The fresh crisp Icelandic air was refreshing to start the day. We made our first Icelandic breakfast! The famous Icelandic hot dog was good but not my cup of tea because of the lamb meat in there, I am not a fan of lamb. The egg, however, I swear that Icelandic egg tasted so much better and fresher! Yummmm!
For those of you who will be staying or consider staying at Farmer’s Guest House in Hella, here’s a picture of the house….it’s right at that sign:
We highly recommend the house!
After breakfast, we left and continue onto our road trip in Iceland, it was cloudy but we drove pass the clouds where it was sunny on this part of Iceland!
We passed by Seljalandsfoss and had another view of the awesome mountain with countless waterfalls all over the place, even on someone’s backyard!
We were the only ones on the road with beautiful scenery that no rush needed! Remember speed limit on rural area of Ring Road is 90 kph which is around 55 mph.
We pulled over to park our car at a visitor center and walked across the “highway” for photos. I believe that is the volcano that erupted recently which cause huge disruption on flights across Europe:
The true beauty of Iceland is that you don’t need to be at the “point of interest” places to find magnificent scenery, the whole island landscape is incredible!
Look at the glacier on top of the mountain on the background!!!
And it’s a private road….what a scenic location!
It doesn’t take much time to walk across the highway lol…the sun warmed up the air a little and my brother was wearing shorts!!!
Continue on our way…
After an hour and a half of driving, we reached our first stop: Reynisfjara, the black sand beach with basalt columns! It really wasn’t hard to find it, make a left turn on the sign “Reynisfjara” and continue down to the beach, there’s a parking area there. Now, it looked more like a volcanic island! We had our first group photo there!
Follow the path down to the actual beach with the basalt columns…
But first, crazy brother and hubby got their morning exercise by running up the mountain…
They said nice views up there so we followed…it wasn’t as steep as it looked so I made it up alright! From up there, I saw the parking area and the cliff of the rock formations….not sure how to get there!
There’s a cafe/restaurant next to the beach with clean restrooms, buy a cup of coffee and use the restroom 🙂 Their prices:
A short walk to the black sand beach with the basalt columns….woah!!!!
We were taking turns taking photos, it is a very photogenic and fun spot for photos!
and a cave like this, see the size of it?
I was scared to walk in, it was actually dark in there! My brave hubby went in of course!
Those rocks are very smooth!
It was getting quite warm, probably the heat from the black sand when the sun is out, we took off our jackets!
The clear blue sky, why can’t the night be like this clear?
We left the beach onto our next stop. Along the way, more scenery! How cute are those log cabins?
Two sheep heading to the church! Aren’t they cute? They are all over the place!
We passed the village of Vik:
After Vik, we passed a place called Laufskálavarða where some tour buses stopped so we stop to check it out!
It’s like out of this planet with stacking rocks everywhere! I have seen stacking rocks for good luck in Aruba and other places but not as much as here! I wondered who started this and how long it took for tourists to stack that many?
We tried to find Fjadrárgljúfur – a Canyon, but our GPS couldn’t locate it! We got to the village of Kirkjubæjarklaustur where the canyon is close to but still couldn’t find it. We stopped for gas…rule of thumb…whenever your tank is half empty, fill it up as soon as you pass a gas station because you won’t know when’s the next gas station! Make sure you bring a credit card with a smart chip and a 4 digit pin, many gas stations out in the rural are not manned so it only takes credit card!
Around the same area is the Kirkjugolf – basalt columns on the ground. There’s a small parking area, no other facility.
A very odd looking hill!
Here it is…a bit disappoint, it was underwhelming after the basalt column beach!
Next stop: Foss á Síðu (a waterfall) but it’s a private waterfall that it closed access to tourists. The owner could charge a $1 admission fee and make a living out of it! I had to zoom all the way in as far as I could for a photo:
Along the way, no clue where it is, but stunning!
Now it was completely cloudy…so hard to predict weather in Iceland!
