27 June, 2017

From waterfalls to icebergs

This is going to be another double post as the days have been getting away from me.  So on our first day out of Reykjavik we headed east, towards the golden circle.  We had several sights in mind and managed to hit them all!  Be prepared... lots of waterfalls ahead!

First stop was an area called Pingvellir. This area was known for the Allthing... (I'm keeping everything in English) and was the seat of Iceland's parliament from the 10th century.  It also happens to be the place where two tectonic plates came together to form Iceland.  They've created this amazing Rift Valley.

One of the big things here in Iceland is the belief in Elves and trolls.  They're everywhere here.  I've always seen faces in things, but here, once you start to look.  You can't stop.  Do you see the face in the rocks above? 

After a hike along the rift, we came to our first waterfall, Oxararfoss.  Nice way to start out the road trip!

Just playing around with a little water blur.  Enjoy!

Next stop on the tour was a geothermal area with Geysers.  Pretty impressive.  We were able to see it go off more than once so it was nice to get different angles.

The biggie came next.  Gulfoss.  This waterfall is massive... it's in a crevasse so that when you first walk up to it, you only see the very top.  Once you get down there, you're soaked with mist and enjoying every moment.  I've seen a lot of impressive sights in my life, but I have to say, this trip has been just one after another.

Off down the road we went after that.  Lucky for us, we had planned well and our clothes and jackets dried quickly.   Next we headed down the road to a little waterfall a fellow traveler had told us about.  (Yes I talked to strangers) He wasn't wrong at all. 

Behold, Bruarfoss

We might have had to crawl under some barbed wire and hike through a field and cross a closed bridge to get there, but it was so worth it. Yes, the water really is that color blue.  In general, the water here is the most amazing colors.  Every shade of blue possible.

And some random streams.

As we headed to our next hotel, in the middle of nowhere, we happened to see another giant waterfall from the road.  On a whim we pulled off to explore.  Best decision of the whole trip.  This was a series of waterfalls.  First was the biggest, Seljalandsfoss. 

So the really cool thing is you can go behind this waterfall into a little shallow cave.  We decided to walk down to the other waterfalls first.

Hobbit hole thrown in for good measure. And skulls in the rocks too.  I warned you about faces.

Last in the row came the most Goonies moment of my life.  Through a crevasse in the rock, we could hear and see, Gljúfrabúi Waterfall.

And what did we do?  Why follow the other tourists into the cave of course.  Stepping from stone to stone above the fridged water, we entered into one of the best things I've ever seen.  And that's after I was blown away by being on a glacier.


Maybe I've seen Moana one too many times, but I see the one eyed goddess of the waterfall looking down on me. And she was beautiful.  We were once again soaked, but it was amazing.  Though pretty soon I had to put my camera away before it was soaked.

I realized as we headed back to climb behind the first waterfall, that I shouldn't go.  My glasses were obscured and the ways were slippery. So sadly I didn't go behind the first waterfall, but seeing the one inside the cave was again, one of the best things I've ever done.

As we hit the road again, we couldn't quite be done with the day without stopping at one more waterfall.  Hey I warned you ahead of time. I pretty much think Iceland is made of waterfalls and black sand, held together by glaciers.

This one is Skógafoss.

And that was the last one for the day.  We found our hotel... Foss Hotel after that.  If you haven't figured it out yet, foss = waterfall.  :-)

So the next morning we had a glacier lagoon tour booked.  This once again was something I didn't expect.  It's a lagoon created by a glacier as it recedes from the ocean.  But it leaves behind icebergs.  Big ones, little ones... they all just float in the lagoon.  And apparently they're constantly rotating as the exposed surface changes, they flip over.  And yes, we were lucky enough to see a big one flip.  That plus the weather so far makes us VERY lucky indeed.

Right off the bat, when we arrived, we see two people run down to jump in the lagoon in swimsuits.  Trust me, they didn't stay in there for long.

We wandered around a little bit, but then jumped on a boat with wheels for our lagoon tour.  Pretty awesome to see some of the icebergs up close.

So this next iceberg is the one we saw flip.  We weren't close enough to get photos of it happening (we might have been drinking spiked hot chocolate) but we did see.  It was stunning to see how such a giant thing moved so rapidly and then settled.

After our cruise we went back across the highway to get to the beach.  This was our first black sand beach and it was littered with icebergs!

We decided that one look at the glacier and the icebergs wasn't enough so we stopped at one more, smaller lagoon. I'm kind of obsessed with these glaciers now.  

So we thought we were done for the day but as we headed back to our hotel again, we saw one more waterfall.  And we just couldn't resist.  So we climbed into a field and up half a mini mountain to get this nameless waterfall.  Since #TravelingDean took a photo there, we decided to call it, Deanfoss.  

Yep... that's our car waaaaaay down there.  Tonight I'll leave you with a few of the strange landscapes we've run across.  Every few miles it's like a new alien land.  But they're all so beautiful.  

I'm going to see if I can make it through one more post today, so you might get a triple dose of our trip.  Either way, safe travels!

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