I still can’t hardly believe that Chris and I got to experience Iceland for a second time. Even though this trip came in the form of a ‘short’, 18-hour layover (like, short if you’d love to explore a whole country, long if you’re sitting at an airport bar), I was incredibly grateful to get to see the seriously breathtaking, other-worldly place for a second time. Iceland always leaves visitors wanting more, and we were no exception.
As soon as we landed in Reykjavík, we felt our Nordic time begin to tick. We only had from 7AM to about 8PM, so we quickly grabbed a few water bottles at the duty-free shop, picked up our rental car, and hit the road. I barely remember the first leg of the drive (put me in a moving car and I’ll sleep like a baby), but Chris was filled with adrenaline and got us right where we wanted to go.
To start, we traveled about three hours east to Vík which, charmingly enough, is just about the next town after Reykjavík. Here, I bought myself gloves and a scarf at Vík Wool (it was much colder than I’d anticipated June would be!), grabbed a couple of Icelandic hot dogs, and spent a good chunk of time simply admiring the landscape. Vík is already a super picturesque town, but with purple lupine blooming on nearly every square inch of land it was beauty on another level. I even asked my driver to pull off to the side of the road to take a few photos of me bundled in my new Icelandic scarf. ;)
After our little lupine photo shoot, we made our way over to the black beach that we explored last trip, this time with the intention of seeing it from above. We drove up a narrow, rocky path carved into the side of the cliff where we eventually gained a fantastic view, but the wind was brutal. I definitely thought we were going to blow off into the ocean at one point…!
Next, since we’d gotten to see Skógafoss, Seljalandsfoss and other Ring Road must-sees during our first trip, we decided to gamble on a less well-known, more secluded waterfall just east of Skógafoss. It was a short hike to get there (about 25 minutes with a couple of rocky inclines), and came with a spectacular reward. I would highly recommended this waterfall if you’re headed that way, as it’s much more intimate than Skógafoss and you’re able to hike behind the waterfall for some beautiful photography. We also stopped at the Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon for a few pictures and a quick tip-toe in the river, and (of course) sneaked a couple more Icelandic hot dogs into the agenda as well.
All in all, we were on the road for about 12 hours and traveled around quite a bit. But still, I have no idea where the time went! There is still so much more to see of this beautiful land…I can only hope we’ll be back for a third time. :)