When I posted part 1 of travelling in Iceland I figured one more post would do it for our Iceland adventure. Boy, was I ever wrong. After looking through photos for this post I realized we saw and did way more than I thought. So today I’m sharing our first day of road tripping when we drove along the south of the island. Our first three days in Iceland were filled with guided tours and adventures, so we thought it would be fun to rent a car and explore on our own for our last three days. I’m very grateful that we did because we didn’t have to follow any schedule. We saw what we wanted to see, when we wanted to see it. On our first day we were up by 6am, on the road by 7am and didn’t get back home until just after midnight. Yeah, it was a long day but a long vacation day is never a bad thing, at least in my books!
Our first stop of the day was at Seljalandsfoss, which is a breath taking waterfall:
This waterfall was extra special because you could go behind it:
Next stop was another waterfall: Skogafoss
We got soaked, and I mean SOAKED, visiting this waterfall. We noticed that no one was trying to get close to the base of the waterfall, so of course we had to see how close we could get. We got closer than this picture shows, but because there was so much mist we had to put our camera away so it wouldn’t get ruined. At Skogafoss there were stairs to the top of the waterfall, 425 stairs to be exact.
Half way up the stairs we noticed a dirt path that led to a small ledge. We followed the path and found this cool rock that kind of looked like a face looking at the waterfall.
We did end up at the top of the waterfall and hiked around that area for a while. There were lots of people who actually camp near the base of the waterfall and probably hike all around during the day. Definitely something I want to do, should I be so lucky to go back! Next we found a lovely black sand beach with lots of interesting rock formations to climb all over. We climbed to the top of a big one and found a little friend looking up at us from the water below. I think I squealed with delight for a good two minutes straight.
Just around the corner from where we spotted our friend from, we found an amazing view of the beach. I just loved how foggy and mysterious it looked. Some people find lush greenery beautiful, but I prefer scenery with a mysterious allure.
And you guessed it, we climbed down and got our feet in that cold, cold water!
Then we drove to Jokulsarlon, a glacier lake in southeast Iceland. We suited up in life jackets and took an amphibious boat into the lake. It was incredibly foggy when we were there, so we could only see what was right in front of us…which was glaciers, so it was an amazing experience!
You can’t tell from the photo above, but the water was perfectly clear and turquoise. It was the most beautiful (and clean) water I’ve ever seen in my life. I so badly wanted to jump in, but my memory of the 2 degrees water at Silfra kept my impulse under control
During the tour our tour guide took a small piece of glacier ice out of the water and passed it around for everyone to hold. I know, I know, who wants to hold ice? We did because now I’ve had the experience of holding 1000 year old glacier ice. Cool, eh?
Then the tour guide cut it up and let us eat it! And yes, I was SUPER excited to eat 1000 year old glacier ice 🙂
After we experienced Jokulsarlon we found another glacier lake nearby. Forgive me, I forget the name of it, but it was gorgeous. There wasn’t really any fog at this glacier lake so we could actually see a lot from a distance.
And then we hiked down so we could put our hands in the glacier water. This was definitely a theme of our trip. If there was water, we wanted to touch it. The hike down to the lake didn’t look as steep as it actually was and there wasn’t really a clean path down either. This is one of the things I really loved about Iceland. There were very few sights that had been disrupted to make it easier for tourists to see. If you wanted to see it, you had to work for it.
Driving back from the second glacier lake we came across Laufskalavaroa, which is an area full of memorial stone figures. Passerby’s are supposed to bring a rock with them and add it to the area. Unfortunately we didn’t know about and had no rock to contribute to this beautiful site.
Then we came across Velkomin ad Kirkjugolfi; a natural rock formation that doesn’t look like it’s natural at all!
And last, but definitely not least, we ended up at the black sand beach in Vik. It was breathtaking. I remember when we were driving there it was around 9pm and we were about 2 hours way from home. The drive to the beach was out of the way and very unassuming so we began questioning if we should even bother trying to find the beach. We quickly decided that discovery was more important than sleep and we ventured on. As soon as we stepped onto the beach we both loudly exclaimed “WOW” and were ever so grateful that we decided to find this hidden gem. Words cannot describe my love for this beach.
I was left speechless. And I’m still speechless today.