We planned to visit Skaftafell National Park on the way to Hali where we’ll be staying for two nights but it started to rain so we decided to continue driving to our destination – a 2.5 hours drive! We passed through some crazy landscape where it is fully covered with volcanic rock and weird looking like green moss. It was raining so we didn’t stop for photos. There are many one lane bridges, rule of thumb….whichever car arrived at the bridge first get to cross first so you’ll need to slow down check if there’s car on the other end before proceed crossing! There was one bridge that was particularly long that you really can’t see the other end of the bridge, it was scary, but there are few spots on the bridge where it is wide enough for two cars so one car can pull over to let the other car pass through. Why can’t they just make it wide enough for two cars? I know not much traffic to save cost! The bridges are completely metal so I can feel the slipperiness when hubby tried to break, not sure why they use metal, wouldn’t it be super slippery during snow?
Then we saw more glacier capped mountains, we had to stop for photos! We safely pulled over off the road for photos!
Me taking photos of the glacier on the back…OMG the ice is blue!!!
We were just mesmerized by the blue glacier!!! We couldn’t take our eyes off that mountain, I told hubby focus on the road and keep driving! He saw a sign and he decided to turn into it hoping to get closer to the glacier. The unpaved road has tons of huge potholes that I got very nervous! We safely made it!
The heart-shaped glacier, how sweet is that?
I realized this is the secret glacier lagoon, lesser known than Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon, it is called Fjallsárlón Glacier Lagoon!!! We were super excited and ran down to the magical view! Oh my, oh my, it is breathtaking!
It’s super cold from the icebergs so wear your winter jacket!
Don’t underestimate the weight of this small piece of ice – it’s thousand+ years old very dense!
Our cameras and phones were nonstop clicking….it’s so picturesque and unique!
They do boat tours here too and not as touristy as Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon.
The people in red suit heading for the boat tour! Look at that ice blue glacier!
Continue on and across another metal bridge where we saw huge floating icebergs, this must be Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon! We drove in and there is a big parking area there.
OMG another unbelievable scenery! It is out of this world!!! Look at the blue of the water and icebergs! Some icebergs have black stripes (from volcano ashes?) looking like a zebra haha!
There were tons of sea lions hanging out there!
Those black moving spots in the water..those are the sea lions!
It was still cloudy and getting late so we left…we’ll be back the next day! We drove to Hali Country Hotel where it’s only a 11 minute drive from the glacier lagoon. I contacted Hali Country Hotel 9 months in advanced via email and booked their “yellow house”:
It can accommodate our group of 5 (my best friend came with us but her name shall not be named LOL) for $778 for two nights including breakfast. It was very spacious, comfortable, and clean! The living room has a sofa bed:
Next to it is the open kitchen with everything you need to prepare a meal:
Our bedroom, I like the blue color! It has a sink too!
The 2nd bedroom:
The spacious bathroom:
It doesn’t have curtain, not sure why, so I was a little nervous taking a shower, I know no one out there but still…..I use towers to cover it LOL!
The view from our kitchen:
Those clouds were unbelievably low!
Check in is the building of where the museum and hotel restaurant are located. I asked the lady on the nearest market – she said in Hofn an hour away! Urg…we decided to have our dinner at the hotel restaurant – I read good reviews on it.
Hubby ordered the soup to try it out…it was okay not great:
I ordered the meat ball plate (not with lamb meat)! It was good!
Hubby ordered the seafood plate to try out their local fishes. It was good, the white one is some kind of Icelandic fish….it has an interesting texture. The salmon looking fish is not salmon (thanks to Beth H from Trip Advisor it’s called Arctic Char)…it’s caught in the lake next to the hotel!
Our meal total $178 for 5 people with one glass of local wine (my best friend ordered it) oh yikes! Our meal was good but not great for $178!!! We decided to cook for tomorrow’s meal because it’s expensive and the menu is limited, if we come back tomorrow, we really have no clue what to order!
We could have seen more today but due to the rain, we had to change our plan a little. With the cloudy sky, no hope for Northern Lights 😦 I kept checking the forecast as well as looking out the window every few hours but no luck 😦 The surprise for today was we accidentally discovered Fjallsárlón Glacier Lagoon! Love that heart-shaped glacier on the mountain! Iceland is full of surprises just like its weather!