If you haven’t read part 1 of my Iceland trip yet, you can find that here. On day two of our trip, Jordan and I went on a two day tour of the South Coast and Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon. We booked this trip through the hostel, which was very convenient and helpful! After packing up all of our stuff in our backpacks, we stepped outside to wait for our bus.
During the drive we saw such beautiful landscapes that it’s hard to describe. There were hot springs and volcanoes, waterfalls and amazing countryside. Along the way we saw one of Iceland’s only animals – the Icelandic Horse! They were beautiful and so friendly. These horses live the good life of just hanging out and being admired. *Interesting Fact* Iceland is so isolated, they’re very careful with animals arriving and leaving their country. If any of their horses are sold somewhere else, that horse can no longer return to Iceland. They fear the animal could have contracted a disease that Iceland does not possess and infect the other animals!
Our first stop was Seljalandsfoss, a waterfall that cascades over 60 metres down. Usually you can walk behind it, but when we visited it was too icy.
The next site was Skogafoss — which was huge! I had never felt so small next to something before. It’s considered to be one of the most beautiful waterfalls in all of Iceland and I have to agree. This was also where the beginning of some the quirks on our trip began. When we were ready to leave to move to the next stop, our bus wouldn’t start. It wasn’t a big deal – they were able to get it started not too long after we were supposed to leave. We then caught our first glimpse of Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon – the location used in Batman Begins and James Bond: Die Another Day which we would take a longer look at the next day.
After a long day of driving and stopping, we finally made it to our accommodations for the night. Jordan and I were assigned this adorable little cottage that had views of the mountains as well as the sea. We met up with the group for a delicious dinner where we tried a few different Icelandic beers. After hours of talking and having fun, we turned in for the night. We were going to be waking up early to get ready for glacier hiking!
Before we put on our crampons and helmets to hike Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon, we stopped at a black sand beach and took a look around at all of the icebergs and caught glimpses of seals bathing themselves in the sun. Something that I didn’t expect from Iceland was how windy it was! You better bundle up if you want to stay warm. When the wind wasn’t gusting, the temperature was quite mild, making sweaters a perfect layer.
Finally, we made it to the main event. Hiking on Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon! We were fitted for our necessities and headed out to the glacier. There were trails that our guides led us through and the walls of pure ice were astounding. Didi, one of the guides climbed up one of them using the ice picks, left the picks on the wall, and allowed us to take pictures as if we were climbing ourselves. In the walls of ice you could see small black flecks that were actually bits of lava that had frozen within the ice!
We got back in the bus and we started our trek back to Reykjavik. We were all so excited from all of the amazing things we had seen and done on this excursion that we didn’t pick up on it when the bus started having a little trouble. Finally, the bus sputtered, jumped, and came to a complete stop. That brought us out of our daze and into the present. We were in the middle of nowhere, we hadn’t seen a car for almost an hour, and the van that held the rest of our group was no where in sight.
Didi had to make a call and ask them to turn around. The van drove to a gas station a ways up the road, because this is Iceland and there aren’t gas stations around every corner, and dropped off the other part of the group. This way, everyone from our bus would be able to pile into the van until they were able to fix the bus.
Of course, we had too many people in the bus to make it in the van all in one trip so Jordan and I took the second wave. We hung out with some of our new friends while Didi still tried to get the bus up and running. Around this time the sun started setting and we had a front row seat. The van took around 30 minutes to drop off the first wave and come back for us but we didn’t notice since we were enjoying the scenery and company. By the time the van did arrive, DIDI GOT THE BUS RUNNING! We still piled into the van, just in case 🙂 Once we got to the gas station, everyone was eager to get going again so we could get some sleep.
This was a trip that I wasn’t going to forget. Even after the bus issues, I could think of nothing but great things. I drifted off to sleep happy and ready for the next adventure…Renting a car and taking to the road ourselves. Let me give you one hint about what’s to come – they say don’t drive on glaciers for a reason.
Next up: Snæfellsnes
Until next post!