Monday, September 13, 2010

Day Five - Hella to Vík

Our first stop this morning was Keldur -- an old farm with turf-roofed buildings and a sweet little church. We had to walk up a little lane and over a bridge to get there and it was so lovely. The weather was beautiful and everything is so green and lush. It is so fun starting the road trip and really getting a feel for what Iceland is. The landscape here is incredible and it changes to something completely different every 5 minutes! It's impossible to get bored.

After we left Keldur, the plan was to go see the Þórsmörk area, which is supposed to be one of the most beautiful areas of Iceland. To drive there, a 4x4 is required for the rough roads and river crossings. Once we got to the first river crossing it looked too foreboding to attempt crossing. There were some other people stopped at the edge of the river who decided not to do it either. We all ended up turning back, deciding it wasn't worth the risk to get stuck.

Just a bit down the Ring Road is the beautiful Seljalandsfoss waterfall. There is a trail that goes behind the falls which was fun to walk.

We got to Skógar just as it started to rain so we spent an hour or so in the folk museum to wait it out. We even got a private tour from the elderly man (he told us he can't remember how old he is now) who started the museum back in the 1970s. He was such a sweet man and it was really interesting to listen to him tell us about some of the objects he'd collected. Luckily the rain passed so we could take photos at Skógafoss.

We managed to find the small, unmarked trail through black lava rocks to the plane wreckage out in the middle of Sólheimasandur. The plane ran out of gas in 1970 and has been sitting out there ever since. It was a crazy thing to see – a huge airplane just out there in the middle of black nothingness with nothing around for mile and miles. Very surreal and awesome.

We then continued on to Vik with a stop at Dyrhólaey to see the lighthouse and the view from the cliff there. It was incredible! One of the most amazing sites we’ve ever seen. It was also freezing and windy but watching the sun set over the Atlantic from a cliff was incredible.

Our hotel for the night was Hotel Höfðabrekka where we also ate dinner. I had the lamb dish (the lamb was raised there by the hotel owner), which was good but sheep-y. :)

Also, the hot water there was very sulphur-y smelling because it was sourced from a natural hot spring below the hotel. The smell doesn’t stick to you, but it is definitely an eye-watering experience. However, the cold water here is incredible. We can just fill up our water bottles with the cold tap water and it’s better than any purchased bottled we’ve ever had! Can’t get enough.

The famous Icelandic horse.


4x4s only!

Deciding whether or not to attempt the crossing of one of three rivers to get to Þórsmörk.

These signs are supposed to help?

Abandoned farm buildings.

View from behind Seljalandsfoss.


Us at Skógafoss.

William loves Skógafoss.

View from the top of Skógafoss.

Abandoned plane.

View of beach at Dyrhólaey.

Black sand beach at Dyrhólaey.

Dyrhólaey itself.

A long way down...

Lighthouse as Dyrhólaey. I am apparently a leprechaun.

William at Dyrhólaey.

1 comment:

Morgan Jane said...

These pictures are so amazing! Iceland is now #1 on the list of places to travel. Your trip has sounded wonderful! And I love those homes...they were so Hobbit-like! Hope the rest of your trip is just as great as it has been thus far.