Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Iceland Day 4: Skaftafell - Djúpivogur

Today we woke up with a real treat—a blue sky and no rain!  I was beginning to think a giant cloud had parked itself over Iceland and was insistent on staying there our whole ten days, but today was a true gift.  I’ll admit, I even prayed for a clear day after so many of less than desirable weather.  Today we had so much planned and I didn’t want anything to be ruined!

We started out by exploring Skaftafell, which is part of Vatnajökull National Park, which is a huge park that covers 13% of Iceland and honors the massive glacier Vatnajökull.  We took a quick hike to check out the famous Svartifoss (waterfall), taking in the lovely views at Sjónarnípa, and checking out the turf covered farmhouses at Sel.   

Afterwards we made our way to Jökulsárlón, one of the most beautiful glacier lakes in the world.  I was praying for a blue sky day just for this and was so thankful we could see the beautiful glacier break-offs floating in the water.  At first the lake appeared smaller than I expected, but as we walked along the shore, the tourists disappeared and we were left to explore the shores alone.  I wonder if you can walk around the entire thing?  It surely would take hours.  It was a truly memorable experience.  I had never even seen a glacier before so what a real treat! 

A nasty surprise was the onslaught of Arctic Terns (birds) who were everywhere around the parking lot, swooping down all around our heads.  Surely they could get a peck if they really wanted to.  Apparently you’re supposed to hold a stick above your head so they’ll peck that instead.  That trick came in handy later on in our trip when some of the birds got really angry with me as I walked upon their deserted beach.  

Evening was spent in the harbor city Höfn where we took our first shower since our first day.  Never had a shower felt so good!  Heated swimming pools (complete with water slides) and hot pots (hot stubs) are found in even the smallest towns in Iceland.  We didn’t even go for a swim, just showered up!  Best $6.00 I ever spent. 

Next was something I had been waiting for, a lobster dinner!  The town of Höfn is known for their lobster (well, actually it’s langoustine) so this was the place to get it.  We decided on a restaurant named Kaffi Hornid and were not disappointed.  My lobster pasta was divine and will be a wonderful memory, while my man went for the surf and turf.  The grass-fed beef was perfect and the six lobster tails were a treat.  

To make some headway, we decided to continue on up to the coastal town Djúpivogur in the East Fjords to spend the night.  The town was decidedly bizarre, we pulled up after midnight to see different sections of the town decorated in different colors: yellow, orange, and pink.  Must have been some (super goofy) variation of Independence Day.  Please note the photographs of Jesus at the church and the mermaid donning their orange. 

We found a cozy field between the mountains and the water and thanked God for a beautiful day and a wonderful trip so far!

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