So lets start with seeing the aurora borealis last night. It was amazing, but to seasoned aurora spotters it was apparently not the best aurora they’ve ver seen. I tend to agree, but the photos looked pretty good.
OK so after the pretty lights i have to tell some stories as Claire who is a far more experienced writer than I am has suggested these. Firstly when we picked up the rental car, we did the standard walk around of the car. Our car had some scratches, but they were a bit strange. The rental guy then explained that a horse had decided to chew on the car a bit and to not park near a horse. We have noticed quite a few people stop to take photos of horse, sheep and anything else, very often stopping in the middle of the road and becoming a traffic hazard.
I also did not conclude the story regarding alcohol. We had no idea how hard it was to buy here. It was easier to buy wine and beer in Jordan than it was in Iceland. Iceland has government run liquor stores called Vínbúðin. These stores seem to have very limited opening hours, some of which where an hour or two a day. So my duty free beer was very useful last night. We did however get to the local Vínbúðin tonight, only to be dazzled by the smallness of the place, however the prices were not that bad. I’ve paid more than $5 for a bottle of craft beer before (I remember buying a $12 one a few weeks back), so I’d love to know where all these people that complain about prices get their cheap booze from.
So after the aurora excitement last night I was awake early and so was Claire, so after I cooked up some eggs to go with our bread we were off for a long drive on highway 1. The first two stops were for waterfalls. We arrived at Seljalandsfoss to see a few cars there plus a small coffee place. No tour buses and not as many people as the golden circle. We were able to walk around behind this waterfall which was quite fun and also bitterly cold. There seems to be a lot of people conducting their own model photoshoots of themselves, posing with the waterfall.
The next set of falls was Skogafoss. It was here that Claire suggested all those modelling in the waterfall and absolutely drenched clear out so others can take photos. One women was standing in the falls soaking wet for quite a while while her partner took photos. She wasn’t facing the camera, I have no idea what they were trying to achieve but Claire got them to clear out so others could take photos. Its also clear to me, people have no idea on why one needs a tripod and when they are useful, kind of like people who use the flash at sporting events and concerts.
After Skogafoss, we continued along the road to see the black beach near Vik. The weather had really set in here and the wind was biting. We did note the rain stopped enough for us to get out look around and spot a women in a skirt posing with a scarf held aloft, while her partner I assume took photos of her. We jumped back in the car and found a bistro for lunch, which was quiet when we arrived but soon filled with people. We felt we were ahead of the tour buses and hoards, but thankfully much less tour buses and people than yesterday.
I then drove the car for a long leg past the many glaciers that come off the large ice sheet in this corner of Iceland. They were all quite spectacular. We stopped to get a photo in a nice spot and another guy most likely from India was there, with his camera and a gorilla pod. He seemed to be using a timer to take photos of himself. We said hi to him and the discussion revolved around how beautiful Iceland was and where we were headed and where he was headed. It seemed he left from near the same place we started was trying to get to the same place we were going to and then return. The problem was he stopped 5 minutes later at the next amazing view. Claire and I agreed that if we did that we’d never make it to our guesthouse! I do wonder where the Indian gorilla pod guy is right now and if he got back.
Out final stop was simply stunning. Nothing I’ve ever seen before and that was a lake full of ice bergs. We found the non tourist car park for Jökulsárlón (the other one was full of tour groups) and climbed over a small hill to be greeted by the amazing sight of ice bergs in a lake with a glacier in the background (I counted at least 10 glaciers today!). The weather was a bit windy but the rain held off for us to take in the view.
We drove to the town and Claire got her wine and I got some beer and we found our guesthouse. Its quite busy here in Höfn. Our guesthouse is quite full and we went out for dinner and the first restaurant had a 90 minute wait for a table, the second one was marginally better at 40 minutes, but we bought a beer from the bar and was seated in 10 minutes. It appears a large group of 15 had rocked up and then were seated around the restaurant as space opened up. I ordered the Reindeer only to be told they’d sold out. Probably for the best as it was over $60 for Reindeer. Instead I had the Lamb chops and got 5 of them! I can say I’m very full now. Claire ordered the lobster pasta and to be honest half the menu had lobster in it. There was Lobster for for everyone! The rain is still coming down, so hoping for finer weather tomorrow when we drive through the Eastern Fjords.
That’s better – a bi more detail makes me feel as if I know a bit more about Iceland now.