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Our first day in Iceland was very cold, windy and rainy. Day two we were blessed with perfect weather – a light breeze, some clouds and warm sun. The beautiful weather helped make our guided tour an adventure to remember.
We found a great deal through Icelandair offering a unique and adventurous Volcano Tour, a Glacier Walk, and a guided off-road super Jeep excursion through volcanic landscapes – including the Eyjafjallajokull Volcano that famously erupted two years ago. The tour also included waterfalls and black sand beaches. In addition to the daylong excursion our package included airfare and our stay at the four star Hilton Nordica in Reykjavik.
On the day of the Glacier walk and tour, our guide picked us up at the hotel at 8:00 a.m. and we set out to enjoy the sites.
Waterfalls such as this can be seen all over the island. Many have private homes and farms at the base so they must get pretty tired of the tourists stopping for photos.
I’m not an expert but am pretty sure this is a volcano. If I had to guess I think this is the famous Eyjafjallajokull volcano that disrupted air travel all over Europe in 2010.
We continued on our journey stopping to see glaciers along the way. I believe this is the Gigjokull glacier complete with an ice cave at the bottom.
I love having perspective for landscape photos so look for the tiny people on the bottom left of the photo. One is dressed in red and another in blue. Big glacier, big mountain!
Sometimes pictures just can’t fully show the awesome power of nature.
We headed out to the next stop – the Solheimajokull glacier. The Icelandic word for glacier is jökull so if you’re not sure if it’s a mountain or glacier – check the spelling!
Here’s our little tour group getting ready to ford the rivers and head to the glacier.
Our guides let a little air out of the tires to help.
I think we’re ready!
They do a great job of giving the tourists a little excitement!
A big splash and we’re on our way.
Our guide told us the rivers continue to change all the time – they aren’t always sure where to cross 🙂
At the last volcanic eruption the whole area was underwater from the melting glacier and snow. Several bridges were taken out but nobody died as a result of this eruption.
We arrived at the Solheimajokull glacier and received instruction from the expert. We put crampons on our boots and started hiking up the tongue of the glacier.
We hiked single file not venturing off the designated path. Our guide was full of great information and gave a fascinating history of the area. I also found it very interesting that Icelanders do not pronounce the letter “V” as a “V”. They use a “W” instead so a Valley is a Walley and a Viking is a Wiking. It took a few minutes to figure out what a Walley was – but we got it (finally)!!!
Snow will often cover large crevasses so it would be very easy to fall into a deep hole.
Here’s our friends Jim and Shannon. We asked what we need to do with the ice axes and they told us it made for good photos. Check out the crampons on their boots.
Look at all these nice Icelandic manly men! They were very nice and passionate about their country and it’s natural resources.
We had one extra young man in our vehicle. This is Dave from Australia (on the left.) He is a fourth generation organic cattle rancher in Queensland and spends his days mustering the cows. He was traveling alone in Iceland taking day tours then heading to Belgium for three weeks. What a great guy! He was also staying at our hotel so he had dinner and a few breakfasts with our group. Come visit us in the US anytime Dave!
Dave posing with his ice ax 🙂
And this was our guide for the day – Asgeir Asgeirsson. Another great guy who spoke perfect English. Asgeir said he started learning English in school when he was about 8 years old. We peppered him all day with questions about the economy, life in Iceland, his family, etc. He was a great sport and didn’t seem to mind our fascination with his Country. Asgeir said tourism has increased 20% in the last few years so tours such as this are becoming very popular.
After our glacier hike we were treated to a wonderful lunch at a small farm and hotel named Anna. We enjoyed a traditional Icelandic bowl of meat soup with warm homemade bread and pitchers of their wonderful, clean, cold water. The meat soup is made with lamb and they also offered a tomato based soup for those who may be vegetarian.
Hearty and flavorful, this soup was loaded with parsnips, potatoes, carrots, lamb and barley. Delicious!
Next on the tour were two beautiful waterfalls. This is the Skogarfoss Waterfall complete with a rainbow!
The water is so clean in Iceland you can drink right from the streams.
This enormous waterfall is one of the most famous in Iceland – named Seljalandfoss (Foss in Icelandic means Falls) See the tiny people on the right – they are going to walk behind the falls.
I bet they get wet!
Shot from behind the falls. Absolutely beautiful!
Jim and Shannon got a little wet too 🙂
After touring the falls we jumped back in the vehicles and headed to the North Atlantic coast.
Here we saw beautiful black volcanic beaches and a roaring surf.
Not exactly the same beaches you see in Florida but unbelievably beautiful.
Our guide offered us a drink of their traditional schnapps – Brenniven (a/k/a black death). He brought out small glasses and a bottle and we toasted our completely awesome day!
If you find yourself in Iceland and would like a tour of waterfalls, glaciers and a black volcanic beach, we highly recommend our guide – Asgeir Asgeirsson. You can find them on Facebook or at www.2iceland.is. Be sure to ask for Asgeir – he was awesome!
Please check back again for more photos of our trip and thanks so much for stopping by!