Iceland - Day 3 - Skógar

Date: 25th July 2008

A day for some travel. It was a pretty easy day, we took our time. left Reyjavík heading for Skógar. When we went in this direction in 2006, we went via Seltún, emerging on Highway 1 at Hverageði after travelling on gravel road 42. This time we went directly on Highway 1.

Monica near SeljalandfossSeljalandfoss

We had good weather for the day. It was warm and pleasant. We stopped at Seljalandsfoss which is about 20km along the road from Hvolsvöllur. Seljalandsfoss is a waterfall, visible for miles along the road as a vertical streak on Stórhödði. There is a picnic area there, as well as public conveniences - and that's it.

Seljalandsfoss is formed from the meltwaters of Eyjafjalljökull, the baby glacier of the Eyjafjalljökull, Mýrdalsjökull, Eyjafjalljökull, Vatnajökull trilogy. Vatnajökull being the big daddy of the glaciers, indeed, it's so large that the various extremities of it often have their own names.

At Seljalandsfoss Monica and I walked behind the waterfall. The paths isn't particularly hard, but it can be slipperly, and on a few occasions it can be steep (but it is 'stepped'). If you decide to do this, start by going to the right of the falls, it's easier that way - and take a waterproof due to the fine spray.

Continuing on, we arrived at Skógar, we were staying at Hotel Skógar. It's a nice little hotel - quite quiet. The trouble was that being all at ground level, occasionally someone walked past the window - we had a small kid looking in at one point. The same was true later in the week at the Northern Lights hotel, but people seemed less inclined there to walk around the hotel.

When we arrived, at about 4pm, I decided to unpack my bicycle and go for a ride. The bike went together with no problems at all. Open case. Lift out. Unfold. Remove fork spacer, put quick release on wheel. Attach wheel. Put in stem. Put in handlebars. Put in saddle. Pedals. Done. Then it came to pumping the tyres. Now, here I had problems. The pump I had brought with me chose this point to fail. It simply would not get a good seal around the valve. It was a non-starter - I could not ride. This was so frustrating. I had to pack everything up again.

So, what to do now? Well, Mum had gone for a walk up to Skógarfoss, so Monica and I went to find her, then suggested that we take a trip down to Vík. At Vík there are some superb black sand beaches. Around the corner is Dyrhólaey, where one can see puffins and nice rock formations (although we didn't get there on this trip). As we got near to Vík the weather changed. It became very windy - and so this small excursion became nothing more than arriving at Vík, getting blown about on our way into the touristy wool shop there, and returning to the hotel (where the weather improved again). That's the thing with Iceland, the weather can change quickly both with time and with geography.

In the evening, we ate at the hotel. It was rather expensive, though very nice. Other options (discovered the next day) included a cheap-end diner nearer Skógarfoss, which served things like the obligatory pizza, and a diner in Vík at the service station.