The Ring Road
You know your language is hard when google can’t translate it. Icelandic is the strangest language and super hard and I wouldn’t even attempt to pronounce any of it, ever, for any reason. It’s a good thing most of the people know English really well.
To add to the car troubles I’ve already had, my service light AND tire pressure lights were on so I called the rental company and they had me exchange it at the local office, free of charge this time. Which was good because I was not going to pay anything this time around. While I waiting for the new car to arrive I was talking to this guy in the office and I learned that Justin Beiber was going to be having a concert up the road both tonight and tomorrow night. So of course I did the only thing that I could have done. I kept to my plans and I left town.
The Ring Road of Route 1 is the major highway on Iceland and it circles the entire island and makes it really hard to get super lost. Currently it’s possible to make the complete circle in 15 hours, no stops and good conditions. I’m not going to do that. I’m going slow and only taking the southwest corner of the road this trip. My first side stop was SkiöasvæöiöBláfjöllum (yeah you thought I was kidding about that language!) and it was just a little turn off to grab some pictures of a pretty mountain. They’re all pretty mountains around here though this just happened to be one with a sign.
Then it was on to my first actually planned stop at Seljalandsfoss Waterfall (it’s not any better with English characters). This is one of Iceland’s more known tourist attractions because it’s a super tall waterfall and you can actually walk behind the cascade, which is amazing!
Now, did I come prepared for the wetness of Iceland? Nope not really. My jacket has held its own in the light sprinkles of rain I had seen over my trip and it probably would have been fine but with the heavy rain and the spray from the waterfall I had decided to get a proper jacket earlier in the day. I still didn’t have gloves, or waterproof pants/pant covers, or actual hiking boots for that matter. If you’re planning on coming to Iceland, get all of these things before coming here, they’re beyond expensive and I don’t think I could afford the pants and boots even if I did find them. However, I had gotten myself a wool cable knit infinity scarf and matching beanie when I was in Scotland and while the beanie had yet to be worn, I was glad I had it now, it kept my hair out of my face and it kept my head dry. I wrapped the scarf three times around and it became a neck warmer and nose and cheek cover to keep me warm. As I was driving towards the waterfall I had been concerned about my shoes and how slick it would be, I was wearing the boots I had but their tread is non-existent. When I got there however, I was surprised that I didn’t feel the need to tread that carefully, I was very comfortable walking around and didn’t slip at all. The only bad part was my hands were cold and wet and my jeans got pretty wet and heavy so that made me cold. All the same, it’s nothing a hot chocolate and a warm car couldn’t cure.
As I continued I came across a road block of horses being herded along. I like to think they were wild but I know they’re not, all the same, I was not upset about the short delay.
I took several picture stops to look at glaciers and mountains and a second waterfall Skógafoss where I got a closer look at some sheep. Icelandic sheep are so much fluffier than Scottish sheep!
I’m in the little town of Vik for the evening, I can see the ocean from my room and I have a great view, even with the rain still coming down hard! But after chilling out and editing a few photos the clouds parted just a bit and the rain slowed so I walked about 10 minutes to the beach and snagged even more photos! Now it was raining and by the time my excursion was through my pants were soaking wet! But I want to give a should out to Shakespeare and Co, their plastic bags are thick and durable to protect both books and cameras alike.
I’m hoping the clouds will clear up again later tonight so I can see the Northern Lights so fingers crossed everyone!