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Published: January 3rd 2018
Iceland Travel Diary: The Days
This post covers my experiences of our Iceland trip. The post - Iceland Travel Diary: The Beginning, Destinations, and Conclusion give the background for our vacation. My recommendation would be to read that post before reading this.
Here are some additional links:
Check out the map of our trip at https://drive.google.com/open?id=1X4WUl4ncPlqH_67XGOLDes1NSSHt0ZqW&usp=sharing
. You need a google account to view this map.
Check out: https://www.flickr.com/photos/154547622@N05/collections
for all the pictures from our trip. All pictures in this blog have been taken by my brother.
You may check out my youtube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCn6VxfVc0FOgLUB84-dbmVQ/playlists
for the vlogs.
Day 1 (June 28, 2017): South & South-West Iceland Arrival at Keflavik airport in Reykjavik, Arnarker, Hveragerði, Gullfoss, Geysir + Strokkur, Kerið, Selfoss
After getting out of a plane at Keflavik Airport at 5 am, I was tired. Immigration and baggage claim was surprisingly fast. My parents wandered and asked around trying to figure our cellular data situation. In the meantime, I learned how to use a credit card to buy a water bottle from a vending machine. I felt pretty stupid because I stood there for
a solid five minutes putting the card in the machine multiple times. When we were finally getting ready to leave the airport, my parents went to get the rental car. For about an hour, my brother and I waited for my parents. During this hour, we discovered that Netflix in Iceland is different from the US. In my opinion, Icelandic Netflix has a MUCH better selection than the one in America. So, when we finally got the car loaded up and ready to leave, we decided that this car was unfit. We went back to the rental car offices and explained that we wouldn't like a crack in the windshield of our car. While I drank three cups of coffee, the car was replaced. Finally, we were on our way again. We then drove to the capital of Iceland, Reykjavik, to get a backpacking stove. While my parents went to the camping supplies rental, my brother and I went to the shore and took some pictures and videos. After a LONG wait, we left for our first tourist destination on our vacation. We went to a (drum roll please) hole in the ground. By that, I mean a lava tube,
called Arnarker. Arnarker is a tube that lava once went through and made an entrance (a big hole) in the ground. After doing a little exploring, we realized that we were unfit to go into a dangerous place like this as we did not have the right gear. On the way to our next stop, we saw a building that said Iceland Glacial on it. It turns out that it was a packaging facility for water that came from a natural spring across the hill. I also learned that this water is shipped all over the world from this factory. Along with all this valuable information, I received a gift. A bottle of water! SCORE!!! But in all seriousness, the water tasted perfect. So, onward to a bunch of hot springs. Now, Hveragerði is an agricultural institute that happens to have about ten hot springs on their campus. We did what we would be doing a lot for the rest of this trip. We took a lot of photos and videos for a LONG time. The things that interested me the most about Hveragerði were the mud springs. Sounds pretty weird, right? So, mud springs are holes in the ground
that have mud boiling in them. I never thought mud could boil. I guess it can. Onward! I'd like to mention the fact that I despise rain. It is annoying, it makes me annoyed, and ruins stuff, for example, phones. That's not what happened to my phone though. When we arrived at Gullfoss (waterfall), it started to rain. So, if you can imagine, there was a lot of mist from the waterfall, and there was also rain. I was pretty annoyed. Besides the rain, the waterfall looked impressive. It came down in about three steps and fed into a thin river snaking through a high-walled canyon. I did like the waterfall. By now, my family was getting hungry, so in the parking lot of our next destination, we made dinner. My first "proper" meal in Iceland. Let me give you an idea of what the cooking looked like. A small gas cylinder with a stove and pot on it. Three people huddled around the flame to protect against the wind and rain. To top it all off, the food wasn't even warm. Still, though, I was excited about our next destination. Something I like to call geyser national park. I
call it this because there were a bunch of geysers everywhere. At the heart of it all, was the Great Geysir, the world's first geyser. The coolest one was Strokkur because it erupted multiple times. Geysir has been dormant since 1935. Strokkur, on the other hand, erupts every 7 to 8 minutes. After some cool slo-mos and photos. We went to our last stop of the day. Kerið was stunning. It was a neon blue lake surrounded by the dark red walls of an extinct volcano. We arrived at about 10:30 at night yet it was still bright in the late afternoon. They call this the midnight sun phenomenon. First, we went down to the shore of the lake. After some pictures there, I turned on time-lapse on my camera and walked to the highest point on the crater. Eventually, our day drew to a close. We arrived at the house we'd be staying at about 12:30 am. I showered, changed, and slept like a rock until noon the next day.
