Adventures on Iceland’s South Side

In another new environment, we should have expected that the twins wouldn’t sleep well.  It didn’t help that light from the construction floodlight aimed at our window seeped around the blackout curtains.  I guess we experienced the midnight sun after all!


Other than that, Hali Country Hotel had new rooms with concrete walls, the setting was spectacular, the food and complimentary breakfast were great, and there was a little museum exhibition about the settlement of Iceland!  After a midnight snack, the twins eventually fell asleep and we all “slept in” until 8:00.  Al and Betsy, however, went to Jökulsárlón (the glacier lagoon) to see the sunrise!

Jok AM Ice-girls

We were too late for the first boat tour but found a spot with washed up glacier ice, so we still got to see it up close!

Ice-Pete Jok

Two Bond movies and “Tomb Raider” had scenes filmed here.

Jok-vikings Ice-Al

I found these viking hats at the multiples consignment sale the week before our trip, $.50 each!  How could I resist?

Jok-fly2 Jok-fly1

Flying babies (“Pete, you’re too close to the edge!”)

Vik-Betsy Vik-organ columns

We were relieved to find open restaurants in Vik after the previous day’s food flop.  As we arrived at nearby Reynisfjara to admire the black sand beach, basalt columns and sea stacks, and the rock arch at Dyrholaey, the weather became a windy (~70mph), sleety mess.

Vik-black sand

We were not swayed from our mission of gathering some black sand!  (I don’t know if it was allowed–I couldn’t really walk or see in the wind, let alone read any signs)  We felt like we could barely make it back to the car against the wind with the sleet stinging our eyes, and Pete said there were cars that pulled into the parking lot, took one look at the weather, and left.  I’m sure the people in the background of this picture who actually got out of their cars thought we were crazy!

Vik-hats Vik-sand decor

Icelandic wool hats made in Vik!  This is what I did with my hard-gathered sand (and Betsy, too).  I purchased these Iceglass votives in Reykjavik, and if I had known their glassblowing studio and store were in Reykjanesbaer….well, anyway, we were busy enough!!

Skogarfoss Skogar museum

Next stop: Skógar.  It was quite a rough drive in the wind, but Pete perservered and the sky became beautiful just in time for our afternoon waterfall exploration.  The Skógar Folk Museum had just closed as we arrived, but a few outdoor exhibits of the Sod Farm were open so we let the twins loose at the museum and at Skógarfoss.  I was glad we had at least seen that little Hali Hotel museum exhibition.

Gljurarfoss 1 Gljurarfoss 2

We would not have know about Gljúfurárfoss, “canyon river waterfall,” had it not been for Bonnie’s FB pictures (thanks!)  It wasn’t too hard to find, and we made our way up to it by following and teetering on rocks along the edge of the creek (Betsy waded in her awesome boots).  Al also took the more adventurous route and hiked/climbed up the slippery rock face of a steep hill (see his white knuckles?)

Gljurarfoss 3 Seljalandsfoss

And the final “foss” of the day, Seljalandsfoss.  We didn’t think it could hold a candle next to (well, 3 waterfalls down from) Gljúfurárfoss…but it did.  There’s just something about being behind the waterfall that is simply amazing.  A pretty sunset helps, too.


Add a home-cooked dinner of salmon (the only thing in the grocery store that wasn’t more expensive than at home) back in Reykjavik, and Day 4 was very satisfying, and very complete.


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