"We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same..." - Carlos Castaneda
|(The blue iceberg at Vatnajokull Glacier Lagoon)|
Day 05: 16 February 2018 (Friday)
Route: Reykjavik – Vik South Shore Tour
Hotel: Hotel Dyrholaey, Vik
|(Beautiful scenery of the mountains and valleys)|
|(Scattered holiday resorts along the way)|
|(Frozen mountains and lakes)|
|(Holiday chalets in a resort town)|
Started the South Shore Tour as early as 8.00 am. The distance from Reykjavik to Vik is about 179 km. On the way, stopped at Icewear and Megasin for comfort break and souvenir shopping. We continued our journey and visited the many tourist attractions along the way. As the weather is forecasted to be snowing and windy, we were equipped with some heat packs and crampons as there will be a lot of walking on snow and ice.
|(A glimpse of the Atlantic Ocean and the Black Sand Beach)|
|(A brief stop at a Shopping Mall in Vik)|
|(Shopping for souvenirs and winter accessories)|
|(A short cold walk by the beach)|
Skatfell is a wilderness area in Iceland's Vatnajökull National Park. Its huge glaciers include Skaftafellsjökull and Svínafellsjökull. Trails lead to Kristínartindar Mountain and to the Svartifoss waterfall, which tumbles over black basalt columns. Morsárdalur Valley and the Bæjarstaðarskógur woodlands lie to the west. East, Öræfajökull Volcano is known for its soaring, ice-capped peak.
|(The National Park Visitor Centre)|
|(A short video about the National Park)|
|(A walk on the glacier)|
|(The floating blue icebergs in a lagoon)|
|(The National Park, covered with thick snow)|
|(Hiking in the park, braving the blizzard)|
|(Brain freeze in the cold wind and heavy snow)|
Had a sumptuous buffet lunch in a restaurant at Foss Hotel Glacier Lagoon. We were lucky to make the reservation earlier as the restaurant was full of tourists from all over the world. After lunch, we were allowed to perform our prayers next to the Sauna Room of the hotel.
|(Foss Hotel next to a famous glacier)|
|(Offers accommodation and on-site restaurant)|
|(A heavy delicious buffet)|
Jökulsárlón is a glacial lagoon, bordering Vatnajökull National Park in south eastern Iceland. Its still, blue waters are dotted with icebergs from the surrounding Breiðamerkurjökull Glacier, part of larger Vatnajökull Glacier. We had to walk and climb to the best viewpoint and were rewarded with the kind of scenery that brightens your day. The panoramic scenery was breath-taking.
|(A sunny day, the sun is in my eyes)|
|(Many Ice Exploring Tours available)|
|(The tickets counter)|
|(Putting on the crampons for safety)|
|(Ready for once in a life time adventure)|
The Vatnajokull Glacier Lagoon flows through a short waterway into the Atlantic Ocean, leaving chunks of ice on a black sand beach. In winter, the fish-filled lagoon hosts hundreds of seals. This ice lagoon has become one of Iceland's most popular attractions due to its immense beauty. The lagoon is called Jökulsárlón, or Glacier's-River-Lagoon. Jökulsárlón is one of Iceland's natural crown jewels, and they even started calling the nearby black beach the Diamond Beach, as the ice chunks lying on it resemble diamonds glistening in the sun. Thousands of people are drawn to it, all year round to have incredible stunning pictures and Iceland's most popular filming location!
|(A breathtaking scenery around the glacier and lagoon)|
|(Climbing uphill for a better 360 view)|
|(Chunks of floating icebergs)|
|(At the top of highest viewpoint)|
|(A big chunk of blue ice floating to the ocean)|
|(A nicer view from the top)|
|(More visitors waiting for the sunset)|
|(The sun is setting over the horizon)|
When the volcano Vatnajökull in 1996 erupted, portions of glacier melted creating massive floods. A number of these glacial shards crashed into the bridge, wiping it out and creating a gap in the main ring road around Iceland. All that remains of the original bridge today are two twisted girders by the side of the new road and become Skeidararsandur Bridge Monument to remind visitors of the devastating disaster.
|(The site of the mangled bridge)|
|(Pictures and write-ups of the 1996 disaster)|
This impressive Eldhraun Lava Field is the biggest lava flow in the world which occurred during the Laki eruption in the late 1700s. The enormous site which is 565 square km is where the Apollo 11 crew came to train for their impending moonwalk. The sun was setting when we reached the Lava Field and it was fully covered by snow.
|(Paasing through the Lava Field)|
Stayed the night at Hotel Dyrholaey in Vik. The hotel was Off Highway 1 with views of Mýrdalsjökull glacier, a short distance away from Kirkjufjara Beach along the Atlantic Ocean and Dyrhólaey Lighthouse. There is also a terrace with valley views and a good place to watch the Northern Lights if they appear.