Roadtrippin’ – Day 1 – South Iceland

Keeping our bodies filled with  good ol’ American food, we stopped at a gas station and bought some Subway for breakfast and started our 2 Day road trip across South Iceland. I had originally thought our previous day of seeing Icelandic horses was all luck but it turned out they were EVERYWHERE. As we drove down the 1, every time we would look up we were driving past wild horses frolicking in fields and eating. Not only were there horses everywhere we looked, but there were huge walls of rock on our left side with waterfall after waterfall cascading down them.

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Drive-by shot of one of many random waterfalls

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Skogafoss

DC 3 Plane – Sólheimasandur

With all the beautiful scenery, our hour drive was over before we knew it and we were at our first stop: A crashed US Navy Plane on a black sand beach. The plane crashed there in the early 1970’s and thankfully there were no casualties and for reason unbeknownst to us, the plane was never removed from the beach and is now a tourist site.

As we set off to the plane, we had no idea how far of a walk it was. The path to the plane was covered with only black gravel & sand and was completely flat and seemed to never end. DSCF0844

Being able to see the plane and go inside what remained of it, and even climb on it, was super cool but we were all surprised about how small it was.

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As we were taking these last few photos, we saw something on the horizon that signaled to us it was time to leave. It was a rush of color coming towards us from the top of the hill where the pathway ended. It turned out to be a huge group of Asian tourists in bright colored jackets rushing to get their own photos of the abandoned plane. I shit you not, it looked like the scene from Game of Thrones when the White Walkers march on the Wall.

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If the walk to the plane seemed long, the walk back seemed like forever. The walk ended up being 5 miles round trip, but with good company and incredible scenery, we couldn’t complain too much. DSCF0871

Check out a video below of what walking the never ending path was like. ∇∇∇

 

The next 2 hours was filled with driving even more of the incredible Icelandic country, and we did it all with a view of even more waterfalls and this time, even some glaciers.

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Glacier
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More Glacier
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That too is a Glacier

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We pulled off the road and went to check out our first glacier lagoon of the day. This one didn’t seem to be so well known as the other spots we had seen thus far and the amount of people and traffic reflected that. Not only were we lucky enough to not have to deal with droves of other tourists, we were graced with blue skies enabling us to get great photos that really captured the Icelandic landscape.

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The path way we were on ended at a viewing area of the glacier lagoon, but we opted to take the road less travelled and hiked down from the viewing area to the lagoon itself. Once at the lagoon, we got a direct view of not only the numerous ice formations, but of the immense glacier that fed the lagoon all its beauty.

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We kept on our hike and made our way around the border of the lagoon all while taking in the sunlight, which is a scarce commodity in Iceland.

Check out the video below to see what it was like hiking around the glacier lagoon ∇∇∇

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The above slideshow of photos was probably the funnest part of this hike. We set up my small tripod and put on a 10 second timer and posed for the camera in front of the beautiful scenery, all the while acting like fools and talking shit to each other.

 

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This was our baby that got us all around Iceland without killing us. Leave the “almost killing us” to Suriel.

Going to Grad school in Iceland, Anthony had some local knowledge to share with us. He told us of another, albeit smaller, glacier lagoon a short drive away so we said “why not”and were on a way to see some more ice floating in water.

We got there quick and got out of the car where we were quickly met with insane wind (which rivaled the wind on top of Gulfoss). We scrambled up a huge hill, fighting against the wind, and were met with a lake/lagoon, but no glaciers. It seems that in the 4 months since Anthony was here the first time, all the glacial ice had completely melted. Thanks Climate Change.

But again, Iceland left us with something we didn’t plan for yet it was still something we could have never imagined and the view it afforded us was breathtaking.

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Suriel using just the wind to hold him up

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Jökulsárlón

The convenient location of all these lagoons had us at the next one in 20 minutes. This was the most famous Glacier Lagoon of them all and is a must see for most tourists to Iceland. Unlike the previous lagoon, this one was filled with glaciers of all shapes and sizes as well as pieces of ice riddled along the beach.

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You know we had to have Anthony break out the Ice Blue Foamposites

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Check out more photos of the different ice formations below by clicking each one ∇∇∇

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We had one hour of driving left until we would reach the most Eastern point of our trip in Iceland. We ended up in Hofn, a small fisherman town in the South East of Iceland. At the very end of the town where it met the ocean was the sculpture we came to see; a memorial to fishermen that lost their lives at sea. It was very unique sculpture, and was very important to Anthony, so I am glad we pushed through and made it to another part of Iceland and checked it off our list.

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Small piece of art that seemed to be representative of the sun

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Our final journey of the day would be the hardest, for me at least as it was my turn to drive. We had driven 280 miles that day so to say we were tired would be an understatement. To get to our Air Bnb in Vik, we would have to drive back another 169 miles. We had a long night ahead of us so we stopped to claim our free coffee (a perk of our car rental) and grab some burgers to get us ready for the long drive back.

It was supposed to take about 3 hours but due to the rain and mist, it took us about 4 and a half. It seemed that every time we would look at the GPS, our ETA became later and later. At this point in the drive, it was just Anthony keeping me awake with our good conversation, and as per usual, Suriel was asleep in the back.

I hoped the rain and mist would pass eventually, but that never happened. There was no sort of street lights, only reflectors on the side of the curvy roads; Many of those reflectors were knocked down making the drive that much harder. Not only were the roads small, making it a tight squeeze every time a car would pass us, but when it was a larger vehicle it would spray our car with mist, completely covering the windshield and blinding me for a few seconds. A few seconds may not sound like a lot but when I could barely see in general due to the weather, this was no help.

The last 10 minutes were the hardest – the fog rolled through as we drove down the curvy mountain road and at its best, I could only see 10 feet in front of me. Anthony and I even woke up Suriel to help us see what was in front of us so we wouldn’t drive off the side of the mountain road.

But after the sketchiest drive of my life, we had made it to Vik and to our little apartment for the night.

At this point we were delusional and wouldn’t stop talking shit to each other for hours, but we eventually finally put our shame away and cuddled up to each other in our bed and fell asleep.

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When we shared a bed and I set up the tripod so we could capture it all
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