After completing a visit of obligatory attractions near Reykjavik the previous day, it was time to leave the capital behind. With three days left, I chose an exiciting destination, albeit one barely within reach, Jokulsarlon. But not so fast, withs stops along the way, it would take us a day to get there, and two days later another day to come back.
It was a grey morning, not really inviting to sightsee, and quite a change from the beautiful sunset the previous day. After crossing a line of volcanic hills south of Reykjavik, Route 1 continues through a mostly flat agricultural countryside until it approaches Eyjafjallajokull, a stratovolcano covered with a small icecap that has erupted a number of times in recent history, Most recently in 2010, its eruption disrupted air traffic over the North Altantic for six days by sending a cloud of ashinto the stratosphere. Its icefield feeds many rivers, some of which drop in waterfalls from cliffs that used to form a costline at some point. Seljalandsfoss, visible from Route 1 and just north of it on Road 249, drops straight down 200 ft. A walkway takes visitors behind the waterfall. The price of admission - getting a bit wet from the blowing mist.
|Road side memorial||Road side memorial||Vestmannaeyjar||Vestmannaeyjar||Vestmannaeyjar||Vestmannaeyjar|
|Vestmannaeyjar in BW||Seljalandsfoss||Seljalandsfoss in BW||Irina||Seljalandsfoss from the side||Seljalandsfoss from behind|
|Seljalandsfoss from the other side||Milking Seljalandsfoss||Reallly milking Seljalandsfoss|
A few miles east of Seljalandsfoss, Skoga, another river fed from Eyjafjallajokull,drops to the coastal plain in a 200 ft drop. Nearby, a tiny village is known for its museum that has collected a number of building from nearby farms, including a sod farm, a school house, a church. It was a worthwhile stop in the drizzly weather.
|Skogafoss||Petursey||Model of a Viking ship||Icelandic sagas||Turf farm||Church interior|
|Schoolhouse piano||Schoolhouse classroom||Map of Central Europe||Turf Farmhouse||Farmhouse||Irina|
The clouds broke up for our short visit to Reynisfjara, a famous black beach near Vik, the southemost town of the island. It was mid afternoon, there was little interesting light to work with, but I could see why this place attracts many photographers. It also attracts large groups of tourists, and I was starting to miss the Westfjords a bit. Not for long, tour buses of tourists on day trips from Reykjavik do not make it past Vik to Myrdalssandur, a desolate glacial wash plain. When Katla, a volcano under the Mydalsjokul ice cao erupts, the melt waters come down as huge rivers destroying everything in their path. We continued through more desolation near Skaftatel, green pastures under Vatnajokull, and arrived to our hotel just east of Jokulsarlon just in time to catch the last order for dinner.
|Irina and Radek||Photographing photographers||Photographing photographers||Photographing photographers||Arch decorated with tourists||Kirkjufjara beach|
|Kirkjufjara beach||Riding||Almost a yee-haw moment||Road to Dyrholaey||Reynisfjara and Reynisdrangar||Reynisdrangar|
|Irina||Dyrholaey from Reynisfjara||Black beach||Views from Reynisfjara||Reyniskirkja||Kjalnatdakvisl River in Myrdalssandur|
|Kjalnatdakvisl River in Myrdalssandur||What is for dinner?||Langostini and arctic char|