Iceland Road Trip Part 3: Jökulsárlón

Suzy WimbourneComment

Day 3

With just shy of 7 hours driving to cover and the aim of reaching Jökulsárlón for the sunset it was another early start for us. We packed the car and hit the road, sharing the driving for two hours at a time. 

The weather began gloomy and it wasn't until we reached Selfoss did things look a little brighter. We raided a grocery store there for supplies for the next couple of days and that included the ingredients for chilli con carne. 

On the long road we made our only detour to Seljalandsfoss waterfall. It's sheer power was most impressive as it fell from 60 metres high and hit the pool like a sheet of glass, splintering spray in all directions. It was possible to walk all the way around the waterfall and the closer we got the more we thanked our waterproofs for keeping us dry. Before leaving I couldn't resist a more unique photo opportunity after jons suggestion of climbing a hill next to the waterfall for a better vantage point. Whilst the spray inevitably covered the lens it was still a great scene. 

Our breaks had set us back and we now had a race against time to reach Jökulsárlón before dark. The sky had changed once again and we had perfect conditions for an epic sunset. It was like another planet. The road was straight as it tore past the mountains on the left and the lava fields to the sea on the right. After an hour or so without stopping to appreciate what we'd been seeing through the car window I couldn't resist pulling over and getting out. We had the open road to ourself, all this scenery just for us and the bright sky and sun too which only encouraged us to take more photographs. It was hard getting back into the car and now at little points along the way, be it a waterfall or new vista, we stopped with the timer set to two minutes knowing we definitely had to make the sunset now. 

We reached the hotel in good time which was before where the lake was and after paying for it and being told we had been upgraded we ran back to the car without even checking our rooms. 

We arrived at the lake shortly after the sun had gone down, but the sky was blue and pink and the clouds were all dramatic. 

I cannot explain the feeling of awe as we dipped over the hill on foot to the glacial landscape below. A few people were there already but still it felt like we were alone. It was beautiful and unlike anything we had ever seen before. The chunks of ice on the lake slowly drifted on the still waters and glistened in the evening light. This place was something else and with immediate effect I committed it to memory for safe keeping. We stayed until the light had all but faded and made our way back to the hotel. 

From the highs of what we had just witnessed to the realisation that chilli con carne was off the menu that night thanks to no cooking facilities (our prior research had told us otherwise) we were left with the choice of £25 trout soup or making the most of what's in the bag. This was one of the those funny moments in life of making the most of a bad situation and I won't go into detail of what we ended up with. Suffice to stay we did offload the mince to the hotel kitchen's fridge for round two the next day.

Before calling it a night we had a couple of drinks, a dip in the hotel hot tub and an optimistic but mostly disappointing aurora watch in comparison to what we witnessed on our first night.

Another brilliant day we'd never experience the same way again.