Sunday, March 31, 2024

Iceland, Final Day

The final day we packed up from our Airbnb and stopped at a volcanic crater, Kerid. Holy shit it was windy! Look at the photo below and how I can lean into the wind. It was frozen over and people were walking on it. Because of my fall the day prior Colin suggested we stay at the top. Probably smart.

We drove back to Reykjavik to find a souvenir for Colin's niece and stopped at Lebowski Bar, where they serve lovely White Russians which are famous in The Big Lebowski. I need to watch that again. 

Our last stop before catching our plane home was the Bridge Between Two Continents, a small footbridge over a major fissure that shows the diverging plate margin between the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates that drift apart about 2.5cm (1 inch) per year. Again, it was crazy windy!

We dropped off the car, had something to eat at the airport which was eerily quiet, and had an unsuccessful flight back. I cried for the first 30 minutes in the air while taking 72 photos of this beautiful sunset. A little alcohol always gets my tears flowing but I just feel so grateful for the life I have created for myself where I get to go on adventures and meet wonderful people throughout the world. 

It was a fabulous trip. Colin was a great travel companion; we worked well together and had lots of fun. If you are going to visit Iceland, hiring a car is a must in my opinion. It allows you to see the sites without dealing with all the tourists in tour buses. Below is my Polar Steps map, which can be found here; pretty cool. 

Found in the AMS airport bathroom upon landing.

Pageviews: 289,114

Saturday, March 30, 2024

Iceland, Day Three

On Saturday we left Selfoss and drove along the South Coast. Our first stop was at Seljalandfoss, a waterfall created by a volcano glacier. I look cold in the photo below but the weather was actually much better than what we expected. The temperatures hovered around 1-4°c (33-40°f. 

The drive to Vik, our ending point for the day, was super windy. Have I mentioned I am so grateful Colin was driving? At times it was hard to stay on the road. And, I hate driving. I love navigating. Navigating includes googling shit I want to learn in the region along the way, watching for stops that would make great photos, making sure the phones are fully charged, adjusting the music to keep the mood right, and setting the GPS so Colin can follow it. Basically, doing what I want. The coast is just beautiful in Iceland.

The next stop was Dyrholaey, a promontory along the coast. After taking photos, while running back to the car to get rid of some energy I bit the dust (aka fell). Other than my pride, I was fine. Wearing Colin's (seriously oversized) jacket, because I could put it on quicker as I was exiting the car for photos, may have been part of the reason. Stupid. 

Our furthest point for the day was Vik, a remote village in the south. Aside from picking up wine at the liquor store, which was open only two hours per day, we wanted to see the black sand beach. The beach is my happy place and the view was simply breathtaking. I loved seeing the stark black sand against the ocean. As I was taking photos I got stuck in the tide; Colin just laughed.


While 'navigating' earlier in the day I learned there were a couple of planes that had crashed along the coast. The first was a United States Navy DC plane located on the beach in Solheimasandur. We walked 4km (2.5 miles), each way, to see it. It was so worth it but trust me, Colin acted like a kid a few times hoping it would be over. It reminded me of the time I had to talk the entire walk up the Grand Canyon to keep Anna moving. The plane was super cool. 

Our next stop was another DC-3 plane, owned by the United States, that crashed in 1969. It was located in Eyvindarholt just a short drive from the previous plane. This one was only a five-minute walk from the parking lot so it made it easier to convince Colin to stop. Uber cool and not as many tourists. 

We made our way back to our Airbnb in Selfoss and went out for a couple drinks. Although Icelanders do not drink much, they do make lovely gin (for me) and import lots of Guiness (for Colin). 

It was a great day. 

Friday, March 29, 2024

Iceland, Day Two

Day two, Colin and I drove The Circle Tour, a common day long road trip in Iceland. The weather was absolutely perfect for March.

On our way to Thingvellir National Park we made many stops along the way taking photos. Colin soon realized why I asked he join me on this adventure as the driver.

We walked around the park and it was beautiful. 

In the middle of the park is where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates meet. 

After a little car nap we drove to Strokkur, the most active geyser in Iceland. It was so freaking windy! At least we thought so. Until…

…we arrived at the Gullfoss waterfall. Holy shit! It felt as if we would be blown away. But it was beautiful. 

Our final stop was a hot springs called Hrunalaug. We did not want to spend a fortune on a touristy experience so we opted for an adventure that included a couple natural springs which required walking in our swimsuits for 140m (450ft) in 1°c (34°f). If that doesn’t register, trust me it is longer than you want to walk half naked. And the walk back, while soaking wet, was more adventurous. But the experience was fun and something we will never forget. 

We ended the day in Selfoss, checked into our airbnb, went out for burgers and beer, and after not seeing any northern lights we called it a night. It was a great day.