Even though we went to bed at 2 in the morning we were up dressed and waiting in the lobby at 8 am for our pick up. We were surprised this morning with snow on the ground! It wasn't in the forecast but the weather in Iceland has a mind of it's own. Shortly after 8 Albert from GeoIceland arrived for us. We were the first ones on the bus - yay we get our pick of seats! We then drove through Reykjavik to the other hotels for our tour mates.
Albert is a friendly, dry humored, intelligent, and accommodating tour guide. I am again impressed with the staff from GeoIceland. We drove for over an hour and made a pit stop at a travel stop (gas, restaurant, restrooms). Apparently there were a lot of tourists heading south today because this place was packed!!
Albert allowed us to request a ton of stops along the way for pictures even though it slightly delayed us in dropping off the passengers who were going ice climbing. We finally made it to Solheimajokull Glacier. Those of us not going on the full ice climbing portion still got to walk out a bit onto the Glacier, "hug" the glacier, and take lots of pictures.
I can not truly express how cool it was to walk on a Glacier. Definitely one of my top 5 favorite things I've done so far in life!
Our 3rd stop was to Vik. We stopped at a gas station/restaurant. Across the lot was a store that sold wool products and various souvenirs. Greg and I headed to the wool store. With my allergy and the remote location I wasn't even going to attempt to eat lunch. Ever since learned of my food allergy I always keep a bar and /or snacks with me.
After the lunch stop we drove down the road a short way to view the sea stacks. We then drove to the opposite side of the stacks to Reynisfjara Beach. The beach is a black rock beach with amazing cliffs, and Halsanefshellir (a ocean carved cave).
Sadly we were pretty fogged in so the pictures from this area aren't terrific. It was also quite cold from the wind and the rain and well, I'm a wimp lol.
Next on this amazing adventure was a stop at Skogafoss Waterfall. Here you can take pictures from the ground but also can climb the many steps up to the top of the waterfall. We decided to do both. Again here I am freezing, wet, climbing lots of stairs but somehow having fun! I am dying to visit Iceland in the summer now! The waterfalls and landscapes are beyond unique in winter but the must be breathtaking in summer! Before moving on we drove up the road for a second to the Skogar Folk Museum to take a quick peek at Turf Houses. I don't know if someone asked for this or Albert thought we should see it but I was psyched! I had read about Turf Houses online and hoped to see one but didn't think we'd get the chance to. At this point this day couldn't get any better right?
Our 5th stop was a little surprise and so much fun!! We drove to a private farm and were able to feed Iceland Horses!! The tricky part was avoiding the "droppings" that were literally everywhere you tried to walk. These horses were beautiful, friendly, and very photogenic. We all got to feed them a few bites of white bread. Naturally some of the horses wanted more and would follow us around. Absolutely adorable!!
The last stop of the day was to Seljalandsfoss Waterfall. Of course this is another beautiful waterfall but this was my biggest disappointment. At Seljalandsfoss you are able to walk behind the waterfall and all the way around the waterfall. How cool right?! Unfortunately, I was freezing cold, completely wet, and the path was covered in ice. I slipped and almost fell on the first steps to behind the waterfall. Needless to say I turned around and just enjoyed the beauty.
Heading back to Reykjavik made me think of how crazy the weather in Iceland truly can be. Yesterday it was cold but sunny and clear. This morning we woke to snow in Reykjavik, mid-morning it was sunny and dry, mid-afternoon it was cloudy and raining and now it was blizzard conditions! Naturally Greg got thought I was weird again because I apparently slept through the bus sliding on the road in the snowy conditions and yet I freak out over flying lately. I don't try to explain myself lol.
We were the first to be dropped off and we thanked Albert and said farewell to everyone we traveled with today. At this point we were exhausted and in need of hot showers. We decided to settle in and order room service from the Hilton Reykjavik Nordica. Again the service not so friendly but the food was delicious. For our full review of the Hilton visit here.
Oh yeah ....the weather in Reykjavik that evening had melted the snow but was now raining lol! Crazy!