Waterfalls, glaciers and dramatic landscapes
Since our Germania flight direct from Dresden arrived to Reykjavik at midnight, we decided to stay at the Bed and Breakfast Keflavík Airport Hotel, which offered transfers from and to the airport. This way, after a nice rest, breakfast and a shower, we came back to the airport to get our car: a small Polo (we got it with Budget). After checking everything was in order with the car, and since the plan was camping around the island, our first stop was the first shopping area next to the airport. There, in the Bonus supermarket we got food for some days (milk products were delicious, especially Skyr), and in the gas station some camping gas.
And so we went in our adventure! Our first stop in google maps was Thingvellir, but since we got our drone a couple hours before our flight departed the previous day, we stopped at a parking lot before to try it. And it flew! For about 10 seconds. Then it started spinning out of control and crashed. So we picked it up, cleaned it, stored it and would use a bunch of our free time writing with the seller about what the problem would be. And 5 minutes later, we arrived to Thingvellir, where we walked around and saw a small waterfall, Öxarárfoss.
Our next stop was Geysir, where there is geyser, Strokkur, that erupts around 5 per hour. We sat in a bench in front of it, made ourselves some sandwiches, and enjoyed the show several times! The last stop of the day was Gullfoss, big, loud, beautiful, brilliant. We went parked at the bottom, walked next to it, and went to see it from up and check the (very expensive) souvenir shop.
Then we searched for a camping a little bit more south. It took us a bit to find the entrance, and the main building was closed. There was a camping van there but no one appeared while we stayed. It was next to a beautiful small waterfall, the toilets were clean and we had water to cook and clean. We happily built our tent, went to sleep and... well. I checked the weather forecast the day we got the tickets and never again, and by now it was 10 degree colder than I thought it would be, so we had made the terrible mistake to come with our summer sleeping bags. Which was a terrible mistake!
It was so cold that we got up really soon, got all our stuff and got inside the car craving the heating. We drove a bit and when we were not shivering anymore stopped to make us some coffee and breakfast.
After a while we arrived to the first two waterfalls of the day: the very beautiful and well known Seljalandfoss and the one next to it, Gljúfrabúi. Gljúfrabúi is half hidden behind a rock, and to see it full you have to walk through a cave. We were not alone there, but was WAY less crowded than Seljalandsfoss and the added "walking through slippery" small adventure to see it made it our favorite from the both of them. We kept driving, with a short stop to see the Eyjafjallajökull from the road, to Skógafoss. If one can ever get waterfalled out, it is in Iceland. This one was magnificent too. We walked up the stairs next to it to see it from the top, and walked for a while along the path to see more waterfalls and breathtaking views.
Once down to our car to get some lunch, a lady came to us mad, because it was her parking. Sorry, we didn't mean to, we had parked the car too far away and noticed it too late! We asked in a shop there if they had sleeping bags. They had, but too bulky, so she sent us to the next shop in the road. In the next one, they just had in stock the reaaally expensive ones, and when we asked where the next shop was, he told us we would not make it in time before they closed. "It is what it is", he said. And it became my new favourite sentence in the rest of the trip (and in life).
Our next stop was to go with the car through a non-paved road to the top of the hill to see the arch in Dyrhólaey. Really close to it we arrived to Reynisfjara, the famous black sand beach with basalt columns. There we got to see a bit of everything: the lovely puffins (which for our delight, were still there even if the season was over), a group of men bravely (and briefly) getting naked and jumping in the sea and even a wedding.
We then drove through a moon-like lava and moss landscape, and decide to go to a camping in Kirkjubaejarklaustur, where we can even pay with credit card when someone comes! We cook dinner, pitch the tent, talk with the people there and prepare ourselves to try to avoid the cold.
We woke up, freezing and hearing rain pouring like there was no tomorrow. When it stopped a little, we quickly packed the tent and had some breakfast. The day started with some road, which where you can see impressive glaciers, to Skaftafell national park. Our first idea was to do a glacier trekking, but with the weather, we thought we would feel misserable paying the fee for that. Instead, we walked to Svartifoss, got a bit lost and saw a lot of nice things, but not the Vatnajökull view.
When we went back to the visitor center, we were soacking wet, and used the nice area available to made ourselves lunch and dry a bit. We then went to the Fjallsárlón Iceberg Lagoon, where in the short way from the parking there we got so wet again, and there was such a sudden fog, that we had to see Jökulsárlón, which is actually the bigger one, from the parking lot.
At this point the weather was just terrible, and we kept driving trying to go to a further away camping. At one point driving became scary, so when we stopped in a bathroom in a parking lot, we decided to to just park there, curl ourselves in the car, and sleep.