Travel Tales: Iceland 2016, Day Three

Day three dawned bright and early as we had a long road trip ahead of us again.  The day was dreary again, but that wasn’t a deterrent and we were surprised and delighted by some sun that came out later in the day, on what was perhaps one of my favorite spots on the whole trip.  This post is going to be VERY picture heavy, as there were so many great ones from this day, and we saw so many different things.

Our first stop was Seljalandsfoss, where I felt like I was less adventurous than I should have been.  You can actually walk behind the waterfall, and I really should’ve done it, but I was being kind of wimpy about my shoes (I only had sneakers, not hiking boots, and I didn’t trust the grip), and it was already starting to drizzle and we were already wet, and getting more wet didn’t seem super appealing.  However, we did get close to the waterfall.

We came, we saw, we conquered and then headed to the next waterfall, Skogafoss.  Here was where the weather conditions became pretty terrible for the day.  It started to drizzle just as we arrived and were looking at the massive waterfall, and the rain continued to get worse as we climbed the staircase to view the waterfall from the top.  We were nearly soaked through by the time we got to the top, and then had to climb down a rickety metal staircase to get back down to the ground.  Despite the weather, however, it was an adventure and I loved every minute of it, even though I was terrified I would slip down those metal stairs!

So much of Iceland just looks like a painting.  The fields near the waterfalls were just scattered with grazing sheep, minding their own business.  This was also a popular campsite, it looked like.  One of these days I think I would like to try camping through Iceland – we saw many camping spots and I think it would be an interesting experience.

We took a break from the rain in the nearby cafe here so that we could have lunch, use the bathrooms, warm up and regroup as we still had a number of spots to get through for the day – ones that we were all very much looking forward to seeing.  After having our lunch, we set out again.

We were rewarded for our hike in the rain when we arrived at the Dyrholaey Peninsula.  I wrote in my journal that it “can only be described as fucking beautiful.  It was cliffs on the sea.. blue and vast and amazing.  It stopped raining at this point, and we also saw a puffin.”  I was super excited about that puffin… but we’ll get to that in a minute!

As we approached the Dyrholaey Peninsula, the sun suddenly came out.  And not just peeking through the clouds, but the clouds finally parted and we saw clear blue skies for the first time since we had arrived.  It made the experience there all the most beautiful and even more special.  If it was going to be sunny at any point, this was the perfect moment.

We parked the car and got out, spending some time just taking a bunch of “jump shots” at the edge of a cliff, over which a black sand beach and the water could be seen.  There was also a view of the lighthouse, which we later walked to.

We walked to the lighthouse, which I just found out you can STAY in so I’ll now be looking into THAT.  The views just kept getting better and better.  I have always dreamed of seeing a coast like this.  I always thought it would end up being in Scotland or Ireland, but I got to Iceland first and it was so worth it.

We spent a lot of time there, because it was so damn gorgeous and there was so much to see and enjoy.

Finally, we had to go simply because we had to get to our next location and make our dinner that evening.   We were surprised on our way out by the appearance of two puffins!  This is a close up of the shot I got with my camera so it’s a tad on the blurry side, but I love it anyway.  Puffins are freaking adorable.

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We made a quick stop in the town of Vik.  It was quite small, so we just stopped to take a few pictures by the church and then hop back in the van to go to the black sand beach.

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On the black sand beach, we climbed up on the Game of Thrones-esque rock formations that so many come to the beach to see.  They tower over the beach and even form a little cave.

As we were heading out, we saw a couple who had just gotten married and were going to take their wedding photos on the beach – perfect!  The images below are just pictures I took while we were waiting for some girls to come out of the bathroom – there were photo opportunities everywhere.

Our last stop for the day before heading back to Reykjavik was the famous Solheimasandur plane crash.  It’s literally what it sounds like – a plane that crashed on the beach in the 70’s.  When you see it, it’s a miracle that everyone survived, though I suppose some of the wreckage at this point might be weather related.  To get to the site, you have to walk a number of miles (we never quite figured out how many) to and from, since they do not allow cars down the road leading to it.  This definitely took up the bulk of our day, as we were not necessarily expecting to walk so far, but it was nice and flat so it wasn’t a particularly difficult walk.

The site itself is both beautiful and creepy.  I loved taking pictures of it, and even managed to angle myself certain ways so that it looks like there aren’t any other tourists there, despite the fact that they were plentiful.  However, this one was my personal favorite.  Some tourists did manage to make their way into the picture, but the way they are placed makes it seem like they were the ones on the plane and are walking away:

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Because of how long it took to get to the site, I think we probably ended up spending more time here than we would have had it been just on the side of the road.  We had to make that walk worthwhile!

After an exhausting walk back to the car, we made our way back to the house, took quick showers and headed out for a fancy dinner at a restaurant called The Fish Market.  I don’t remember a ton about it, but I did take a picture of what I ate : if I remember correctly, it was lamb prepared three different ways (I looked up the restaurant menu and it appears to have changed, cause I KNOW I would have remembered if reindeer had been on it when I was there!).

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It was nice to just sit with everybody after a long day of walking, and some of our group were leaving the next day while four of us were staying on for one final day.  The evening continued when we got back – we all gathered in one of the girls’ rooms and essentially had a slumber party.  We didn’t actually all sleep in the room but we talked and laughed for about an hour and a half before we all needed to get to bed.

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