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  • Day3

    Waterfalls and Volcanic Beaches

    September 9, 2018 in Iceland ⋅ ⛅ 9 °C

    A series of waterfalls and country's most famous volcanic beach.

    After a homemade waffle breakfast, we put on our waterproof clothing and headed to the nearest waterfall, Seljalandfoss. This waterfall drops from a height of 60 metres. But what's fascinating about this waterfall is that you can go behind it and experience the water curtain falling before you. But the cold weather and the constant bombardment with cold water droplets makes you freeze. Taking pictures were difficult as my hands became numb.

    Skógafoss was next in line. Also standing at an incredible height of 60 metres, its source of water comes from two glaciers which I names I can hardly spell or pronounce. You can opt to climb 370 steps to get above the waterfall and get an ariel view of it.

    Note: Both these waterfalls are free to access.

    After that we took a short hike to Seljavellir, one of the oldest man made swimming pools smack in the middle of the outdoors. Built in 1923, the pool water is warmed by natural hot spring from the hillside. To me the water was lukewarm but full of algae. Murky at some areas. Not a fan. Access is free here too. Its just that its easily passed by if you are not looking for it.

    We then decided to visit a plane wreck. Yeah, you read correctly, a plane wreck. You have to walk a total of 7km (back and forth) to get to a wreck. Worth the walk if you are into debris. But otherwise, skip it and visit volcanic beaches or something. Located in Sólheimasandur, the US Navy DC plane crashed in 1973 after it ran out of fuel. However, it was later discovered that the pilot simply switched over to the wrong fuel tank. Talk about a big blunder!

    Reynisjfara, the black sand beach near the village of Vík, formed from lava. Not only the sand is black, it also has basalt columns, towering cliffs and caves.
    All formed when lava flowed and slowly cooled forming interesting structures. The Gardar basalt columns on the Reynisjfall Mountain is one the popular photography sites here. We even managed to catch a glimpse of a pre-wedding photoshoot on it.
    Otherwise, there is also a cave called Hàlsanefshellir at the bottom of Gardar. There are many other rock formations to check out here like Dyrhòlaey or the 'door hole' where boats can go through if the tide is low enough. Plenty of pictures to take at this beach. Although, beware the sneaker waves as it consumes lives. They say "don't turn your back on the waves" for a reason.

    We then drove 70km to a place called Fjađrárgljúfur. It is a massive canyon of 100 metres and 2 kilometres long with river Fjađrá running at the bottom. The canyon was formed by progressive erosion by flowing water from glaciers through the rocks. However, the water level of river Fjađrá is rather low now so people can safely walk inside the canyon.

    After all that it was already 6pm so we headed off to our accomodation for the night not too far from the canyon, the Hvoll Guesthouse. We got a cozy room to ourselves with a view of the lake.

    I made a total of 30000 steps today so you can imagine the soreness of my old knees. Hence, I'm off to bed. Good night.
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