Thursday, August 11, 2022

Around Iceland - Days 5 & 6

Around Iceland - Days 1 & 2

Around Iceland - Days 3 & 4

Around Iceland - Days 7, 8, & 9

We were supposed to begin day 5 on a whale watching tour out of the northern coastal town of Husavik but it was unfortunately cancelled due to bad weather. It was very windy straight out of the north and there were 6 meter waves out there. We were disappointed but it would have been a very rough boat ride and probably not any whale sightings (and probably would have gotten very seasick!). So we continued on the rest of our itinerary.

Studlagil Canyon

Interesting and very unique natural stone columns

It's an approx 4 mile roundtrip hike to Studlagil if you drive all the way in on the 4x4 road. Otherwise, it's 6 miles roundtrip. This waterfall is along the hiking trail. Note the tall basalt columns on both sides.

Dettifoss Waterfall - called the most powerful waterfall in all of Europe, based on cubic feet per second of water that goes over the falls. It was very mesmerizing and a force of amazing power. The dirt road you take to get to the east side of the falls (the better view side vs the west side which a paved road takes you to) takes about 25-30 minutes or so one way and has some head rattling washboard ruts on sections of the road. But it was worth it. The west side view seems to get obstructed by all the mist.

the coastline in eastern Iceland

We stayed at the Hildibrand Hotel in the little waterfront town of Neskaupstadur. The drive into Neskaupstadur was gorgeous with mountainous views and big peaks throughout...and a very long impressive tunnel through a mountain. Jake and I went out for a beer at this cool little spot just down the street...Beitusk├║rinn Bait Shack Bar & Grill. We had already eaten but it looked like they had really good pizzas. They had a really cool laid back upstairs lounge area...felt like someone's living room. 

We began Day 6 at Stokksnes - a headland adjacent to a black sand beach. Gorgeous area. 

There were some nice waves here.

Vestrahorn mountain at Stokksnes

an old Viking village replica at the base of Vestrahorn Mountain

Jokulsarlon (iceberg lagoon)

Fjallsarlon Glacier behind Jokulsarlon

There were a lot of seals swimming around the icebergs.

The icebergs were so mesmerizing. I could have sat there and watched them all day.

Diamond Beach, adjacent to Jokulsarlon, and connected to it by a narrow inlet. The tidal current here was very strong and moving the icebergs with the tide. When the tide is outgoing, it carries big icebergs from the lagoon, through the inlet, and out into the ocean where they pile up on the black sand beach.

This iceberg had just rolled over, note the wave coming from it, and the darker blue color of the formerly underneath side of the iceberg. We saw a couple of icebergs roll over and create big waves. 

Fjallsarlon Glacier behind Jokulsarlon - a giant glacier with beautiful texture.

A lot of birds in the area too.

The small ice chunks on the black sand beach look like diamonds, hence the name of the beach, Diamond Beach.

This was definitely one the highlights of the trip for me.

Waves crashing over the icebergs on the beach.

Skalafell Guesthouse, a farmhouse style inn where we stayed that evening. Very nice place and beautiful views, along with a hiking trail from the property. 

A shaggy multi colored sheep

There was so much of this all over Iceland - shallow glacial and rain runoff rivers everywhere with the silty milky color.

An old style cable pulley system to transport supplies across the river. 

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