Iceland: Driving the South Coast
After a hard rain all night we woke up in Hofn to a beautiful rainbow – but clouds and rain hung around for much of the day. Our drive along the south coast was a mixed bag – mostly rain – but occasional flashes of bright sunshine. Along the route, we managed to get to all our intended sights.
We stopped back by the Glacier Lagoon to see how the icebergs had moved. The sky was dark with the wind whipping, and we could see the bergs floating and the blue ice seemed brighter than ever. Seals and birds were active.
We drove through the 218 sq mile Eldhraun Lava Field, a result of an eruption in 1783-84 that wiped out crops, and half the region’s livestock, resulting in the starvation of 25% of the population. There were fields of lupine (now considered a harmful invasive species here) and beautiful Icelandic horses. We had a nice lunch in the southernmost town of Vik before heading out to Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach, the last of my Game of Thrones sites on this trip. It was the site of Season 7’s Eastwatch-by-the-Sea.
Signs everywhere warn of danger, the “sneaker waves” can appear without warning and have claimed victims. Most people heeded the warnings since it was a particularly nasty part of the day and the Atlantic looked fierce. The wind was so strong I thought it was going to blow the phone out of my hand. You could see the basalt columns, cave, and enough coastline to get the idea. We didn’t stay long.
Suddenly the weather was better and well timed for our visit to 180’ high Skogafoss Falls and the slightly taller 210’ Seljalandsfoss Falls. Seljalandfoss is famous because you can walk behind it. If you do, you get soaked and it’s slippery, not something I needed to do.
We ended the day at the lovely Umi Hotel, sitting off by itself with a distant view of the sea. Here is a sample of a few more scenes along the way.