1 week trip In Iceland

(day 4 and 5)

Black sand. That’s probably the most eye-catching thing when you drive through Iceland. Vik, the southernmost village of Iceland, and its black shores are probably one of the best example.

We reached the south of Iceland after a scary journey on icy roads in a pitch dark evening. To our utter surprise, when we stepped out our guesthouse (http://greatsouth.is) the following morning, we realised we were in the middle of nowhere. First destination: Vik. After some incredible expensive grocery shopping in a local supermarket(£3 for a loaf of bread, seriously?) and an improvised breakfast in our car with the yummiest Skyr (pretty much the icelandic answer to greek yoghurt) ever, we walked to the black shore. Golden light in the sky (the sun is always at the same height on the horizon during winter which feels like the days are nothing but very long sunsets), snow falling, the sound of the ocean on the beach and the noise of seabirds on the cliffs… We really couldn’t ask for more!

The rest of the day was spent trying to find a wrecked airplane. We left the main road for dirt tracks in the snow and we almost sunk our car in a big pond covered in not so thick ice, we walked back and forth for 4 km on sweeps of black ground until we reached the ocean but no traces of the airplane at all. We later found out that we followed the wrong river…

We went back to the car in time to reach Skogarfoss before it got dark, and I survived climbing several slippery stairs to reach the top of the waterfall. Note: if you plan to see Iceland in winter don’t be stupid, nature is wild in there and everybody is equipped to deal with horrible weather and ice. Of course I bought new boots to go there, but I didn’t notice their flat soles (surprisingly I managed not to fall for the whole holiday).

Time for some delicious steak sandwiches at Gamla fjosid / Old Cowhouse (https://www.facebook.com/gamlafjosid).

Sunny day number 2, headed east to Vatnajökull, the largest and most voluminous ice cap in Iceland. Impossible not to stop on our way thousand of times.  Not a big deal when you don’t come across any vehicles for hours. My newly fixed Olympus OM-1 broke and I had to start using the LC-A +, which of course wasn’t working properly either (but I only found that out once I came back to the UK, when the rolls had been already developed). We reached Skaftafell natural park and we walked to Skaftafelljökull glacier terminus (we actually wanted to follow the path to Svartifoss, “the black waterfall”, but one of the rangers laughed at our shoes and told us that we would have killed ourselves). Spectacular, again. The craziest thing is that we had the opportunity to experience this place (as all the previous) with no other tourists around. It was just us and that breathtaking show, nothing else in between.

From here we kept on traveling east while the light of the day was almost gone.

Soundtrack: Ásgeir – In the Silence (The Deluxe Edition)

Jörð + Vatn, “earth and water”, are all around you.

Olympus OM-1 / LC-A+, Fuji Velvia 100 / Agfa Precisa CT 100 / Fuji Superia 400 (35), January 2015, Iceland