Moss on basalt - details how much moisture the area gets.
From Vik I headed north and east to stay in Hali and explore the area east and south of Vatnajökull National Park. Vatnajökull which is the largest glacier in Europe and still twice the size of the Malaspina Glacier in Alaska. The combination of glaciers and volcanoes have brought major disasters in the area as bridges are washed out and rebuilt.
Icebergs break from the Vatnajökull and float down the Jökulsárlón which is the largest and deepest lake in Iceland and then out to sea nearby.
Here you can see some of the glacier behind the bergs.
The Jökulsárlón lake opens into the sea and is just behind the bridge. Here you can note the ice that is pushed back onto the black sand beaches by the ocean waves.
Another finger of ice coming down from the glacier.
Skaftafell is a preservation area and addition to the Vatnajökull National Park. Within it's boundaries is the Svartifoss (waterfall). They were working on the main trail to the falls so I had to hike up and around and then back to them. I was thinking it was a tough hike as it included so much uphill and narrow paths and I was so glad to have my hiking poles until I saw a group of Chinese tourists in just walking shoes hiking on down the trail. At this point, I called myself a big wimp and carried on. The hike was fun and well worth having a view such as the Svartifoss at the end. The water cascades down among the columnar basalt which made it look quite unique.
The Hotel Geirland had Icelandic horses. I captured this romantic moment in the back of the hotel.
Vík í Mýrdal
In order to head off out of the city, I rented a vehicle. They gave me a Subaru Outback with the instructions that 1. Do not drive through any rivers (huh?) and 2. If the wind catches the door and takes it off the door, you pay for it. (double huh? - Is it that windy?). I headed on out to Vik, but planned on hitting a couple of waterfalls on the way.
Iceland has many, many waterfalls. This is one of the better known. It had been raining on and off and was providing everyone with many rainbows. I was fortunate to get one while at this waterfall.
Vik is on the southern most part of Iceland. It has black sand basalt beaches which are just gorgeous. I was awarded again by more rainbows. The rock pinnacles in the distance are called Reynisdrangar and are petrified trolls that tried to pull a ship onto land. They weren't able to get it done before the sun rose and turned them into stone.
Near Vik is the Dyrhólaey lighthouse.
Sólfar - The Sun Voyager.
After cycling for a month in hilly western and southwestern England, I took advantage of Icelandair's free stopover offer to spend some time in Iceland. I lugged around a small suitcase of camera gear I could use for this trip and just struggled with this extra piece of luggage throughout England. In addition, I had to bring some warmer clothes than would be needed in England for the colder, windier, wetter climate I would find in Iceland.
I stayed at an AirBnB in Reykjavik to save some money and also because the hotel I wanted was already booked months in advance. The AirBnB was located in a great location right in the section of town near the famous church Hallgrímskirkja . The AirBnB was at the home of Gudrun's. I found a place for coffee and my breakfasts across the street called 'C is for Cookie'.
While getting prepared for this trip, I read about the situation with my getting wine since it's always nice to have a glass in the evening while looking over photos taken during the day. Wine, beer and drinks can , of course, always be bought in a restaurant with your dinner. However, I was going to do the grocery store dinners to save a bit of money since food is very expensive in this country. Thus, I don't have the option to order a glass of wine. The main piece of advise was to buy your wine at the duty free shop at the airport before departing as it was cheaper and not taxed. So I understood when I got down to the baggage area of the airport and people were grabbing shopping carts and going into the duty free store. Most were buying items that were cheaper than what you can get in town. Thus, I bought my (still not cheap) box of wine and collected my baggage before getting my rental car.
I spent most of my time walking around town and getting some groceries before heading off. Checked out a restaurant or two to savor fish soup and the local cuisine. (No I didn't try the hákarl - the fermented shark. The smell alone would knock you over.) Here is the boat dock across from the Harpa Concert Hall.