The Oculus Blog

Iceland Day 3

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So much for updating on the road, huh? I'm sitting back in my room in New Jersey, looking at pictures from the days I haven't written about yet. It hasn't even been a day, but I'm reminiscing about sitting high in the mountains overlooking the fjord in Seydisfjordur, grabbing a hot cappuccino at Blàa Kannan in Akureyri and shouting "sheep," every time we saw one. I miss Iceland already, with it's homely atmosphere, good food and incredibly nice people. Anyway, while I wallow away in my longing to go back, follow the rest of Ms. Chan and I's trip through pictures. image

At the end of day 2, we were sleeping in our car, next to a waterfall. Day 3 starts with us waking up early to be one of the first few that morning to walk up to see the waterfall. Here's Ms. Chan at the base of Skógafoss.

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I miss seeing sheep littering the landscape. They're so cute!

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There were a lot of campers when we got there late at night. We didn't have a tent. but a lot of people slept in their cars, like we did.

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You can climb a pretty steep cliff to the right of the falls to go to the top. At the top, if you look past the falls, you can see the base of the volcano Eyjafjallajokull in the distance.

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Afterwards, not too far away is a plane crash site, Sólheimasandur. It was a bit of an adventure to get there, since we had to get our 2x4 off the road and drive a few miles out on the black sands beach. We had to be careful so as to not scratch up the rental car. It's definitely worth it. Though people on board this plane survived the crash, you can't help feel as though the plane is haunted. The heavy wind continues to make the scraps of metal, hanging from the husk of the plane, sing for those travelers that drive out seeking it.

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And not too far from the crash site, fortunately, is Dyrhólaey. It's a small peninsula that is the home of a lot, and I mean a lot, of puffins, which if I haven't already mentioned, is delicious.

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We were running low of snacks at this point and it was getting close to lunch. We were going to be passing through a small town so we decided to find a place to eat. Vik, which means bay (Reykjavik = smokey bay), is a beautiful little town on the southern coast of Iceland. I wish we had more time to explore it, but we only had time to stop at a bed and breakfast for food, and fill up on gas.

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We stopped at this spot alongside the Ring Road to walk around and climb these porous rocks.

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Our next destination, which was about an hour or two away from Vik, was Fjaðrárgljúfur. It was a really beautiful canyon, and instead of going to recommended path above the canyon, we decided to go through it. We didn't go too far, since we would have been in knee-high water, but we settled at a cozy spot and skipped stones across the not-so-calm- river.

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This was the grassy area surrounding the entrance of the canyon.

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We had passed a restaurant on the way to the canyon, so we decided to stop at it when we were heading out. All the food was locally-grown at the nearby farm. It was super delicious!

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Next stop: Skaftafell at the Vatnajokull National Park. Above is a piece of bridge, left as a monument to when the old bridge was swept away after a volcanic eruption.

Unfortunately, when we got to Skaftafell, the glacier tours were over and there was only a hiking trail to do. We decided to go take a closer look at some of the glaciers. You need a guide and the right gear to actually go walk on them.

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We hurried towards Jökulsárlón, a glacier lake about an hour away. Below is the only seal we saw on the trip!

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Jökulsárlón is much colder than other areas, but it's really beautiful. The lake is littered with slow-moving icebergs, with snow-capped mountains in the background. We did a tour on an amphibian vehicle and got to move around the lake and even take a 1000-year old piece of ice for ourselves. The bluer the iceberg, the more recently it surfaced from underwater. The black streaks are dirt flowing through the wind from great or small distances.

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Ridiculously photogenic tour assistant.

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And so ended our night. Well, not exactly. Our next destination was Seydisfjordur, but that was about 5 hours away. We ate at a restaurant on the way (I had langoustine pizza, which was great) and the owner helped us find lodging at a hostel in Hofn, 30 minutes away. By the way, if you're ever in Iceland and need to know if you can find lodging in the area, just ask store owners. Apparently most of them know the numbers for nearby hostels and hotels and can find out if they have available rooms for you, which is pretty neat.