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To Reykjavík i Go – Day Seven

5 October, 2014

People have asked me what was the best part of my holiday, and I tell them it was the landscape. Wherever I went it always fascinated me to see how the shape of the land changed, and how the ways that land is made are laid bare.

A very clear example of this was our first stop on today’s long day trip. Winding through the wilderness towards the south coast, we took a left turn onto a rocky track which led towards Sólheimajökull glacier. We approached the huge expanse of ice, or at least one edge of it, which was making its way invisibly slowly down from the mountain. At its closest edge it was melting, again invisibly slowly, and small icebergs floated on the resultant river. The river itself then dawdled across a near-flat plain towards the sea some miles away and perhaps a few feet lower. It was beautiful, it was peaceful, and it was a visual lesson in how rivers and valleys are formed. Our planet is over 4 billion years old, and in our microscopically tiny length of time on it, we see just the tiniest instant of its life. This is how it looks today, to our descendants it will be much different.




And then on to the furthest part of our trip, the famous beach at Vík. A steep road sloped between two hills to a vast curved bay framed by cliffs. Because of Iceland’s volcanic form, the sand was not golden but ash black. And there was no seaweed. It felt and moved just like normal yellow sand, but as with so much of the country’s natural wonders, it seemed once removed from Earth as we know it.




The journey back to Reykjavík was punctuated by stops at two very different waterfalls. The first, Skógafoss, was a large, loud, tall, powerful waterfall. In a million years (assuming volcanic activity and lava flow don’t affect it first) this will be a curved waterfall as the water wears away the rock, but today, the view our slice of history sees is a river reaching the cliff and just keeping going on its way to the south coast.



A few miles further on, we reached Seljalandsfoss. A smaller, prettier waterfall, but this one cascaded in front of a concave rock meaning that we could walk behind it. The view through the water of the river’s course across the flat landscape was stunning.DSCF2335




I haven’t written much in this entry because, really, what can you say about natural phenomena as breath taking as these? I had run out of adjectives by day three but my fascination with the country and my desire to take hundreds of pictures was insatiable.


We arrived back in Reykjavík as the evening began to close in. The last couple of days had been brighter, and as I walked back from Café Babalú I watched the sky, wondering if I would see the northern lights between the lessening clouds. Sadly, I didn’t, but that didn’t concern me. Throughout the previous seven days I had seen wondrous sights, to miss out on one of them just meant I knew I would be coming back one day.

  1. I absolutely love traveling and one of the most exhilarating parts of it is the feeling of exposing your eyes to visions your mind couldn’t imagine. Best wishes on your journeys!

  2. Reblogged this on Survivor and commented:

  3. Beautiful pics, TRG! From your excellent descriptions, I feel like I’ve been to parts of Iceland now, too. Thank you! 🙂

  4. I am loving the pictures only one slight disappointment where are the selfies? 😀

  5. What a lovely trip. Start planning your return one, TRG!

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