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Published: September 11th 2013
On Day 3 we woke up near Vik and headed for the black sand beaches (which that area is famous for). There are usually puffins in the area but they had already migrated for the winter. So we enjoyed the view, decided against the swim, and moved on.
We began our trek East where we drove through "the black desert" which is almost alien in its appearance, smooth black rocks and sand covered in a soft green moss. We stopped on the side of the road and experienced perfect silence; no wind, no birds, no bugs, no trickling water or crashing waves...nothing but our own breathing. Beautiful and amazing, a peaceful natural experience we've never been exposed to anywhere else in our travels, definitely a highlight.
We arrived at Skaftafell National Park where made a 2 hour hike to the Svartifoss waterfall which was surrounded by large columns of Basalt created by volcanic activity. Very cool. Our hiking route had sheer cliffs on one side so you definitely didn't want to misstep on your way up or down.
We then took an unplanned detour that took us down a very windy and bumpy road (not meant for our
car) to the tip of the Svinafellsjokull glacier. The drive in was treacherous but the views were worth it. At the base of this glacier we saw a few chunks of ice which had broken off and were floating in the lake below. It was our first close up taste of an Icelandic glacier, but not our last.
Our next stop was the highlight of our trip so far. The Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon. This place was absolutely magical. Hundreds of icebergs floating in the lagoon slowly making their way towards the sea with seals and birds dancing among them. The sun was setting at the time we arrived and while our pictures turned out great they still don't do it justice. This is a place you truly have to experience in person to appreciate its breathtaking beauty. We have officially ranked this the number one spot on the planet ever experienced by either of us.
Our hotel for day 3 was an actual working farm that was basically in the middle of nowhere. They were the only restaurant for about the next 40 KMs so we didn't have much of a choice for dinner. We weren't expecting much...
man were we surprised! It was expensive (like everything else in Iceland) but Andra's lobster order was delicious and overflowing with lobster tails and Chris' lamb (fresh from the farm) was equally delicious and filling.
Day 4 was mostly a driving day that took us through Iceland's east fjords. This is Viking country with very beautiful scenery but very remote. Not a lot of action on this side of the country (unless you are an avid bird watcher). We did see a reindeer and made friends with a few roadside sheep, but the excitement for the day was the possibility of a speeding ticket captured by a speed camera while driving through a five KM mountain tunnel. Hopefully that ticket never materializes but the flash was hard to miss... Either way we will never admit who was driving!
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