Day 2: South & Highlands Hjalparfoss, Sigöldugljúfur, Mountain with snow, Hnausapollur or Bláhylur lake, Ljótipollur, Frostastaðavatn Lake, Landmannalauagar, Selfoss
was yet another busy day. At about 2 pm, we left the apartment and drove to our first stop, Hjalparfoss. The unique thing about this waterfall was that it was two waterfalls very close to each other. A thin slice of rock separated them. We then continued on our route. Some park rangers stopped while we were driving and gave us some tips on off-road driving and driving through large puddles. Before we left, they showed us a canyon on their map called Sigöldugljúfur. It was only accessible by a park ranger road, but they recommended that we make the walk to the canyon. After about ten minutes, we arrived at the canyon. In the distance, there were about six or seven waterfalls. This place was not listed on any of the Iceland trip guides we had read. And we were so glad we walked up to that canyon. After spending about half an hour there, we walked back to our car and continued driving. We then arrived at Hnausapollur or Bláhylur, a beautiful lake surrounded by two joined mountains. Hnausapollur is also called Bláhylur because of its beautiful turquoise blue color. We spent about fifteen minutes there. We then
drove to Ljótipollur, the same thing as Hnausapollur, only bigger and more colorful. After making the hour-long hike up the mountain, we admired the beauty of the neon blue water against the red and yellow sides of the mountains. On the other side of one of the mountains was a massive ring of mountains with many small rivers and streams flowing through it. After hiking down, we took a short walk to Frostastaðavatn, a large lake surrounded by mountains. We drove to Landmannalaugar, expecting to do some hiking, but we decided it was too late. At about 1 am, we had a soup & bread dinner and drove back to where we would be staying. The drive back to Selfoss was supposed to be three hours but for some reason, after leaving at 1:30, we arrived at 6 am. It didn’t affect me because I slept the whole way back. The next morning, I found out that my parents had parked the car on the roadside and took a nap as they were also tired. This is just one of the many examples of how safe Iceland is.
Day 3: South Iceland Departure from Selfoss, Seljalandsfoss, Sólheimjökull,
Skógafoss, Dyrhólaey, Reynisdrangrar view, Fjaðrárglijúfur, Kirkjubæjarklaustur
Day 3 was a good day. Before leaving Selfoss, I interviewed the owner of the apartment that we had rented. He told us about the simple life of Iceland, how homes are heated from geothermal energy and the impact of tourism on local lives and environment. When we did leave Selfoss, we went to Seljalandsfoss, a waterfall. By now, waterfalls were the same old same old for me, nothing different. In spite of this, my parents kept us interested by finding something unique in each of them and pointing it out to my brother and me. Then, we continued to the first glacier I had ever seen. Sólheimjökull was pretty impressive, but it could've been better without the clouds and rain. In fact, it started raining so hard that all of us had to run back to our car after about five minutes. Everyone was soaking wet. So, since you know I hate rain, you can imagine my mood. We continued toward the next destination through the storm. More waterfalls. Skógafoss was pretty, and we had a reason for going there. Skógafoss was where a song in a Bollywood movie had been shot.
