So we left off at the completion of our self-guided Golden Circle tour as we headed home to crash from the ongoing jet-lag we were faced with. Now begins Day 3 of this Icelandic adventure.
Day 3 the southern shore, waterfalls and glacier hike.
We were up at 6am again. This time it’s to make it to our glacier hike a few hours away at Solheimajokull glacier. We booked through Arctic Adventures which was the cheapest we found online and we lucked out in having a group of only 6 people. We met the guide at the parking lot, slid into our rented boots and were fitted with crampons. After a 10 minute walk from the parking lot to the glacier, a short safety briefing from our guide and securing of our crampons, we finally set foot on the glacier. The hike was not too strenuous, then again we have been hiking often enough back in the USA. I had my GoPro in hand for the entire hike so be on the lookout for a video if I can get that worked out.
The hike was only 1.5 hours and after we finished that we drove further down the coast to Black Beach. This black pebble beach leads up to a tall cliff edge towering over us and a few caves opening into the base of the cliff. Natures amazed me once again as these enormous caves towered over the tourists. Another traveler told us that these even house concerts on the beach a few weekends in the summer, I didn’t understand until I actually saw the size of them. It was an incredible sight.
Feeling a little worn from the early morning, long drive and glacier hike, we drove just a little further into the town of Vik to have a cappuccino and rest a little before driving home. This tiny town is a perfect turnaround point for lunch, coffee or dinner for anyone making a day trip out of it like we did.
Once on our way home we made our first stop at Skogafoss. This massive waterfall falls almost 200 feet into the pool below. It appears so small in the distance, but fascinating up close. We climbed the stairs at the side of the falls to get a few more vantage points and even veered off the trail to get some up close photos. As Whitney moved in closer on a few of the ledges I had to step back as my heart was racing…I forgot that my fear of heights sneaks up on me every once in a while.
Next we pulled up to Seljalandsfoss. As we neared the falls, a rainbow began to appear at its base. Curiously, I noticed the path going around the entire base of the falls under the overhang, which allowed us to see it from every angle. This was the only time in my life I have seen a rainbow reaching the ground on both sides, and if we moved to just the right angle it even became a circle (I sure wish there was gold at the ends of the rainbow, but no luck this time). This was by far our favorite waterfall here in Iceland. Satisfied with this final stop we headed home.
Day 4 Relaxation and Reykjavik
We slept in until nearly 10am, shook off what was left of the jet lag, and took our time getting out for the day. At the recommendation of Nicole a fellow traveler staying at the same Airbnb, we headed into downtown for breakfast from the bakery Braud and Co. We ordered some of the best cinnamon rolls we’ve ever had and complimented the breakfast with a cappuccino from Reykjavik Roasters just across the street. Whitney and I sipped our coffees sitting outside and soaked up some late morning sun. We then wandered down the well-known street of Laugavegur past many trendy shops, restaurants and bars into the downtown area to sort get a feel of the city.
We ventured to the Solfar, Sun Voyager, to snap a few pics then drove to the Reykjavik Botanical Garden to see what it had to offer. After browsing the gardens for a little while we eventually just sat in the grass and relaxed in the sun. This turned out to be the warmest day for us here in Iceland and after recently escaping New York City, we couldn’t have be happier sitting in the sun with a cool Icelandic breeze blowing by. We sure needed the break.
Iceland was a great stopover on our way to Europe. Some things to know are that everything is imported so its more expensive here than you might expect. The smell of rotten eggs from the sulfur is everywhere. Everyone we encountered speaks English and is very helpful. Crime is almost nonexistent. Iceland is actually very green, and the weather can range from warm to cold in a matter of minutes (at least in the summer). Finally, the jetlag and never-ending daylight may take some getting used to, but I’m sure it’s better than visiting in the dark winter months (unless you’re there to see the Northern Lights). We were only able to explore a small part of the country in 4 days, but see that an extended trip here would offer many other things especially if we decided to circle around the entire island. Finally, we truly enjoyed everything we did and would recommend doing the same to anyone planning a similar trip.
Next stop London!!