Honeymoon Day 2 (2 Dec 2017) – Continuation
Day 2 was super action-packed – we were trying our best to see as much as we could, since we had another activity (ice-climbing) on Day 3, and we didn’t want to backtrack. After all, we were on a quest to complete the ring road in 8 days.
Hitting the Road, Fast
After Gulfoss, we were on a quest to hit 2 more major waterfalls by 2.30pm. Time was REALLY not on our side as it was about 11am when we left Gulfoss – which leaves us just 5 hours of daylight, at the most.
With no time to stop for lunch, we could only eat in the car – in fact, that was pretty much what we did for the remainder of our Iceland trip. We usually had Skyr, chips, bread and maybe hot dogs for lunch.
We drove for about 120km, or 1 h 30 mins, to reach our 2nd big waterfall of the day: Seljalandsfoss.
This is one of the few attractions in Iceland that charges parking fees. I recall paying 600 ISK (S$8).
Walking from the car park
The waterfall itself was definitely an impressive site, but we had a great time walking along the bottom of the cliff and exploring the area. There weren’t too many people, and the scenery was just fantastic.
Walking along for about 500m, we eventually came across a “crack” in the cliffs. A few people were peering in, so there must be something in there…
Yes, another waterfall! Getting in and out was a little bit of a pain, as we had to walk through ankle-deep water in some parts (and my aging hiking boots weren’t exactly waterproof now). It was well worth the trouble though!
While we were here, a rather large piece of ice actually fell from above, almost hitting a girl who was asking us to take a photo of her. What a close shave. I have no doubt that if she was hit by that block of ice, her trip (and possibly life) would have come to an early end.
Anyway, we spent about 10 minutes here, and had to get out of the place as the daylight hours were ticking by.
We had a last look at Seljalandsfoss by climbing up a rather slippery staircase. In summer, tourists are allowed to go behind the waterfall, but in winter the path was closed, unfortunately – because everything was fully iced up.
A Race Against Time
When we got out of Seljalandsfoss, it was already 1pm. That left us just 2.5 to 3 hours of sunlight, and we had 2 more major attractions to cover. It was really time to step hard on the accelerator..
And even though we were really pressed for time, we just had to stop for some awesome scenery along the way for some quick photo ops:
After a 30km drive (which we probably covered in 20 mins), we reached Skógafoss, another major waterfall on the usual tourist circuit. It was probably about 2pm now.
We took some quick photos at the base of Skogafoss, then walked up the pretty long staircase to the top of the falls.
We were really impressed with Skogafoss and the surrounding scenery, especially the snowy mountains in the backdrop. Alas, we had to move on as we had one last stop, before driving to our guesthouse probably in the dark.
Black Sand Beach – Dyrhólaey
As we headed further east, the scenery began to change more and more, and the sun began to set further and further. We saw more signs of volcanic rock and cliffs.
It was a 50 km drive from Skogafoss to get to Dyrhólaey, one of the famous black sand beaches around Vik. By the time we got here, it was already past 3pm – dusk, by Icelandic winter standards.
It was so beautiful here – cliffs, crashing waves, black sand beaches. The wind was rather terrifying though – at times it almost swept us off our feet. I read online that this is where sand insurance comes in handy, the extremely strong winds sometimes result in pretty bad damage to the car paint and exterior. I don’t think we had that insurance for our car though, and thankfully there was no damage to the car.
We went beyond a restricted boundary and got down to the black sand beach itself, after assessing the risks. The waves were extremely strong, so we didn’t get too close to the water edge… if you get swept out, you’d probably die of 2 things: hypothermia and a painful death hitting against the rough rocks.
A distinctive rock formation:
We got back into our car and proceeded to drive up a road that’s only meant for 4WDs. Finally we were able to put it to good use!
After some 15 minutes of driving, we got up to a good vantage point, where there were a few other folks.
The wind was extremely strong and we were nearly swept off our feet a few times.
From the vantage point, we were able to see the entirety of the black sand beach, which seemed to stretch on forever.
We also got a pretty good view of the snowy mountains in the distance! Unfortunately, the visibility wasn’t too great and it was getting really dark, so we headed back to our car for the long drive to our guesthouse for the night.
The moon! Not sure why it appeared orange on the camera though. It was probably the largest moon we’d seen in our lives, but the camera couldn’t really capture that, unfortunately.
On our way, we stopped briefly at the town of Vik to buy groceries for the night.
We arrived at our accommodation for the night, Dalshöfdi Guesthouse. The guesthouse was pretty much in the middle of nowhere, and we only stayed here because it was close to our morning activity the next day (glacier hiking).
And that’s it for a very, very long Day 2! The next day’s going to be a really exciting day because we’re going glacier hiking/ice climbing!This entry was posted in Europe, Honeymoon, Iceland, Uncategorized