We are now on the final third of the over 1,300 km journey around the island. Heading Southeast to arguably the best part of Iceland. In case you were wondering, where we eat….well…gas stations. Iceland has very nice gas stations, they have everything you need. Only problem is, there are a couple of stretches that are quite remote, away from these gas stations you yearn for when you are cruising in desolate terrain.
We were excited to see they have Skyr yogurt, it’s an Icelandic yogurt and it’s delicious! (you may recognize this…it is here in our stores in the U.S.).
As we continue our clockwise journey heading South , we can help but notice this HUGE glacier. We instantly knew which one it was. It is Vatnsjokull glacier and it covers 8 % of Iceland. The surrounding National Park is the largest protected area in Europe and is believed by many to be the most beautiful place on Earth. We instantly knew we wanted to get closer!!
This was the ‘sign’ to get to the glacier…..
We weren’t sure if it was the right gravel path to the glacier, but we went for it anyways. This bumpy drive seemed to take forever, but so glad we stay committed to this excursion! This glacier is MASSIVE!!
The contrast of the ice and green was so pretty.
We pretty much had the glacier to ourselves, well besides these babes hammin’ it up….
Listen to the little goat…baaaaaaaaaa
After the nice glacier stop, we wander back on to route 1 (Ring Road). We decided to have lunch… with a view! Our camper provided everything we needed throughout this journey, including the freedom to create experiences like this!
And if this day hasn’t already been amazing. We knew we were coming up to one of the more exciting stops we were going to see. Jökulsárlón, which means glacial river lagoon. It is a large glacial lake in southeast Iceland, on the edge of Vatnajökull National Park. Situated at the head of the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier, it developed into a lake after the glacier started receding from the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. The lake has grown since then at varying rates because of melting of the glaciers. It is now 0.93 miles away from the ocean’s edge and covers an area of about 6.9 sq miles. It is considered as one of the natural wonders of Iceland. Jökulsárlón has been a setting for four Hollywood movies: A View to a Kill, Die Another Day, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and Batman Begins, as well as the “reality TV” series Amazing Race.
This is one of the highlights of our trip!! WOW!
The shirts we are wearing say OrlandoStrong. Our city, Orlando, was going through the Pulse tragedy right when we left our our trips. We wanted to show some support for our city, by taking ‘OrlandoStrong’ photos throughout our adventure. #OrlandoStrong
After a cold, but amazing visit to Jökulsárlón, we roll up on our next campsite in Vic around 1:00 a.m. Satisfied from a day of adventure and exploration, we fell asleep to the howling of the wind. A perfect end to a perfect day!
After six days of traveling, and five nights of sleeping in a van, we can tell the long nights and early morning routine is beginning to catch up with us. A sluggish start to the day was needed, so we headed to the local swimming pool for a refreshing shower.
This picture was taken from the parking lot (ocean to the right).
Our tired bodies are quickly revitalized when we head off to Vic beach the ‘Stacks of Rocks’. This amazing island keeps showing off as our expedition continues!
The wind was really whipping (and cold) so we decided to bunker in on Vik beach for lunch at Black Beach Restaurant.
During our trip research, we saw some posts on Instagram about a secret hot swimming lagoon. So we went on a hunt and hiked through a valley, along a stream and FOUND IT!
Seljavallalaug (e. Seljvavellir pool) is one of those places many visitors in Iceland miss because they are busy checking off all the highlights of the south on their Been There Done That list. It’s nestled in a narrow valley below the infamous Eyjafjallajökull and it’s the oldest pool in Iceland that is still standing. It was built in 1923 by some visionaries that wanted to provide the locals with a place where they could learn how to swim. Unlike today, where Icelanders won’t graduate school without passing a swim test, most Icelanders didn’t know how to swim in the beginning of the 1900s which was a problem since many of them lived off fishing. It was important to get these things in order and those who built this pool knew that.
Today I believe the pool is mostly maintained by volunteers and of donations but you can still very much swim in it while enjoying the spectacular surroundings. It’s built next to a rock wall that makes up one of its four walls and the water comes from a natural hot spring close by. It’s 25 meters long, 10 meters wide, and even offers dressing rooms where you can change but no showers. There is no entry fee and you are asked to treat it with care and respect but alcohol consumption is strictly forbidden. I don’t think you want to be wasted in that location with something happening and no lifeguard anyway!
On to the next stop! This area is PACKED with awesome stops. We have read and saw pictures of a plane that had crashed back in 1973. On Saturday Nov 24, 1973 a United States Navy Douglas Super DC-3 airplane was forced to land on Sólheimasandur’s black sand beach in the south of Iceland after experiencing some severe icing. Luckily all crew members survived the crash, but the airplane’s fuselage was abandoned. Now it’s become a photography dream location. The local landowners have banned vehicles driving on the beach. You now have to walk 2.5 miles to the plane from the road. We aren’t going to lie. It was a very loooonnng walk. But we are so glad we did it!!
Our amazing journey is dramatically enhance by what seems like endless days, well at least endless sunlight! Thank goodness, because there is so much to see and lots of adventures to be part of. We certainly don’t mind rolling up to a campsite after midnight, seems like our nightly routine!
Next up: Our final leg on the Ring Road!