We were up early on May 22nd, for our first full day driving the Ring Road and our last day in Hveragerdi. Our major scheduled stops on the day would be Dyrhólaey, Reynisdrangar Sea Stacks, Vik and Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon. This is a photo of the Black Beach of Dyrhólaey with the Reynisdrangar Sea Stacks in the background.
We decided to have breakfast at the Almar Bakari. They have the best coffee I’ve ever tasted and a great selection of pastries and bread. I picked the biggest pastry I could find.
Our goal was to drive from Hveragerdi to Kirkjubaejarklaustur with stops along the way. As I mentioned we had already stopped at some of the major sites on the previous day. This allowed us a little more time as we drove through South Iceland. Just after Selfoss we crossed over Thjorsa River and the waterfall Urridafoss.
We next Stopped at Seljalandsfoss where we spent quite a bit of time the previous day. This was just a bathroom break. Always be prepared.
We drove past the Farm Below Eyjafjallajokull. We would have liked to stop at the museum but it wasn’t open early in the morning.
Yesterday we noticed an old farmstead along the road but didn’t stop. Today we decided to stop at Drangshlid 2 and look around. Apparently this Drangshlid farm is an ancient property and folklore tells us that elves live in the rocks into which the buildings are constructed. There is a place to contribute money for the reconstruction of the old buildings. The newer farm buildings are back off of the road.
After a short drive we passed Skogafoss. There were already quite a few people at the falls.
Our first major stop on today’s drive was Dyrhólaey and the Dyrhólaey Nature Reserve. the major attractions in this are the black beaches, sea arch and the birds. There is also a lighthouse but we decided not to take the time to drive up the long steep road. Looking west you can see the sea arch and black beaches.
Looking east toward Vik there is a beautiful black beach and the Reynisdrangar Sea Stacks in the distance.
After leaving Dyrhólaey we encountered some beautiful farms. Note the black farm buildings. This was a bit unusual. One wonders how they find the buildings during the winter when it is dark most of the time.
Our next stop was Reynisdrangar Beach and the Reynisdrangar Sea Stacks. There was also a good view of Dyrhólaey from the road. We walked along the beach and snapped a few photos. There have been quite a few deaths in this area because people were a little to anxious to capture photos of the sea stacks.
Shortly after our visit someone had to be rescued from these rocks. Apparently they had climbed up and then didn’t know how to get down.
As we left the area we stopped to take a photo of the Reyniskirkja Church and some lambs that were sleeping along the road.
In Vik our first stop was the Vik Church which sits high on a hill overlooking the city. As luck would have it the Lupine was in almost full bloom and provide a beautiful foreground.
We drove down to the beach where we had a view of the Reynisdrangar Sea Stacks and the Vik Church. There was an N1 gas station at the beach so we decided to try our first of many N1 hotdogs. Hotdogs and drinks at N1 stations were relatively inexpensive and quite good.
Heading east out of Vik the land flattened out. There was this one hill along the road. It looked like some hikers were going to attempt to hike to the top.
The next area that we found interesting was a vast area of mossy covered volcanic rocks. We encountered this sight periodically though the rest of the day interspersed with areas of just rock. They were just starting to turn green when as we passed through.
We kept seeing what appeared to be clouds in the distance but as we got closer we discovered it was a sand storm coming down out of the mountains. I noted the sign on the dashboard of the car reminding me that damage caused by sand storms was not covered.
We drove through Kirkjubaejarklaustur and found our guesthouse. Once we checked into our room at the Horgsland Guesthouse, which was in the middle of nowhere. We decided to drive back to Kirkjubaejarklaustur and look for Kirkjugólf (the church floor). Unfortunately the light was not good so we decided that we would come back in the morning when the light was better.
We backtracked west on the Ring Road to the turnoff for Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon where we spent the rest of the evening looking around. There is a trail that follows along the canyon rim . Deep down in the canyon are a number of waterfalls but they were difficult to photograph because of the light. In the spring when the water levels are low you can walk up into the canyon until you encounter the waterfalls.
We returned to Kirkjubaejarklaustur which is basically a couple of gas stations and a roundabout and then continued on to our Guesthouse. This is the setting for the Horgsland Guesthouse and Cottages. This capped off a day of driving through an incredible range of scenery. I don’t think I have ever encountered such a diverse landscape in such a short distance anywhere in the U.S.
More photos and a complete listing of my Icelandic blogs can be found on my website.