Friday, November 29, 2013

The South Shore of Iceland

As I only had three full days in Iceland (this time!) I wanted to see as much as possible which meant taking day tours into the country side.  My last day in Iceland I took the South Shore Adventure tour.  Unfortunately the weather failed to cooperate but I still thoroughly enjoyed it.

So come along while I relive that day...

But first...I have to share these pictures from the Marina Hotel where I picked up the tours in the morning as it was just a three minute walk from Michael's house.

 I can't imagine anything like this in prudish North America. 

This morning we had a large van and there were about 20 of us.  Our first stop was to walk up to a glacier...sorry I forget the name...well don't even know if I knew what the name was!  Three of our party were walking on the glacier and then meeting us later on in the day.  I guess I am getting old as I did not envy them one little bit.  A fellow from Thailand was on the tour and he was thrilled to bits to see snow and could not get over seeing a glacier.  I have seen a few in my time so was a bit jaded but it was fun to experience it through his eyes.

Putting on their glacier walking gear - better them than me!

We then carried on past the waterfalls we would see later...sadly as we flew by this was the best view we would have of them before it started raining.  The driver/guide said ignore them you will see them later...I never ignore scenery like this....and the clouds were rolling in...

Our next stop was the town of Vik on the coast - Vik has a black basalt sanded beach and  was once voted one of the top ten beaches on earth.  Alrighty then..maybe on a really really sunny day.  All I can say is the wind was blowing something fierce and it was COLD.    There are stacks into the ocean which according to local folklore were created as a result of night trolls dragging their boats out to sea only to be caught by the rising dawn.

These basalt stacks were amazing...very similar to the ones at Giants Causeway in Northern Ireland - on the bucket list!

View of the beach - not the kind of beach to put your towel down and lay on at any time of year!

The trolls!! 

These just totally blew my mind

Inside the "cave" where we stood to shelter from the relentless wind.

After lunch (not worth mentioning..) we visited the Skogar folk museum which was interesting but over run with a huge bus of American tourists. 

Then finally we headed back to visit the waterfalls...firstly the Skogafoss the rain...

Yes you can walk right up to this waterfall and I got pretty close to get my photo taken - thank goodness I have a waterproof camera  - although it still doesn't improve the quality when it's pouring!!

Okay we had our photo op - let's get the hell out of here.

By the time we drove over to the Seljalandsfoss Waterfall I was soaked despite my goretex jacket (I don't think it works when you are walking in a downpour and silly me did not bring my poncho) , shivering and very very cold - this is as close as I got.

You could walk behind this one - as if I wasn't wet enough!!! 

An enjoyable day.  Would I do it again?  Probably not.  There are so many other places to see in Iceland I would probably pick a day trip to another location next time.  

After this we headed back to Reykjavik where I got into dry clothes and then headed out to celebrate at a restaurant in the harbour area.  I went to the Hofnin restaurant and enjoyed a creamy fish stew.  It did not look pleasing - had the consistency of baby food or cream of wheat...but it sure tasted good!  Paired with a glass of wine it was a nice way to spend my last night in Iceland.  After I walked out of the restaurant I watched the light from the Peace tower which is erected in memory of John Lennon and lights up the sky over the ocean.  Next time I will make going to the island where it is located  a priority.  I just did not have the time nor the energy to do it this time. Seeing it lit was very special as it is lit on John's birthday which is October 9th and stays on until December 8th...that fateful day when we lost him.

I'd definitely recommend a trip to Iceland - Icelandair has reasonable fares to Europe and all of their flights switch planes there.  A stop over in Iceland is permitted for up to a week without any additional charge and there are more and more flights being added within Canada.  Do it!

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