After an 8 hour flight, we landed in Reykjavik, rented a car and headed east. Our circumnavigation of the island began immediately, with a two hour drive and two epic waterfalls before we checked in to the Icelandair Hotel in Vík.
When we arrived in Iceland, I was delirious from the travel (being a vegetarian is tough sometimes!). The only restaurants open when we got in were gas stations, and even then, my snacks didn't satiate my hungry appetite. However, when we made our first stop at Seljalandsfoss that all disappeared. Walking behind a beautiful waterfall filled me with so much excitement, my priority for eating completely went away. At our next stop, Skógafoss, I was so impressed by how close you can get to the waterfall. A double rainbow nearby didn't hurt either!
By the time we set out for our hotel, my hunger pangs kicked in so we made a beeline to the closest restaurant in Vík, Halldorskaffi. We then reset - freshened up, took a long nap, had an early dinner at Berg Restaurant and continued our exploration of the town. After sunset, we returned back to our hotel with celebratory drinks at the bar for a successful first day of our 10-day journey.
Photos .by Alex Cornell
As you round the southeast corner of the country, you don't want to miss these attractions: the abandoned plane in Sólheimasandur, the basalt sea stacks called Reynisdrangar, the black sand beach Reynisfjara, the Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon, and Svartifoss waterfall in Skaftafell. A few are off the beaten path so make sure your vehicle is a 4x4 and bring a spirit for off-roading. We had a flat-tire that we were not prepared for, but fortunately we were still in Vík and close enough to an auto repair shop that patched it up quickly. After, we still had our sense of our adventure but that definitely cautioned us to drive slower on gravel roads. Overall, our car served us well and luckily that incident was the only hiccup we had on the trip.
I'm still trying to find out the name of this beach, but it's basically between Höfn and Djúpivogur. I mentioned it already, but we really enjoyed driving along the eastern region of Iceland. The stretches between each stop were much shorter and during this portion of our trip, the weather was perfect.
You'll find Icelandic horses everywhere along the Ring Road so here are a few fun facts I learned about them: 1. No horse has been imported to Iceland for over 1000 years / 2. Once a horse leaves Iceland, it can never go back to keep the breed pure / 3. Horses were brought to Iceland by the Vikings!