Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

I want to go everywhere I haven't been, and back to everywhere I have been.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

FOUR DAYS IN ICELAND - DAY 3: THE SOUTH COAST




Four Days In Iceland - Day 3: The South Coast | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes





 
It's been quite awhile since I published Day 1 & Day 2.......
In fact, my trip to Iceland was five months ago!
Life has been busy, what can I say?
 

DAY 3: THE SOUTH COAST

Considering that I brought a small suitcase, it took me a long time to pack up all my gear last night. I had to make sure that whatever I need for today and tomorrow is easily accessible. It's complicated stuff, this packing thing. 

Multiple alarms make sure I'm out of bed on time, and I head downstairs to meet Fran for breakfast. We briefly talked about going back to Braud for pastries and a cup of coffee instead of paying a crazy amount of money for the breakfast buffet here. That would have meant getting up even earlier, and for once, food didn't win. It's a toss-up when it comes to choosing between food and sleep. 

After a satisfying breakfast of skyr, fruit, granola, bread, cheese and meats (we ate all that just in case the lunch offerings were meager, I swear!), we make our way back to Hallgrimskirkja Church to meet our tour van. Baldwin is our guide today, and seriously, the only reason I can remember this is that his first name is the same as my ex-boss' last name. 

We head back in the same direction as yesterday's tour, along Iceland's the southern coast, about an hour outside of Reykjavik.   


Four Days In Iceland - Day 3: The South Coast | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Four Days In Iceland - Day 3: The South Coast | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

The sun rises a little after 9:00am, just as we reach the waterfalls called Urrioafossi. Just a side note......because Iceland is so far north, by winter solstice there will be only 4 hours of sunlight between 11:30am and 3:30pm. But, I digress.  

Four Days In Iceland - Day 3: The South Coast | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

If I have one problem with our tour guides, it's that for the most part, they don't explain the site while we are actually at it. They do tell us about it as we are as we are on our way, and then they drop us off to explore on our own. I'm a visual learner, so once we get to our destination, I can barely remember anything.  I google everything when I get home, which is how I know that Urrioafossi translates to Salmon Falls, and is the most voluminous waterfall in all of Iceland. Although it doesn't have a dramatic drop, the rush of water over the black lava rocks makes it particularly striking.

Four Days In Iceland - Day 3: The South Coast | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Our second stop is Skogafoss. It's massive, and in fact, one of Iceland's largest waterfalls. 

Four Days In Iceland - Day 3: The South Coast | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

There are steps.......many, MANY steps.......leading to the top where we can view Skogafoss from above, but Baldwin suggests that we skip that, since we don't have enough time. Such is one of the downsides of a guided tour, but frankly, I'm relieved to have an excuse to avoid that climb. I bet the view is spectacular, though. Helicopter beanies would come in handy right now to zoom us up to the top.


Four Days In Iceland - Day 3: The South Coast | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes


We are not fortunate enough to catch a rainbow which are apparently quite frequent here, because the day is not sunny. This may seem like a disappointment, but we're just so happy it's not raining and freezing, that the no-show rainbow is a small price to pay. 

Four Days In Iceland - Day 3: The South Coast | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes
Four Days In Iceland - Day 3: The South Coast | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

The magnificent Icelandic horses just off to the side of the falls are an entertaining sideshow. My camera doesn't know what to look at first. 

Four Days In Iceland - Day 3: The South Coast | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Katla Geopark, home to Myrdalsjokull Glacier, is our next destination. Myrdalsjokull is the fourth largest glacier in Iceland. One of Iceland's most famous volcanoes lies underneath the glacier. Yep, it can erupt - it does so every 40-80 years, and Baldwin says that if the park rangers say it's time to leave the area, run like hell! He's not messing with us -- this warning is for real. Nope, we're not scared -- our teeth are chattering because it's cold!

Four Days In Iceland - Day 3: The South Coast | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Our trek starts along the river.

Four Days In Iceland - Day 3: The South Coast | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Soon we are able to see the glacier, which Baldwin says is a mere fraction of the humongous mass of ice. It's the tip of the glacial iceberg, so to speak. 

Four Days In Iceland - Day 3: The South Coast | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Jaw-dropping is the only way to describe the view ahead of us. We've both seen glaciers in Alaska, but I have never been so up close and personal. 

Four Days In Iceland - Day 3: The South Coast | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Between us, Fran and I can't remember what time Baldwin tells us to come back to the bus. He gives us directions on how far to walk, but did he mean all the way to the black sand beach? Before that? We've lost sight of our bus mates, and I am certain we are walking way too far. Fran is sure we haven't walked far enough, but my paranoia wins, and we head back, only to find that we are the first at the bus, proving Fran right after all. I must remember to buy her a "you are right" drink later on. 

Four Days In Iceland - Day 3: The South Coast | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Baldwin tells us that we are one lucky group, because the weather in fall is typically windy and rainy. But the day is clear, so he is able to take us to the top of a cliff over yonder......the one we can see from here with the red topped lighthouse (yes, it's that little blip of red on top of that mountain).  