Our next stop, Dyrhólaey, was a cliff with a lighthouse. Just like several other places the view was fantastic from here. There was also another cliff with a hole in it, making an arch. As the cold rain continued, I saw a black sand beach for the first time. We walked down the cliff to see some puffins and rocks. We saw puffins for the first time. This day was turning out to be a day of several firsts. We drove about half an hour alongside the beach to Reynisdrangar. There, we saw basalt sea stacks on a black sand beach. The stacks are just what you think. Tall hexagonal columns of grayish white stone. We picked up a couple of smooth rocks from the beach and drove to our stop for the night. On the way, we stopped at Fjaðrárglijúfur, a canyon. We explored the area, and since we all were sleepy by now, we decided to turn back and drive to our hotel in Kirkjubæjarklaustur. Instead of the regular hotel building, we stayed in small, two-person cute cottages. After a little unpacking, I settled in and was asleep by about 2 am.
Day 4: South and
South East Iceland Departure from Kirkjubæjarklaustur, Skaftafell, Fjallsarlson, Jökulsárlón, Höfn
Day 4 was a freezing and glacial day. By that I mean we saw a lot of glaciers. We left the hotel after a 9 am breakfast. Super early. I know, right? When we arrived at Skaftafell, we made lunch and then proceeded to walk to the glacier. After wasting an hour and a half, we left. We wasted the hour and a half because we were going to see the same thing at our next stop. On the way to Jökulsárlón, our next stop, we decided to stop at Fjallsárlón, another glacier. Once we arrived, we started to talk with Dísa, one of the sales associates there. In less than five minutes, she had us sold on a boat tour of the massive lake the glacier was sitting in. My family and I quickly started asking about her life in Iceland. When the time came for our boat tour, we met the wonderful Magni, who would take us on the boat tour. Immediately, he started talking about the glacier itself. Even on the boat tour, he was very informative and confident enough to voice his opinion
on climate change. When we finally arrived back on shore, I decided to interview both Dísa and Magni. This stop was the highlight of my day and one of my most favorite parts of my whole trip. Dísa was kind enough to give me her email, but for you, I have their main website, http://fjallsarlon.is/. We then continued to our intended destination. But first, a beach. While my brother took photos, my dad and I talked to the owner of a huge truck. Since I didn't record our conversation, I only have a picture of his truck. We started talking about the truck itself. Eventually, he invited us in, and we started talking about trips and our destinations for the rest of the trip. We learned that the man was on his sixth trip to Iceland with his wife. We also learned that his truck was a decommissioned armed transport of the Belgian army used in WWII. When we went to Jökulsárlón, and we started cooking dinner while my brother did his photography thing. After a hot soup dinner on a cold night, we climbed into our car and drove to our stay for the night in Höfn.
Day 5: South East and East Iceland Departure from Höfn, Vestrahorn Viking Village Film set, Stokksnes, Breiðdalsvík,, Stöðvarfjörður, Fáskrúðsfjörður, Lagarfjót, Hallormsstaðaskógur, Eglisstadir
Day 5 was a drive and look day, pure and simple. We drove to get a good view of the mountain. We made our way through the East Fjords of Iceland. The twists, turns, and views driving through the fjords were terrific. Our first stop of the day was a movie set. At the foothills of the Stokksnes, a bunch of mountains, there was a small Viking village. Or at least, that’s what we thought until someone told us that it was a movie set for a film that has yet to be released. We also admired the beauty of the mountains themselves. These mountains are rightfully called the Batman mountains. We drove through a bunch of small towns, stopping in each of them to take photos. We also stopped on a small black sand beach. We saw two lovely small fishing towns called Breiðdalsvík and Stöðvarfjörður and stopped at Fáskrúðsfjörður, another small town, to see the bird life of Iceland. We did not know the names of all the birds, but thanks to the internet
we were able to look up the common birds in East Iceland and match the pictures with what we were seeing. Just a few of the wide variety are the arctic skua, traditional looms, great skuas, geese, swans, and waders. We continued our journey and drove through Fáskrúðsfjarðargöng, a tunnel, which was about 5.9 kilometers long. We were in awe driving through the tunnel. For a country with a third of the population of Rhode Island, Iceland’s roads are fantastic, and it seems like the government keeps up with the maintenance in spite of the bad weather in winter. The part of Iceland where this is tunnel has less than a 5th of Iceland population. We saw lots of beautiful things that day, and the final stop was at a lake called Lagarfjót. We also drove through, Hallormsstaðaskógur, one of the few forests in Iceland. Hallormsstaðaskógur is the 1st national forest of Iceland. We arrived at our stop for the night at midnight in the beautiful town of Eglisstadir.
