It was back to rain and wind though not that strong as we stated out in the morning towards Vik, which is famous for its black sand beach, water falls on the way and the edge of a Glacier.
The first stop was the waterfall Seljalandsfoss (by now you would have realized that ‘foss’ is ‘waterfall’ in Icelandic), which is actually a bunch of falls next to each other and visible from the road as you head west towards Vik. The main falls, clearly he most impressive of the set, was the one with people milling around it and also on the walkway behind the falls. The falls that was farthest removed from the main one, is completely behind a rock formation and was a place to get wet from the spray from the falling water.
After spending time looking at the series of falls, as we headed towards to the Skógafoss waterfall, on the mountains to the left us (as we drove) we got to see numerous waterfalls of varying sizes and heights; the wind was so strong that the water was just flying away midway and never reaching the ground at all. And dotting the mountains were sheep grazing away at heights that made us wonder as to how they were able to get so far up.
After getting a view of the Skógafoss falls from the ground level, we climbed up about 600 steps to get an awesome view and power of the falls from above.
These two falls and the numerous ones in between are fed by the melting snow up in the mountains that you can see in the map, which obviously led us to the edge of the Sólheimajökull glacier. After a short hike from the parking lot, we got to the edge of the glacier – one thinks of a glacier with a sense of awe and expecting that the melting edge would be a spectacular view, but the reality is that the breaking off of the pieces of the glacier happens so very slowly and it is only possible to imagine the breaking off the chunks of ice that are down the river created by the melting of the ice.
Dyrhólaey Lighthouse & Viewpoint
From this spot, which is at an elevation, one is supposed to be get beautiful view of the ocean, spectacular rock formations, the black sand beaches on either side and the puffins that live around. But by the time we reached this place, the rain and wind had intensified and added to that was the fog making the visibility quite poor. After having a quick peep at the lighthouse and the black sand beach below, we left for the town of Vik to get lunch.
Black Sand Beach Reynisfjara
This is an extremely popular spot for tourists for good reason and it was teeming with people in spite of the rain and wind, and also warnings not to get close to the water because of extremely rough waves and the rip tides.
We were hoping to see the northern lights during our stay and the continued rainy and overcast weather was making it seem that that there was little chance that we would witness it at all.
The hotel we were staying was in a remote area and perhaps one of the best places to see the northern lights from, of course if that did happen. The hotel had a nice arrangement that they would call the rooms when they found that the northern lights were putting on a show any time during the night. Although the staff were not very doubtful about the chances for a show that night, we did get a call that got us running out along with all the guests as well. At best it was a mini show that lasted for 15-20 minutes and the lights were quite low in intensity. The interesting find was that my iPhone camera was able to capture the image very well, perhaps even better than that seen with our eyes.