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MAY 15TH: Southern Coast & Glacier Lagoon

On Monday I went on a 15 hour long trip through the southern coast of Iceland and ended at Jökulsárlón a glacier lagoon located at the mouth of Vatnajökulsþjóðgarður. Iceland’s largest glacier and national park. Along the way out there we stopped at various points, such as Skògafoss and this farm that was caught in the ash cloud of the volcano eruption in 2010. The owner of the farm took photos and opened a museum across the street from his farm lol. Then we stopped at Skògafoss and took photos of the beautiful waterfall and ventured on to another stop of lava rocks. The lava rocks were only 200+ years old from an eruption in 1783. The moss that is on the rocks is seen all over the island, but is very delicate and takes a long time to grow. At the glacier lagoon our driver took us to a beach that contains some washed ashore pieces of ice. I finally got to see some black sand beaches and a seal! It was so windy that watching the birds try to fly opposite the direction of the wind was somewhat humorous and sad. Afterwards we took a boat/truck combo into the lagoon to get up close and personal with the glaciers. Well not thaaaat up close. Apparently this lagoon has never freezes because it has warm air coming in from the Atlantic. In the James Bond: Die Another Day something something .. they froze the lagoon by blocking the opening to the ocean. Pretty nifty. Anywho after the boat tour we ventured back to Reykjavik. We were supposed to stop in Vik; however, the wind was so strong that we were advised to continue going and skip dinner. I’m pretty bummed I didn’t get to see the lava stacks on the beaches in Vik, but I’ll have to come back. Then we were driving through this valley that gets up to 25 m/s (56 mph) winds and there was a camper van that lost control and got blown off the road. Luckily the cabin portion of the van landed upright, but all the people’s belongings and rest of the van was scattered in the valley.

Afterwards the tour guide decided to tell us a story about the “hidden people” in Iceland. Apparently these “hidden people” stem from the garden of eden where they too ate the fruit of knowledge and were therefore banned from the garden. However, there was so sort of tiff with God and apparently he got mad and made them and all their children invisible like ghosts and never to permanently exist anywhere. SO in Iceland they claim to have these mysterious figures that exist and then disappear into thin air. The tour guide told us of a story involving his 6 year old daughter and her two older siblings. The young daughter would speak of this man in the mountain behind the house. So her older siblings knew of these hidden people and their rumored knowledge of all and they tried to take advantage. They then asked the younger sister to go to this man and request the numbers for the Saturday night lotto. Time passed and the young girl came back very confused saying that “One must promise a favor in order to receive one.” So the tour guide said he is a product of his environment and believes these hidden people exist since his daughter came back speaking words that she didn’t even understand. It was a lovely story that was a great distraction for us considering the wind was blowing so hard everyone was a bit weary of driving through.

Eventually we got to the other side of the mountain and visited Seljalandsfoss. This is the waterfall you are able to walk behind; however, I chose not to because it was far too windy, cold and my jacket was still wet from the glacier lagoon. I wasn’t trying to perpetuate my cold my being showered in spring water. However, I did fill my water up with the water and it was far better than the sulfur-y tap water. Anywho after a long and exhausting day I finally made it back to my guesthouse. It still baffles me that the sun doesn’t fully set until close to midnight.