On our second day in Iceland we drove along the southern coast to the Vatnajökull, the largest ice cap in Europe, covering 8 percent of the surface of Iceland.
To get their we had to take the only existing 'highway' in Iceland: the Ringroad, also known as Route 1. Along the way we stopped at several natural highlights.
The Europeans reading this will remember the air traffic mayhem that was caused by the eruption of the Eyjafjallajökull vulcano in 2010. I myself was stuck in Madrid at the time and had to take a bus ride of 33 hours back to the Netherlands (with NO toilet, so a stop every 2 hours -_-), so I couldn't resist taking a look in the Eyjafjallajökull Eruption Centre and see what all the fuss was about. I can tell you one thing now: those Icelanders know how to turn a natural disaster into a profit. Eyjafjallajökull merchandise EVERYWHERE! Bottled ash, vulcanic ashtrays (pun intended?!), even Eyjafjallajökull perfume (what?!). Naturally, I fell for it and bought bottled Eyjafjallajökull ash. Just along the road there are still entire fields covered with it, but hey, whatever....
Another waterfall we made a stop for was the Skógafoss. With a width of 25 metres (82 feet) and a drop of 60 m (200 ft) it is one of the biggest waterfalls in Iceland. Legend goes that a giant buried a treasure in a cave behind the waterfall, because he didn't want his sons to inherit his fortune. Years later a boy found the treasure chest, but was only able to grasp the ring on the side of the chest before it disappeared again. The local villagers decided to use the ring as a door ring for the local church, where it can still be found ;-)
The last town along our way was Vík, which is the southernmost town in Iceland and (with barely 300 inhabitants) the largest settlement in the area. It has one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen, covered with black basalt sand. Vik is easy to spot from a distance, because offshore you can see several pointy basalt rocks, locally known as the 'Troll Rocks'. According to folklore they are trolls who went fishing, and when they weren't back in time they were caught by the rising sun and turned to stone.
After Vik we had a pretty boring (although gorgeous) ride across lava fields to the town of Kirkjubæjarklaustur. We stayed the night just outside Kirkjubæjarklaustur in one of the small cottages of Hunkubakkar Guesthouse. I would definitely recommend staying there if you ever tour Iceland!
And that was it for day 2!
- ABOUT TATIANA -
Hi there! I am a fashion and travel enthusiast living in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Tatiana's Delights is your online resource for preppy and minimalist fashion, travel tips, affordable home decor and adorable cat photos. You can find out more about Tatiana's Delights here.
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