Day 6: East and North East Iceland Departure from Eglisstadir, Askja - Flat tire, Detifoss, Asbyrgi, Husavik, Grenjaðarstaður
We left our beautiful apartment in Eglisstadir
at about noon. The drive for day six was especially exciting for multiple reasons. First, we drove through two rivers. Second, we were in the middle of nowhere on a gravel pathway. Third, we got a flat tire. Yes, in the middle of nowhere we got a flat tire. Our original plan was to go to Askja, a lake surrounded by snow that's hard to reach. Well, that plan went out the window along with one of our tires. We got the flat tire at 4:30 pm and turned around at about 6:45. My mom reworked our itinerary to add a few destinations on our way back to the hotel. We ended up going to Detifoss (a waterfall) and Asbyrgi, a canyon you can drive through. The government of Iceland had a road built through it and made a path up one wall of the canyon. Asbyrgi has a horseshoe shape, and we marveled at the massive rock formations and honeycombed basalt rocks as we drove and walked on the canyon floor. There are interesting mythological and geological theories on how Asbygri could have formed. We then made the drive to Grenjaðarstaður, the town we would be staying. We made
one stop in Husavik, the Whale Capital of Iceland. The reason that today’s entry is so short is because of how little stuff we did on day six. Some advice, try not to get a nail stuck in your tire when driving through a river.
Day 7: North Iceland Myvatn, Hverir, Krafla Viti Crater, Nature bath mess up, Volcano Hverfjall crater, Grenjaðarstaður
After a very flat day six (heh), we continued towards the Lake Myvatn region. This day’s drive was different. On both sides of the road, purple flowers called Lupines covered the mountains and valleys. I have seen green or barren peaks and valleys, but this was the first time I saw purple ones. On the way, we stopped at a grocery store/information center for ice cream and information. In case you are wondering, we also got our flat tire fixed. After our little stop, we drove to a boiling pond. Yes, there was steam coming out of the clear blue water. After testing the temperature of water, we left to go to see Hverir. Hverir is a large geothermal field with a bunch of hot springs, boiling mud, and hissing chimneys. Now I understand why
people don’t like the smell of rotten eggs. The smell of rotten eggs is what this geothermal area smelled like due to strong stench of Sulphur. Our next stop was at the top of a hill overlooking a bunch of water cooling plants. We then drove to Krafla Viti, a volcano crater with a beautiful lake inside surrounded by colorful mountains. There was also a second small lake by the side of Viti. After walking about a quarter of the way, we took some photos and headed back to our car. We then went to the Krafla Geothermal Power Plant Visitor Center. We learned that the geothermal power plant brings heated water from the ground (via boreholes) and supplies to homes and other buildings. Before the water reaches the people, it is cooled because it is too hot to be distributed. We saw these water cooling facilities. After lunch, we headed for the Lake Myvatn nature baths. When we arrived, I realized that I had forgotten to pack our bathing suits in the morning before leaving our hotel. After that mess-up, we headed onwards for more sightseeing. We stopped at Hverfjall, a volcano crater. After talking the half kilometer walk
up, we walked around half the hole. We learned that this is one of the most prominent volcanic craters in the world. We left for our hotel at about 10:30 p.m. when it was still sunny outside. Our hotel was right at the Lake Vestmannsvatn. We sat out for a little while to enjoy the lovely view. The owner of the hotel has a farm, and he shared exciting details about farming and life in Iceland.
