the sound of it as you fall asleep. Our first night camping in our car was overall good, minus a little bit of condensation.
Since we were next to the waterfall, that is of course what we did first! Skógafoss is a waterfall in south Iceland and pretty much falls straight down. Very large. Very windy. Very Misty. We were also able to climb to the top of it to see the view from up high which was also very cool!
From there, we decided to drive down road 1 (the main road that takes you around Iceland) towards a tiny town called Vik. We had heard that there were some black sand beaches there. So as we are driving, we see a sign that says "Black Beach Restaurant". That sounded promising so we decide to go there. It was a cloudy day so we went inside to get something hot to drink and got some Lamb soup - which was awesome! Once we were ready to venture out - we found that it was a LOT windier than we thought. I mean, I was about thrown over a few times when I wasn't paying attention! The black sand was very cool to see! There was some cool caves and rock formations formed from old lava, it was something that we had never seen before.
After we recovered from the wind and large ocean waves, we set off for the southern most town in Iceland: Vik. As we were driving towards Vik, it became VERY foggy. To the point where there were mountains in front of you, but you couldn't see them. Iceland can be extremely beautiful...when you can see it. The fog (and later rain) pretty much lasted the rest of the night. We even drove past glaciers and you couldn't see them. But, we ended up at our destination: Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. We were able to see it up close when we got there and man, was it cool! It is crazy to think that the chunks of ice have come from the Vatnajökull glacier - which is the largest glacier in Europe. Fun Fact: this glacier has a bunch of volcanoes under it!
So, now that the sun had gone down and it was foggy - we decided to sleep there. We cooked some dinner on our portable gas camping stove and headed to bed.
We woke right before sunrise so we could see the sun hit the ice. It was beautiful! It was so cool to see the colors. Plus, we were able to go over to the beach right across the street and watch the sunrise over the ocean with chunks of ice on the sand. It was such a once in a lifetime thing seeing the ice right there with the ocean. Although, Cameron did get wet from the waves sneaking up on him while trying to take photos! He had to change his shoes, socks, and pants after.
As we are driving back the way we came, we finally got to see what we missed the night before when it was foggy - mountains and glaciers! There were a few different "tongues" as they call them of ice coming through the mountains. We stopped at one to get some photos. Then, out of nowhere, the sun hits it just right and out pops a rainbow! Could it get any better? Yes. It can. We were able to BOTH ends of the rainbow as they had both started and ended right where we were. Incredible. It was one of those moments that we couldn't believe was happening. A rainbow on top of everything?! It was awesome.
After the rainbow disappeared, we drove to Skaftafell National Park. We waited in the car for the rain to stop. We found that, so far, it would rain for a little bit, then stop. So once it stopped, we hiked about 1.5 miles up a mountain to see the Svartifoss waterfall. It was smaller than others but unique because it had vertical basalt columns. Another 1.5 mile hike back down a muddy path, we were off again. Gotta see everything right? No down time for us!
As we were driving (and seeing things all new because of the fog the day before) we came across miles of lava rocks covered with moss. It felt very old and something you would see out of historical movies. So cool!
Next, we landed back in Vik and were starving. We haven't really had a proper Icelandic meal, or really any proper meals, since we had been here so we splurged a little and went to a quaint little restaurant called Suðor-Vik. Ordered Seafood Soup, Lamb and Fish - all three we AMAZING. I mean, we are not crazy foodies or anything but...wow! So good!
There is plane wreckage on a beach in South Iceland that we were hoping to see. Apparently, in 1973, a United States Navy DC plane ran out of fuel and crashed on the beach (everyone survived). But it is now a great place to photograph and "must see" due to it's haunting features. Unfortunately, we weren't about to go due to the rain and the fact that it was a 2.5 mile hike there AND back. Although, we did get to see some cool old homes in a rock called Drangshlíð that are "associated" with elves! For the cool story click the link here: https://guidetoiceland.is/connect-with-locals/regina/drangshlid-rock-and-the-elves.
Now we are in our next hostel, with a warm shower and bed after two nights sleeping in the car. This trip has been a whirlwind but we wouldn't have it any other way!
Until next time...
-C & K