Our second day in Iceland is what I will forever remember as the best day ever. We accomplished a lot, saw so many amazing things, and I finally got to cross #1 off of my life's bucket list. We didn't have to wake up quite as early as we did on Day 1 because our first destination was just a 15 minute drive from our hotel.
REYNISFJARA & REYNISKIRKJA
On our way back onto Route 1, we passed by the church in Vik, which is situated high on a hill. I read somewhere that if the Katla Volcano erupts, it could melt enough of the surrounding glaciers to flood the town and that the church is probably the only structure that will survive. Apparently the town does periodic drills to practice evacuating to the church.
Along a good portion of Route 1 in the south of Iceland, you'll pass through fields upon fields of volcanic rock covered in squishy green moss. We stopped at a pull-off point to admire it, but we also made it a point to not touch any of it, having learned from Bieber's faux-pas.
Unfortunately when we got to Svartifoss, we couldn't park at the upper parking lot which would've transformed the 30+ minute hike into a 15 minute hike. And because it was uphill the entire way, by the time we made it close enough to the falls to see them in the distance, we decided we'd have to cut the hike off there. For one, we didn't think we could hike down and then hike back up; it was a really draining hike to do in heavy winter boots and coats. But also, our tight schedule didn't allow us to dilly dally. It was okay though, because we'd gotten up close and personal with basalt columns earlier that morning and we'd gotten up close and personal with a waterfall the day before.
It definitely was beautiful - it's the waterfall that inspired Hallgrimskirkja in Reykjavik - but man, we were unprepared for the hike. (it really wasn't that strenuous but we were hurrying and we were out of shape.)
While we were driving, we saw the giant glacier, Vatnajökull, in the distance. It was pretty appropriate, considering our next stop was the glacier lagoon.
Before heading to our hotel, we hit up another grocery store to stock up on more road trip snacks.
MILK FACTORY / MJÖLKURSTÖÐIN
STAR GAZING & AURORA HUNTING
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