Day 8: North Iceland Turf houses, Myvatn Nature baths, Dimmuborgir Park, Skútustaðagígar, Ystafell transportation museum, Goðafoss, Grenjaðarstaður
Lesson learned from day 7, on day 8 I remembered to pack the bathing suits. Before going to the nature baths though, we saw some turf houses. They were pretty interesting. Since Iceland does not have proper forests, their only source of wood was driftwood before the modern era. With this, they would make small frames for houses. Stones were what made up the wall, but the roof was layers of grass. The people building the homes would put dirt on top and turf would grow there. Hence the name, turf houses. At the facility, we spent some time talking to
the guide. He told us about public schools, farming, and general life of Icelandic people. We then left for the nature baths. After paying, getting ready, and going in, I didn’t know what to think of the place. I was expecting more of swimming pool type of situation. I realized that this hot spring was not human-made. People had found this hole in the ground with hot water already in it. I decided to enjoy and relaxed in hot water. We spent around 2 hours there, after which, we left to do more exploring in the Lake Myvatn region. We made our way to Dimmuborgir, a volcano. On the way, we drove through a field of dried lava left after its eruption which created unique volcanic rock formations and caves. After exploring around for about half an hour, we drove to the Ystafell Transportation Museum. Along the way, we saw Skútustaðagígar pseudo craters. I love cars as much as I hate rain. So naturally, I enjoyed this stop very much. The vehicles in this museum were the “post-war era” cars, even though there were multiple jeeps, weapons carriers, and mini-tanks. My personal favorite, the Ford Thunderbird, was also there in
a glorious beige. I found out that this was the oldest car museum in Iceland, started WAY back in 2000. We then continued to Goðafoss, the god waterfall. The story behind the naming of this waterfall goes back to 1000 A.D. In that year, the leader of Iceland was forced to choose between the Norse religion or Christianity. When he decided to adopt Christianity, he dumped his statues of the Norse gods in this waterfall. Now the waterfall itself is not significant or godly. It looks nice. When we went, the sun was out, and it wasn’t cold. We got to fully appreciate the beautiful blue water mixing with the rainbow mist at the bottom of the waterfall. By the time we got back to our hotel, it was about 1 am. After one of my most favorite days on our trip, we slept.
Day 9: North Iceland Departure from Grenjaðarstaður, Akureyri, Múlagöng tunnel, Héðinsfjarðargöng tunnel, Siglufjörður, Trollaskagi, Peninsula, Hofsós, Blonduos
We didn’t do much on day 9. We made one major stop and drove to our destination for the night. The beautiful part of that day was the drive. First, we drove to Akureyri, the only other
major city in Iceland other than Reykjavík. We stopped at a local bakery and picked up some croissants and cinnamon rolls. We then drove to a mall to pick up some groceries. After that, we embarked on our two-hour drive to Blonduos, our stop for the night. We drove through Múlagöng, a single lane tunnel almost 3.5 kilometers long. We also drove through Héðinsfjarðargöng, Iceland’s longest tunnel, which was approximately 11 kilometers long. Somehow, we managed to turn a two-hour drive into 6 hours. We took SOOOO many stops. Besides making photo stops for my brother, we stopped at Siglufjörður, a small fishing town, and Hofsós, one of the oldest trading ports in northern Iceland dating back to the 16th century. We made several stops as we drove through Trollaskagi peninsula. This peninsula is rightly called the gem of North Iceland. The natural beauty of the snow-covered mountains peaks and fjords is utterly breath-taking. It seemed like every five minutes my brother was stepping out of the car to capture something beautiful. I didn’t mind. It was stunning. I think that most people focus on their tourist destinations when they go to Iceland. On our trip, I learned that the
journey is as good as the destination. You should enjoy the drive. Eventually, around 1 am, we arrived at our hotel. After a soup and sandwich dinner. I slept peacefully.