Four Days In Iceland - Day 3: The South Coast | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

We don't know this at the time but Dyrholaey Lighthouse is actually a hotel. Well, blow me down! Actually, the winds are typically strong enough to do just that, but not today, fortunately. 

Four Days In Iceland - Day 3: The South Coast | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

The views in all directions may be the most breathtaking I have seen anywhere.
Four Days In Iceland - Day 3: The South Coast | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

To our right, we can see the volcano/glacier we just came from. 

Four Days In Iceland - Day 3: The South Coast | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

The proximity of the volcano to the ocean accounts for the spectacular black lava sand beaches stretching out beneath us.

Four Days In Iceland - Day 3: The South Coast | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

In the opposite direction is the Dyrholaey arch jutting out of the sea. 
Four Days In Iceland - Day 3: The South Coast | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes


All of this beauty works up an appetite, and we are off to the town of Vik for lunch. We stop at a large souvenir shop/cafeteria (pretty much the only thing in town, except for a few hundred houses and a church), where the temptation is to shop first, eat later. The sweet potato soup and bread doesn't even come close to yesterday's. 

Vik is in all of the tour guides, but we are mystified as to why until Baldwin drives up the hill. A perfect view of Reynisdrangar, the three basalt sea columns protruding from the sea spreads out before us. 

Four Days In Iceland - Day 3: The South Coast | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Four Days In Iceland - Day 3: The South Coast | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

As we drive to our next destination, we keep an eye on the sky, as we are spending the night in the countryside in hopes of catching sight of the Northern Lights. But clouds roll in, and Baldwin thinks our chances are slim to none. 

Four Days In Iceland - Day 3: The South Coast | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Next, we are off to walk on the gorgeous black sand beaches. We are given strong words of caution not to get too close to the water's edge. Huge waves literally come out of nowhere, sweeping unsuspecting tourists out to sea. Yikes! Who knew how many hidden dangers were lurking on this tour?

Fear of tsunamis aside, I am sure that I am standing on one of earth's most wondrous expanses.

Four Days In Iceland - Day 3: The South Coast | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Four Days In Iceland - Day 3: The South Coast | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Four Days In Iceland - Day 3: The South Coast | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes


We make it safely back to the bus, without any tidal waves crashing the shore. Our final stop is Seljalandsfoss, another magnificent waterfall. Baldwin saves this stop for last because we will have the chance to walk behind the waterfall, which means getting soaked. Better to be drenched at the end of a cold day than the beginning. Finally, a reason for bringing all that waterproof clothing and camera shields!

Four Days In Iceland - Day 3: The South Coast | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Four Days In Iceland - Day 3: The South Coast | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

As it turns out, I hear the word "slippery," and chicken out. I know myself -- slippery footing is not my strong suit. Fran, thankfully, chickens "in" and gets the most extraordinary shots of the entire trip from behind the falls. Okay, so I made a mistake that I'll only regret, like.......forever.

Four Days In Iceland - Day 3: The South Coast | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes
Photo by Fran

Four Days In Iceland - Day 3: The South Coast | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes
Photo by Fran

Our third day in Iceland is coming to a close. Baldwin drops us off at the Hotel Ranga, right here on the south coast. It's an upscale, rustic hotel that we've splurged on, hoping against hope that the Northern Lights make an appearance for us tonight. 

Four Days In Iceland - Day 3: The South Coast | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes


We sign up at the front desk to be woken any time of night to witness them.

Four Days In Iceland - Day 3: The South Coast | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

We have a fabulous dinner at the hotel restaurant, as we are literally in the middle of nowhere, and it is the only option. Then it's off to bed, still hoping that with some miracle, we'll get that aurora borealis wake-up call in the middle of the night. But, it's not to be. It's raining. The charged particles from the sun, and the stars will not align. We're more than a little sad to leave Iceland without seeing this incredible natural phenomenon.

Four Days In Iceland - Day 3: The South Coast | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

The alarm wakes us early, and after breakfast, we are off to the renowned Blue Lagoon, before heading to the airport. It's our last day in Iceland. 

Here's a sneak peek at Day 4:

Four Days In Iceland - Day 4: The Blue Lagoon | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes



Resources:
GeoIceland Tours: South Coast
Hotel Ranga
Ranga Restaurant


You can read about Day 1 here:

Four Days In Iceland - Day 1: Reykjavik | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes



You can read about Day 2 here:  

Four Days In Iceland - Day 2: The Golden Circle | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes


Linking With:
Best of the Weekend


5 comments:

  1. Wow! Those are some really amazing photos. I can understand your disappointment at not seeing the Northern Lights; something I have always wanted to see too. I can not wait to see more of the blue lagoon!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Amy!

    I’ve commented twice but it doesn’t seem like they’re showing up :(. I’m trying again as a test after changing my profile from google to my url.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmmm, not sure if there is a problem on my end, but I'll look into it. Thanks for your persistence, though!

      Delete
  3. Wow, all I could think of is the pictures look like you are in a movie about a fantasy land in another galaxy. Hard to believe sights like those exist on this earth. So different and foreign and beautiful! Black sand??!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Fantastic photographs ...
    Love those waterfalls.

    All the best Jan

    ReplyDelete

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