Iceland is for Lovers

Day 1: We got our rental car from the airport, then got groceries and had Taco Bell for lunch. We drove 4.5 hours to the glacier lagoon, a huge lake with floating glaciers big and small parading through it.

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We hiked around for two hours and then found a spot to camp for the night.

Day 2: We woke up early today because we were a bit cold and uncomfortable in the back of the car. We got up and drove to the Svartifoss nature area and hiked to see basalt formations and some waterfalls.

IMG_6663  We left there and headed to the Fjadrárgljúfur gorge. It was so beautiful to see.  IMG_6707 IMG_6716

Next we pulled off at a stop we saw on the road. It happened to be the best part of our day and one of the best hikes I’ve ever done, the Hjörleifshöfdi mountain. IMG_6852 IMG_6855 IMG_6743 IMG_6747 IMG_6769We were the only people there except for one other couple. We saw the burial of the 2nd inhabitant of Iceland and some other truly stunning views.IMG_6752

It was only a 3km hike. We made some food at the bottom of the mountain and camped out there for the night. It happened to be one of our best sleeping locations as well.

Day 3: we woke up around 8:30 and got ready for the day. We left our camping site and headed to the town of Vik to get some coffee. While in Vik, we found the entrance to to black sand beaches so we went there and enjoyed seeing the waves crashing. IMG_6875The sand was so fine and very black. After we made our way to the Reynisfjall sea cliffs. IMG_6880There was a very windy steep hill that we tried to drive up but decided to give up half way and walk the rest. When we got to the top it was so windy I had to sit down a few times because I was afraid to be standing. We couldn’t do the whole hike but we still got some great views of the black sand beach from above.

IMG_6938 IMG_6925 IMG_6917 IMG_6905 IMG_6902Next we headed to Reynisfjara and saw the sea cave and walked along he beach for a bit. IMG_6985Next stop was Halsanefshellir a huge archway cut out of rock in the sea, and a bird estuary.

Afterwards, we drove to the Skogafoss waterfall and found that there was a nice long hike there. We hiked for two and a half Km and then turned around. IMG_6997 IMG_7022We stopped in a town and looked around a shop with locally made things. I couldn’t believe how expensive the famous Icelandic sweaters are 🙂 We drove to our next stop looking for a place to camp for the night. We are clearly getting more intl civilization because it was harder to find a spot to camp! In the middle of the night we saw the aurora borealis.

Day 4: We woke up next to the side of the road where we were parked and got ready for the day. Our first stop of the day was Gullfoss, the golden waterfall. IMG_7037 IMG_7052 IMG_7060It is more powerful than Niagara falls. Next we went to geyser and saw one erupt a few times and it was amazing.IMG_7078 IMG_7102 There were lots of hot springs in the area too that you cold wander around and see. Next we headed to Selfoss and picked up a few things we needed and checked out a second hand store and a handmade craft store. Lastly, we headed to Thinglever National Park and saw tectonic plates that Are above ground. IMG_7138 IMG_7141

Day 5:

We woke up and headed into Reykjavik. We checked out possibly taking a tour, but instead decided on a plan based on what the tour bus would have taken us to. We walked around the city for a bit and saw lots of really trendy shops and restaurants. We also saw the tallest building in the city which is an interesting looking modern church. IMG_7151After exploring, we left and went up north of the island, a place we had yet to explore on our trip. To get there we had to go through a really long underwater time that cost about 7 dollars U.S. Our first stop was Deildartunguhver hot springs which are the most powerful hot springs in Europe and they are used to heat many houses. It was hot near them.IMG_7157

And there was a lot of steam being given off, but they were actually pretty small and not that impressive. Our next stop were the Hraunfossar waterfalls. IMG_7170 IMG_7176 IMG_7185 IMG_7196This is a series of many waterfalls that are actually falling over lava rocks. It was beautiful and less crowded than the other waterfalls we have seen on our trip. Our last stop of the day was one of my favorite parts of the entire trip. We saw the Langjökull glacier. We had to drive down a crazy ‘road’ that seemed like we were driving on the moon. IMG_7210When we got almost all the way to the glacier we had to get out and walk because the road was way too bumpy. We walked right up to he glacier and touched it!! It was amazing and invigorating.IMG_7220 IMG_7227 If I ever come back to Iceland, I would definitely like to take one of the glacier tours they do with hiking, snowmobiling, or even going inside the glacier. Afterwards, the day was getting older so we headed back to Reykjavik for the night. We stayed at a camp sight directly inside the capital city. It’s the first time we paid for camping, and let me tell you, it is quite an experience. There are kitchenettes that look like a science lab from high school and there are people everywhere! There is a lounge with tons of people, some outdoor eating areas, nice bathrooms, and tons of people camping here. It is like nothing I’ve ever seen before and it costs about 12$ per person per night.

Clearly, our experience in Iceland is something I will remember forever.  The scenery was stunning, and constantly changing everywhere you looked.  Each stop had something unique, awesome hikes abounded, and the place is so natural and untouched by humans.  Now, I’m back in Prague, and looking back through all my pictures of the last month of adventures.  I will treasure them (the pictures and adventures) forever.

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