Day 10: North and North West Iceland Departure from Blonduos, Vatnsdalur, Borgarvirki, Hólmavik, Drangsnes, Hotel Bjarkalundur
On day 10, we had lots more scenic driving. First, we drove through Vatnsdalur, also known as the Lake valley. After some stunning views, we arrived at Borgarvirki. This two-thousand-year-old fort was remarkably impressive. This fortress provided beautiful views of the land for miles standing atop a mountain. Whoops! I mean kilometers around us. We then continued to the town of Hólmavik. Once there, we went to the Icelandic Sorcery and Witchcraft Museum. I think the museum was messed up and creepy. It talked about different things that “sorcerers and witches” used to do. It talked about those people being burned alive, maimed, or banished. I also found out how people would “raise the dead.” The weirdest part was where it explained that sorcerers would skin other men from the waist down and don their “skin pants” for some odd reason. Very creepy indeed. While there though, I met a retired
professor of psychology from the University of Iceland. Erlendur Haraldsson was a fascinating person. He told me about the books he had written. He talked mostly about supernatural things such as people seeing dead people and visions seen by terminally-ill patients. We then continued to our hotel in the town of Berfjarðarvatn. Since we arrived so early to our hotel (9:30 PM), after dinner, my brother and I watched Doctor Who. We then slept at a reasonable hour of 12 am.
Day 11: West Iceland Departure from Berfjarðarvatn, Dýrafjörður, Hrafnseyri, Dynjandi, Látrabjarg, Patreksfjördur
After leaving our stay for the night, we continued on our trip around the beautiful country of Iceland. Since we were in the West Fjords by now, we saw a lot them on our drive. Our first significant stop came after multiple hours of driving, and numerous photo stops. Dynjandi was a series of waterfalls coming from the same source. They were all in a line stretching down in steps. The series was named Dynjandi after the tallest one at 90 meters. After lunch, we hiked up the mountain to see all the falls. We then drove for about one more hour to
Látrabjarg, the westernmost point of Iceland. There we saw hundreds of birds. We had gone there because it was called the famous puffin watching point. We saw lots of puffins. There was so much wind that after about ten minutes, I went back to the warmth of the car. My brother and dad spent a long time there taking pictures. After many more scenic stops and photos, we finally arrived at our hotel in Patreksfjördur. The drive was incredible, something that started to feel normal. Purple (Lupine) and yellow flowers covered the valleys and mountains. When we got to the hotel, we had a unique experience, something that is probably possible only in Iceland. There was a bright full moon, and the sky was red with the hue of lovely sunset colors. The mountains were glowing in the shade, and bright moon was reflecting silver in the lake and fjord area below. After another midnight dinner, we slept.
Day 12: West Iceland Departure from Patreksfjördur, Stykkishólmur, Ólafsvik
On day 12, we woke up around 8 am for breakfast. After that, we started talking to one of the hotel staff about her life in Iceland. She had
moved from Switzerland, her original country, to peruse her studies in Iceland. We found out that she had moved to Patreksfjördur, just a week before we had arrived. She shared with us how the arrival of Costco in Reykjavik was hurting local businesses. They could not compete with the low prices that Costco could afford to sell their products for. After meeting someone new and an excellent breakfast, we continued on our way. On day 13, we didn’t have set stops. We did have a four-hour drive. It was a bright day and were able to see the peak of Snæfellsjökull, a glacier, throughout our journey. We stopped in Stykkishólmur and bought our only souvenirs from the Iceland trip, two 66˚ North winter hats. My parents continued to feed my brother’s addiction for orange, while I settled for my favorite blue. We would drive to our stay for the night. Along the way, we stopped a lot. More photos and stuff. You know the drill. After a long day of driving and seeing, we retired to our hotel in the town of Ólafsvik.
