Saturday, December 3, 2016

Iceland 2016 Part I: Some familiar waterfalls, Dyrholaey, Vik, Fjadrargljufur Canyon, & Systrastapi

I told you we'd be back! We honestly didn't think we'd be back so soon, but our drive to come back to Iceland just a year after we left it was stronger than going to a new country at this point. We planned an 8 day trip taking us around the entire country, and then some. We were able to skip a lot of the southeast since we spent 7 days focused on that area last year.

We arrived around 7am and were on the road by 8:15. The landscape was just how we remembered it... like the world had just ended! We stopped in a familiar bakery from last year and got some breakfast and waters for the road. Jon was able to get about 6 hours of sleep on the plane (due to an extra 1.5 hours of sitting on the runway before takeoff), but I barely slept the night before. He took to the road while I slept for a little bit on the drive to Seljalandsfoss. Just a couple of hours later we were at a familiar site... Seljalandsfoss waterfall:

Jon gearing up for some nice shots

We also walked up the walkway a bit and peeked into Gljufrabui waterfall. Last time I didn't go all the way in, but this time I did and I'm so glad I took the opportunity this time! The water was cold!

Next we drove up, up, up, and around in the hope of being able to see Seljalandsfoss from a high angle. We had read about being able to do this, and although we're pretty sure we were driving in the right area, we didn't see what we had intended to see. Nevertheless, we saw some great views and it gave me a chance to practice my bathroom skills next to the car :)

Random waterfall 

We then drove to Skogafoss waterfall just a little bit down the road. We didn't spend too much time here since we spent so much time here last year and we wanted to keep driving, but we were reminded of the sheer beauty of some of these places.

We then drove about 30 minutes to Vik where we spent a few nights last year. We didn't get to see Dyrholaey and the views of the black sand beach last time so that was on our agenda. The views of this empty black sand beach with the Arctic waters crashing on them was a gorgeous sight. We spent some time here just taking in the views and relaxing. We then drove to the town of Vik for a much needed meal.

Fully fed and reenergized we drove to Fjadrargljufur Canyon. This canyon is located right off the main road and is about 100 meters deep and about two kilometers long. We were able to hike a little bit up the canyon and along the small river, and although it was rather cloudy and a little drizzly, we were able to enjoy the spectacular views of the canyon.

18 weeks!

An hour later put us near our cabin for the night. We first stopped at a beautiful waterfall that isn't on too many people's agenda - Systrastapi. There was no one in sight for this waterfall, and while it may not be as big as others it was pretty cool to see. If you happen to be passing by then it is right off the main road and I suggest making the quick stop.

By this time it was about 5:30 and we were so tired from the day and ready to check into our cabin. The drive took about 15 minutes from the waterfall and the cabin was located in the middle of a large lava field. Very beautiful and very serene! We relaxed and tried to keep our eyes open until dinner, and then crashed at around 8:30 for a full night's sleep. It was a tiring and long day, but we were so excited to be back!

The tiny little bridge that barely fit our car!

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