ICELAND

Posted on August 21, 2008

3


Hey everyone I’m in Sweden right now and I just got a good internet connection so I thought I’d share the 3 days I spent in Iceland with you. I arrived in Iceland after an overnight flight from Minneapolis, getting me there at 6:30AM. From there I took a bus from the airport to the main bus station in Rekjavik, and immediately got on a bus to visit Skaftafell National Park and several stops along the way. The first stop was at Seljalandfoss, one very tall waterfall.

Seljalandfoss

Seljalandfoss

Seljalandfoss

After a nice 15 minute stop here, the bus continued to the town of Skogar, where we were greeted with a view of Skógafoss, one of the largest falls in Iceland.

Skogar

Skógafoss

Skógafoss

Skógafoss

The third major stop of the trip was the southern-most town in Iceland, know as Vik, which featured my favorite part of Iceland, a beautiful black sand beach.

Vik

Vik

Vik

After a nice long walk around Vik and the beach the bus ride continued to our final destination of Skaftafell National Park, which is at the southern end of the Vatnajökull glacier, the largest glacier in Iceland. I was able to walk up to the tip of the glacier, but there was a quicksand-like barrier preventing me from getting to the actual snow areas. The immense amount of snow and ice was still very nice to look at.

Vatnajökull glacier

Vatnajökull glacier

Vatnajökull glacier

With the extended days of the far north available for my use, I was able to go on a second hike in Skaftafell after the glacier to see some waterfalls, including Svartifoss (black falls) which, although small, was definitely my favorite waterfall in Iceland.

Hundafoss (Dog Falls)

Magnúsarfoss

Svartifoss

Svartifoss

From the overlook of Svartifoss, I was also able to see Hvannadalshnúkur, the tallest point in Iceland, and what appears to be a fun climb.

Hvannadalshnúkur

So, after about 30 hours of continuous traveling by car, plane, bus, and foot, I decided to call it a night. I need to say thanks to the french guy who let me borrow some gas to heat my noodles. If you go camping in Iceland, you should know that almost everyone camping there is French or German, so the more French or German you can speak the better. The next morning I was up at 8:00 to catch the same bus back to Rekjavik.

Rekjavik

Rekjavik means “Smoky Bay” in Icelandic, and although it is the capitol city, I felt like it was a small city trying hard to be a bigger city than it really was. Granted, however, I was only there for one night. Once again I need to say thank you to the French woman who covered my bus fare to the campsite. French speaking skills come in handy when traveling Europe! After setting up camp at the hostel’s campsite, I spent the evening in Old Town, drinking the pretty watered-down lagers brewed in Iceland (definitely nothing to right home about. If you want to know, Viking is about as good as Budweiser, and Thule is pretty soapy-tasting). Here are picture of my campsite, as well as the bay by the city.

Campsite

View from campsite

Bay in Rekjavik

Bay in Rekjavik

Blue Lagoon

The next day I took a morning walk in Laugardalur Park through the Botanical Gardens, and then took a bus to the famous Blue Lagoon. The night before, the pump from the geothermal plant where the water comes from shut off, so the Lagoon was actually cold (89 degrees F) except for the spots where the pumps had turned back on. This meant that there was a lot of people at two spots in the pool and a lot of people in the steam baths. Admission was free though, so it all worked out fine.

Blue Lagoon

Hot Spot

Me after a good soak

After the Lagoon I went to the airport for an uncomfortable night on a bench and an early morning flight to Stockholm. If you would like to read about my brief journey to Stockholm, CLICK HERE

I’m going to go outside to enjoy some Karlstad sun right now, so I hope you enjoyed this post and please check back soon for the next one!

Advertisements
Posted in: Backpacking, Iceland