Adventures in Iceland: Part I

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Taking advantage of super cheap airfare on (the now defunct) WOW air and a long holiday weekend, we spent a few days this past October in beautiful Iceland! A quick six hour jaunt from JFK, and we landed in Reykjavik, grabbed our rental car, and hit the road.

Driving down the south coast of Iceland, the landscape is incredibly striking. There are plenty of places to pull off the famed Ring Road to snap photos. Our first night would be spent in the town of Vik, so essentially we were road tripping and stopping at various sites along the way.

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First up was the Seljalandsfoss waterfall. You will see the word “foss” a lot in Iceland as it means waterfall.

Aside from being a natural wonder, what makes Seljalandsfoss unique is that the hiking trail wraps around the back of the waterfall. So yes, (should out to my Jungle Cruise fans)…you can see the backside of water!

As we ventured farther from Reykjavik, the terrain started to change. Occasionally, we would pass a small town.

Next stop on the south coast tour, the Skogafoss waterfall (seeing a pattern here?). The amazing thing about Iceland is that each stop and each site seemed to top the one before. You could get really close to the falls by walking up the black sand beach.

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Because of the mist the waterfall generates, you can almost always see at least one, and sometimes a double, rainbow.

Although October doesn’t have the endless days that summer in Iceland does, we still had plenty of day light to squeeze in another site before checking into our hotel in Vik. The Solheimajokull is the outlet glacier of the inland Mýrdalsjökull icecap. Unfortunatly because of global warming, it is easy to see how far the glacier has recessed over the past few years. There are also glacier climbing tours available, but we passed on those. The blue glow of the floating ice pieces were really neat to see.

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We spent the night in the town of Vik at the Hotel Kria. The hotel was very nice with a breakfast included in the price (take advantage of these, food is very expensive in Iceland!). For dinner, we headed to the Smidjan Brugghaus, Vik’s very own brew pub. Although we had fairly generic pub food, it was great to try a variety of craft Icelandic beers. Next week…we head further down the south coast.

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