Day 13: West Iceland Departure from Ólafsvik, Snæfellsjökull National park, Skarðsvík, Saxhóll Crater, Djúpalón,
Vatnishellir Cave, Arnarstapi, Olkeda Mineral Spring, Rauðafeldsgjá, Reykjavík
Day 13 marked the last leg of our vacation. That day we would be staying in Reykjavík. After leaving our hotel in Ólafsvik, we continued towards Snæfellsjökull National Park. There isn’t exactly a visitor center at the park. You drive around and look at cool stuff. We saw a white sand beach, Skarðsvík, that the local Icelandic people love. In contrast to the white sand beach, we saw Djúpalón which had dramatic rock formations and black sand. On route to Djúpalón from Skarðsvík, we stopped at a crater called Saxhöll. We decided not to hike up the crater. We just took some pictures and moved on. We stayed in Arnstapi, which is a small town on the coast. Once there we saw many cool rock formations including an arch. We also saw lots of puffins. On the way to Reykjavík, we made two more stops. The first was the Olkeda Mineral Spring. It is just a pipe coming out of the ground on some farmer’s land. The water is “extremely good for you,” but it tastes like blood. So, for all you vampires, this is a must-see, or excuse me, drink.
Our last stop of the day was Rauðafeldsgjá, a stunning gorge. This one was different though. It was wedged between two high walls. In most places, it was about 6 feet across. Yes, that is very thin. To make things better, through those six feet is a stream. We walked/hopped through the flow about a hundred feet in. The farther we went in, the narrower it got. After walking through and climbing the dangerous slippery rocks, admiring the beauty and getting wet, we headed back and made our way to the last stay of our vacation. The realization was slowly dawning on us; all good things have to come to an end. Nonetheless, I was thankful that this amazing trip happened.
Day 14: West Into the glacier – Langjökull, Viðgelmir lava cave, Thingvellir National Park
On day 14, we participated in the only “tour” of our whole trip. Otherwise, we planned the entire trip ourselves. But that day, we signed up for what can be called a once-in-a-lifetime experience. We went inside a glacier. At about 8:30 am, a bus picked us up from outside our hotel and drove us to the Klaki Base Camp at Langjökull.
The name Langjökull means long glacier in Icelandic. That’s a fitting name considering the glacier is 55 kilometers long! At the base camp, we put on waterproof shoes and clothes and took a decommissioned missiles carrier up on to the glacier. Once there, we had a breathtaking view of the mountains and the desolate valley below us. We were there for something else. We eventually made our way into the tunnels leading inside the glacier. Once inside, we felt the chilling 0 degrees Celsius mixed with the falling droplets of water from the 40 meters of solid ice above us. As we walked through, we saw the blue ice and pools of water through the inside. We slowly made our way outside, and once there, we were blinded by the sun reflecting on the pure white snow. We then took the missiles carrier back down to the base camp. The tour continued, and our original tour bus took us to a rest area where we had lunch. After that, they drove us to Viðgelmir, a lava cave. Since they had already booked the cave tour, all we had to do was wait for the tour guide. We walked to the
site from the visitor center and led us down the human-made steps and passage. We enjoyed the beauties of stalagmites and stalactites inside the cave. We learned that a nearby volcano had erupted over two thousand years ago and its lava had flown through an already existing tunnel and then it melted down more rocks until it had made the tunnel we were standing in. At the end of the visitor area inside the cave, about 600 meters inside the tube, the tour guide told us to turn off our headlamps. Suddenly pitch black. Even after five minutes, our eyes couldn’t adjust. In this absolute darkness, you could wave your hand less than 6 inches away from your face, but you still wouldn’t see it. If you lived in that darkness for six months, you would go blind because of the lack of light. Eventually, we left, and the tour bus took us back Reykjavík. It dropped us off at about 7 pm. We had dinner at a Chinese noodle restaurant (the only time we ate a restaurant the whole trip) and walked back to our hotel. We picked up some stuff and then drove to Thingvellir National Park. There,
we saw the edge of the North American tectonic plate and the Eurasian plate, called the enormous Almannagjá fault, and the site of the first crude version of modern-day representative parliament After walking around for a while we headed back to our hotel. Then from about 9 pm to 1 am, we packed up. The next day, we would leave Iceland.
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