April 10th, 2017
We started our drive to the southeast side of Iceland today. Fjord/Mark took us to Reynisfjara, the Black Sand Beach, first. Reynisfjara is really cool. There are columnar basalt rock formations in the cliffs surrounding the beach, which are caused by the cooling of magma. Basically, they look like giant steps to heaven.
Mark was able to scurry up easily, and I went super high as well, as you can tell from my photo.
There are a few caves on the beach as well, which have the most stunning "ceilings". The formations within the caves look more sharp and dangerous than those on the sides of the cliffs, like they might fall and impale you at any minute. Probably not going to happen. The real danger lies in the water at the Black Sand Beach. "Sneaker Waves" have been known to pull people out to sea, so there are many warning signs.
We continued our drive to the southeast and got to see both the coast and the mountains of the area. The mountains here have a smoother top, looking less "rocky" than our Western Canada landscape. We also drove through the Hringvegur area, which has long expanses of flat black "beach" (created by volcanic rock/ash). A particularly interestin stop was at the base of the Svínafellsjökull glacier where a flash flood had knocked out an entire areas of the steel bridge that used to be there. The twisted remains of the washed out portion now sit among the black rock of the land.
Fjord, Mark & I continued along the edge of the glacier, eventually coming to Jökulsárlón. You may have seen Jökulsárlón in a James Bond or Laura Croft film. It's a gorgeous glacial lagoon, filled with floating iceburgs from the Breiðamerkurjökull Glacier.
As the glacier melts (sadly now at a much faster rate with global warming), chunks break off and float into the lagoon, and sometimes into the Atlantic Ocean through a small waterway. We were stunned again by how blue the water was, and the size of the icebergs.
Our guesthouse for the next two nights was just outside of Höfn, and our favourite so far. Modern & updated, it had a view of the coast from one side, and the mountains from the other.
Dinner was at "Humarhöfnin" where we gorged on more Langoustine. Man, was it good! Höfn is a beautiful little fishing town, and we spent a bit of time wandering the area by the harbour before heading back to our guesthouse for the night.
April 11th, 2017
April 11th, our lovely relaxing day. We slept in a bit, and eventually wandered back into Höfn. The visitor centre in the town had an exhibit on that went through the history of Höfn, and gave information on surrounding landmarks, flora, & fauna. We also went to the harbour to see a docked fishing boat and some sculptures that depicted the length of our solar system.
After lunch, we drove out to the Hoffel Hot Pools. Five (seemingly random) tubs sit at the base of the mountains with a tiny shack to change in nearby. There is also a black tube with a hand-written sign requesting 500 krona per person to use the tubs (honour system!). The 4 of the 5 tubs were full, and the temperature ranged from hot-hot-hot to bathtub-mild. We settled into the mild tub and enjoyed the beautiful views around us.
We had the most delicious pizza for dinner from Ishusid Pizzeria back in Höfn. They had only been open since 5 pm that day, so we were super impressed! The clouds had dissipated throughout the day, and after dinner we walked along the water to take in the sunset. The water was lit up and the mountains looked like a picture. A very beautiful end to a nice, chill day.
Oh and almost forgot! We got our souvenirs. Mark bought a sweater, and I got socks & wool to make socks. We are exciting people.
- Amy & Mark