20 October 2010

The road to Kirkjubaejarklaustur

After waking up to another delicious breakfast buffet we started our drive south on the Ring road to Kirkjubaejarklaustur (you have got to love Icelandic names). I knew there would be beautiful scenery along the way, but I was in awe of just how stunning every which way you looked was. The first waterfall we came across was Skogafoss. We were pleasantly surprised that no one else was there. We were able to hike behind the waterfall and then onto several much smaller ones.

The backside of a waterfall looks just like the frontside, but for some reason it feels doubly exhilarating to be behind one. Must be the novelty of it all.

The only regrettable part of the trip was that we did not bring our tripod. As a result, there are very few photos of both of us taken from a distance.

I love how on this bathroom sign, the girl has pig tails.

What is a trip without a smooching photo?

Each time you enter a town, there is this type of sign. As you leave the town, there is this sign with a red strike through it.

After Skogafoss we encountered several areas of both sheep and Icelandic horses, this was the start of their constant companionship on our trip. There are more sheep in Iceland than people.

The views were something out of a fairytale or a dream.

The next waterfall we hiked up to was Seljalandsfoss. There were 371 steps we had to climb to reach the top, which was a big deterrent for most tourists.

Once at the top, there was this gorgeous trail which winded along a river and then to another waterfall. At that moment, I felt an overwhelming sense of appreciate and amazement that I was able to be in such a spectacular place.

I have been jumped on one to many times to not appreciate a no dog zone hike.

Iceland has invested in thorough signage and relatively smooth roads. You can readily see where you are headed and where you have been. Now just try to pronounce them all. We typically stuck with spelling most names, so that we knew where the other person was talking about.

Next we headed to Dyrholaey which is this black sand beach which reminded us of the Oregon coast. We saw a couple seals swimming in the ocean and lots of birds flying by overhead.

Famished we sought food in the town of Vik. Unfortunately, the gas station was the only viable food option. We enjoyed our first Icelandic fish and chips and thought how our gas stations could use an upgrade from hot dogs and nachos.

Off the side of the road we encountered moss covered lava fields. I could have played in here for an entire afternoon. It was soft and springy wherever you stepped and had the most magical feel to it. Being in a place like this just makes you want to believe in fairies and talking woodland creatures.

This might just be my most favorite photo from the trip. The moss was unreal and so plush, it almost beckoned you to lay down on it.

There seemed to be a pattern of three when it came to sheep sitings. Three must not be a crowd when you are a sheep.

As we approached Kirkjubaejarklaustur I was pleased by the quaintness and scenery. Unfortunately its quaintness resulted in yet another meal at the gas station, but this time it was wild mushroom soup and homemade bread. Little did we know it would be such a feat to find food, but what would we do without N1? (the gas station everywhere)

Fjadragljufur is this amazing gorge compromised of soft mossy outcroppings where the Fjadra river plunges over and snakes through.

The pathways are well worn, but on this particular day we had the place to ourselves, well us and the sheep that is.

Some of the well worn pathways lead dangerously close to fairly high drop offs. We were surprised so many people risked their lives for a foot closer to the edge.

If this is not evidence of a loving creator I do not know what else is. Truly spectacular scenery and although the photo is pretty amazing, it does not do it justice.

Just another day on the Ring road in Iceland, it is hard to not be all smiles and take a zillion photos.


Steve, Lynn & Brian said...

my name means "dweller by a waterfall." I definitely feel I deserve this trip!

Tavia said...

Wow! You were right. Iceland must be one of the most beautiful places on earth. Your photos are breath-taking and so amazing that some of them almost feel surreal or fabricated, because they are far removed from everyday scenery.