Monday, October 24, 2016

Fjaðrárgljúfur + Jökulsárlón

It is day 2 and we are now in South East Iceland, moving further and further east towards Djupivogur. Along the way from from Vik we marveled at the endless lava fields covered in moss. After a short drive we reached Kirkjubæjarklaustur - a tiny village that is home to Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon. We stopped to hike the canyon (after backtracking 4km from the rotary. There was a sign on the left but we missed it.) It's not hard to find if you don't miss the turn. As with most sites in Iceland, the photos don't really do the grandeur, the setting, the colors, of the canyon justice. Hiking to the top we were sweating; peeling off layers as we went! We also went down the the canyon floor but could not really hike too far in without getting wet. 

Back on the road for a couple hours, our stomachs started to growl. Out of nowhere appeared a small gas station with a Veitingastaðurinn (that just means restaurant, but it's the sign you'll see out front). You order from the counter - we had lamb stew and the lamb shank with potatoes and salad, plus paper cups of red wine (our own, why not) and cappuccinos from the push button machine for dessert. This lunch was so unexpected and really good. Continuing on we reached the promised land of Jökulsárlón - the Glacier Lagoon. We stopped at the beach before the bridge and the one after, the first was a much less crowded and calmer space to soak it all in and marvel at the glacial ice cubes. They float out from the lagoon and wash up on shore. Across the street at the actual lagoon, I've never been so mesmerized in all my life - just watching the ice move. Listening to it as it piled up. Taking in the massive dusty blue pieces of glacier streaked in sunlight. 

This is a turning point on the ring road - the last major attraction where many travelers head back to points west. We continued our journey east, still with about three hours more of driving ahead of us, but we were greatly looking forward to it. It was a gorgeous day to be in Iceland.