My God is this country beautiful.
Today wasn’t nearly as long as yesterday. But I am exhausted.
We had a late night on the 24th and an early morning today on the 25th. Our bus came to pick us up from the hotel at 08:15. We drove through the countryside to the waterfall. It took about an hour. Our tour guide is pretty cool. He’s a native Icelander and has a lot of pride for his country. He’s also extremely knowledgeable when it comes to Icelandic history. I learned from him that Iceland was settled in the 800’s and the first settler settled in Reykjavík.
It was dark for most of the ride since the sun didn’t rise until 10:58. Once it started getting light out, we were able to experience the natural beauty of Iceland’s countryside.
The mountains, hills, rivers, farmland, and glaciers were breathtaking. They seemed so expansive. And so perfect. It was such a stark contrast from the capital city, Reykjavík. I felt like I was experiencing true Iceland. Oh and we actually drove past a few volcanoes. Including the one that shut down all the flights across the Atlantic Ocean back in 2010. That happened a week or so after I returned from Spain. Our timing for that trip was perfect.
This was our second waterfall of the day. And let me tell you, I’m still sore. Check out the below picture.
We climbed ALL THE WAY up those steep steps. I struggled. Many people made it partially up and turned around. I may have had to stop several times, and tell my travel buddies that I’d catch up. But I did make it all the way to the top. My Apple Watch kept telling me how well I was doing. Exceeding my workout goal for the day at only 10am. I’m not saying the climb was with it. But it was beautiful once I reached the top.
This was our last stop of the day before heading to a rest stop and ultimately our hotel in Höfn. This was my first time on a black sand beach. My cousin Kayla was prepared with a small mason jar to take some sand back home. The weather had been perfect all day. Until we hit the beach. Then it started lightly raining and the wind was furiously blowing. To the point where people were being knocked over by it. We were warned to stay way from water. Apparently the current is very strong. So we took several pictures, hung out by the unique cliffs for a bit, and headed back to our tour van. On the way back to the van I clumsily tripped and fell over a rock on the beach. Be careful!
Nightfall came pretty quickly. We stopped for some food at a restaurant/grocery store/gift shop in the middle of nowhere. And then we spent another couple hours making our way to Höfn where we’d be spending the night. That drive was a little nerve wrecking. There are no street lights out here. Just long dark open road. And it was raining pretty hard. Some sections of the road were only one way. So one car would have to yield to the other even though they were traveling in opposite direction. I felt bad for our driver/tour guide. But he prevailed and we make it to Hótel Höfn safe and sound around 6:00pm.
Höfn is a small suburban town. Before leaving for Iceland we researched what, if any, restaurants would be open for Christmas dinner. None were open. But thankfully our hotel has a lovely restaurant with a great menu. We enjoyed a good Christmas dinner together.
I am very much looking forward to tomorrow. We’re touring an ice cave and glacier lagoons! I can’t wait to take pictures.
I hope you all enjoyed your Christmas. Be sure to look out for my update.