Our second day in Iceland was truly magical – the perfect way to celebrate our one year anniversary! We booked another tour through Arctic Adventures, the same group we booked the Black & Blue tour with last time around. (The one where I had a panic attack during diving in freezing water). James and I were standing outside of our hotel, and waited to be picked up super early in the morning. A van pulled up at 7:45 a.m. and called out our names. We sat down and proceeded to be driven through the city like a game of Crazy Taxi. The driver was up and down curbs, taking turns too quickly and stopping literally just in time. We arrived at another large bus station where we proceeded to a small bus that would take us through Southern Iceland.
Southern Iceland is… breathtaking. I am going to let the pictures do the majority of the talking, because this was just a magical tour, filled with rainbows, waterfalls, glaciers, hiking and more.
Our first stop was at the Skógafoss waterfall.
Yes, this is all real. It was stunning. Shortly thereafter, we drove to the Sólheimajökull glacier for “glacier hiking.” This was seriously a once in a lifetime opportunity. The glaciers in Iceland are sadly melting, and not being reconstituted due to temperature and weather. We had to hike about 30 minutes to the glacier (and to be honest, this was the most difficult part of the journey!). Once at the glacier, we strapped on crampons and received ice picks (I think mostly for show, I really didn’t use it!). Our guide took us around the glacier and provided us with facts about the different areas of it.
Following, we headed to Black Beach – which received its name because of the color of the sand, which was created by volcanic ash and rock. The beach was breathtaking. Every time you turned a corner, there was something else magical to see.
At this point, the majority of the group was “hangry.” I had brought provisions for sandwiches from the U.S. (part of my 4.75 kg!) and so James and I were doing quite well. This called for a stop in the village of Vik – which is really a tiny fishing village with a knitting factory. I of course, had to buy a hat.
Afterwards, we drove on top of a cliff (but they called it an island) which had a luxury hotel in a lighthouse. Luxury is questionable, and there are only four rooms available. The view is fantastic though.
The tour continued on with a pitstop along the beach where a plane from WWII had crash landed. It was a U.S. plane that was flying from the east part of Iceland to the west, and had forgotten to fuel up beforehand. All passengers survived. But it left a very cool shell.
Our final stop of the day was Seljandsfoss waterfall. This is the waterfall you can walk behind. Only a few people on our tour opted to do this. Crazy people! Everyone should walk behind a waterfall.
It was clear, on our ride back, that we would not be making our 8:00 p.m. reservation at Sjávargrillið (SEAFOOD GRILL). I called the restaurant, quickly updated our reservation and anxiously waited for the tour bus to drop us back off at our hotel. This is hands down one of our favorite restaurants in the world (so far) and we really didn’t want to miss the opportunity to dine there. Our bus got us to the hotel at 8:45 p.m. We bolted inside, changed as quickly as possible, and then RAN to dinner in the rain. We made it two minutes before our updated reservation time.
James ordered the exact same thing he did last time we were there – the lobster meal. He’s so original. I opted to change it up a bit and had the shellfish stew and a lobster and beef main course. For dessert we split James’ creme brûlée which was served with sorrel and strawberries.
Exhausted from our day, we quickly stopped at the Lebowski bar (but only to see the inside) and then headed back to the hotel for some much needed sleep.