Road to Jökulsárlón

Vatnajokull Travel Blog

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One of the few 2-lane portions of road 1. I must have looked like a cartoon trying to close the door of the car.
  • Where to go now?: So I woke up late (10 am) and missed the complimentary breakfast. I enjoyed my extra hours of sleep and I had food anyway. So I checked out and I decided to go to Vatnajökull "the biggest glacier in Iceland" in Skaftafell National Park to see icebergs in Jökulsárlón, the glacier lake.

 

  • The drive: 4.5 hours... Should I go or not? Well it's a vacation, I'm traveling alone, oh what the heck, let's go! I can't leave ICEland without seeing some ICEbergs ;P And since it's on road #1, I started driving to Vatnajökull. I stopped by an N1 gas station to fill the tank and buy some water and a sandwich. Prices are astronomical and the ubiquitous American fast food chains have invaded Iceland too (Subway, KFC, Dominos).
    Seljalandfoss. It's not that big, but still, look at the red circle. That's people.

 

  • Seljalandfoss: the hotel lady told me to check out this small but powerfull waterfall at þórsmörk. What makes it cool is that you can actually walk behind the falls! It was visible from the road so I parked and walked closer. Once again, wind wind wind... The falls were beautiful, so I got closer and decided to try to hike and go behind it. First I said no way. Wet rocks and crazy wind don't make it look very safe. But then I noticed the volcanic rocks are not as slippery as they look and it was pretty safe to go back there. It was pretty cool! And it might give you a silly sense of achievement too ;)

 

  • Vik: I think Vik means bay in Islenska, and this small city has a nice beach with some nice rocks and beautiful pitch black sand.
    Seljalandfoss: Behind the falls.
    I parked anywhere (I doubted I was gonna get towed) and walked on the beach. I touched the sand and admired the power of the sea and the surreal surroundings... then I got bored and left, hehehe...

 

  • Skaftafell National Park: driving on southern Iceland is an adventure by itself. The wind my friends, I'm not kidding, the crazy wind is so strong I kept driving towards my left to avoid getting pushed out of the road. In some places you can see some mini sand storms and oh gosh, if it starst raining, the horizontal rain won't let you see much around you. Three things I learned to say in Islenska: Takk Fyrir (thank you), Malvik endar (end of paved road) and Varuð (warning), which appears everytime a one-car-at-a-time bridge approaches.
    Vik: rocks at the beach.
    Those mini bridges are so narrow, with the wind pushing, the rain, slippery roads and poor visibility, it's no fun, especially the few longer bridges, those are scary... But somehow I made it safely (and on time) to Skaftafell Park. This place looked so deserted, so dark and mysterious, so dangerous! The wind was tornado-like there, even walking was a big struggle. Most roads towards the actual park were closed (I wouldn't have tried even if they were open), and there was only one car parked. They didn't even get out of the car and just left. I got all wet but could get a few pictures of what I believe is Vatnajökull.

 

  • Jökulsárlón: so I kept driving towards my main destination. I kept thinking I missed the best stuff, especially some waterfalls with rectangular stones I really wanted to see.
    Skaftafell/Vatnajokull: Hard to see, but if you try, there's ice below the mountain and that's the glacier.
    .. But when I got closer to Jökulsárlón and saw the sky-blue lake from the distance with lots of bluish icebergs, I forgot about Skaftafell. I parked and was stunned to see icebergs for the 1st time in my life. It was weird because it wasn't that cold, just windy (I know I know, I keep complaining about  the wind). I got off the car and took many pics, then I parked closer and took even more. I used a tripod which is not a smart thing to do in Iceland. Guess why... yes, the wind! hehehe... It was a wonderful place, very surreal: on one side the atlantic ocean  with powerful waves and on the other side a glacier lake with icebergs with snow-covered mountains in the background. And of course, volcanic black rocks with moss all around you. Just beautiful.

 

  • The Out-of-Gas Drama: very important: GET A PREPAID GAS CARD!!! I knew I should get one, but I thought: "it's just 4 hours, I'll make it".
    Jökulsárlón: it was cloudy so it doesn't show how clear sky-blue the water really is.
    And I did, but I almost didn't! And driving in Iceland after the low fuel beep can be very stressful. I kept driving and driving and no gas stations around. I drove towards Höfn thinking I'd get something there since it's the closest "city". But I couldn't find it and I didn't see any city around or in the horizon, so I decided to go back. I couldn't find any gas station open for a long time, I even drove for more than 15 minutes after the low fuel sign was on, and suddenly out of nowhere, a Shell station! I was very happy to see that familiar yellow shell and celebrated with an ice-cream :) And of course, filled the tank.

 

  • Return to Reykjavik - Finding the Metro hotel: I got lost in Reykjavik as usual, and finding the hotel was so hard! One way streets everywhere make it so confusing. I was very tired and grumpy when I found the hotel, but thank God I could take a parking spot right in front of it. I checked in and the room was designed by Trolls (?) cause it was very small and the bathroom was kind of nasty. There was a huge bee too. I killed that sucker!

 

franciscosss says:
I drove an Auris but still had to hold on to the wheel for my life! hehehe, as dramatic as it sounds, it was quite an experience. Opening the door was also fun, especially for those watching you...
Posted on: Oct 12, 2007
Jelly says:
Ugh! I'm so glad I wasn't the only one trippin' about the wind!! We were knocked around in our Rover non stop and it's sooo hard driving with winds so strong!!
Posted on: Oct 11, 2007
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One of the few 2-lane portions of …
One of the few 2-lane portions of…
Seljalandfoss. Its not that big, …
Seljalandfoss. It's not that big,…
Seljalandfoss: Behind the falls.
Seljalandfoss: Behind the falls.
Vik: rocks at the beach.
Vik: rocks at the beach.
Skaftafell/Vatnajokull: Hard to se…
Skaftafell/Vatnajokull: Hard to s…
Jökulsárlón: it was cloudy so i…
Jökulsárlón: it was cloudy so …
Seljalandfoss from the distance.
Seljalandfoss from the distance.
Vik, Im holding icelandic black b…
Vik, I'm holding icelandic black …
My footsteps.
My footsteps.
Posing at Jökulsárlón. Of cours…
Posing at Jökulsárlón. Of cour…
Car at Jökulsárlón.
Car at Jökulsárlón.
Imposing mountain: dark and rectan…
Imposing mountain: dark and recta…
Piles of rock.
Piles of rock.
Car with dark rectangular mountain…
Car with dark rectangular mountai…
My room Metropolitan Hotel at Reyk…
My room Metropolitan Hotel at Rey…
Vatnajokull
photo by: wanderlustdave