Where's Lauren? travel blog

Glacier hike

Receding glacier tongue

Elf houses complete with bone offerings

Sheer joy

Basalt cave on the beach

Angry sea

Beautiful church

Waterfall walker

Behind the falls

Yesterdays meat soup battle attempted to sideline me, no dice. I woke up this morning very tired (16 hours on a bus will do that) but excited to embark on my final Icelandic tour. I really can't believe how quickly this trip is going. It's been very busy and full but I'm incredibly relaxed.

Once again armed with a full rain suit we ventured back to the south coast. For someone who isn't outdoorsy, I have used that suit, a LOT. There were only 6 of us today and they thought I was "very clever" to have brought a rain suit and been prepared for the weather. Wha..?! Personally, I'm shocked at what some people consider prepared for the elements.

Anyway, first stop was a waterfall. Lots of waterfalls here, they're all unique and each name ends in 'foss' which means waterfall. Mastering the language. I might have still been sleepy because I wasn't blown away. Oops. Next stop though was Solheimajökull glacier tongue. Jökull is pronounced like yogurt and means glacier, I think. It was during this hike that Iceland introduced me to sideways rain. Jeesh. The rain suit helped, sort of. Cool to hear the glacier creaking though.

On the way to our next stop we stopped by a folk museum. A 96 year old man has been collecting things forever and they finally turned it in to a museum. There was a lot of stuff. A lot. A museum makes you a curator, before it was built I can only assume he was a hoarder.

Yesterday we visited a spooky beach, today we went to the other side of that beach. It. Was. Awesome. I felt like Lieutenant freaking Dan. Sideways rain, gale force winds and absolutely intense, scary surf. I've never seen an ocean that angry. I was so happy. The guides keep telling us that people are regularly swept to sea on this beach and I found it hard to believe until I saw it. It was difficult to walk upright because of the wind and the waves had no rhyme or reason. There was no planning or watching sets, every wave came from a different direction and every wave felt rogue. Such joy!

En route to our final stop, today's guide (Hilmar) told us a story about wereseals (no wolves or predators on the island so seals it is) and uttered the phrase "It's getting harder to be an elf in iceland..." and I was so caught off guard I quit listening for a minute. Presumably he was referring to the influx of tourists and infrastructure building. Typical elf problems. Hilmar then said it's always been hard to be a troll in Iceland due to the lack of darkness in summertime. Makes total sense. Trolls turn to stone in daylight. What do you think those stone pillars are in the beach shots? Plain old rocks?

Last stop of the day and my Icelandic tours was also very cool. I walked behind a waterfall! No big deal. I was soaked but invigorated, the fresh air seems to agree with me in other countries. Another long ride home with wet clothes and a nice long shower to end the day. Will be nice to get some sleep before I bum around Reykjavik tomorrow.


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