Flash
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Wednesday 25 October
Grindavik - Borgarholl - Selfoss - Seljalandsfoss - Skogafoss - Vik - Reynisdrangur
Me driving!
Me driving! [Photos below the journal. Take me straight to the photos!]

We left at 1030am and drove to Selfoss for lunch. On the way we passed through an area called Borgarholl where people had made rock piles in the lava fields for luck - of course we stopped and added ours. We kept stopping for photos - it seemed there was a new view around every corner!

Selfoss was a reasonably large town by Icelandic standards, and we stopped in the Subway for a sandwich - yum! Then on to Vik where we paused for hot drinks.

Vik has a reputation for being Iceland's rainiest location, and it was wet and windy when we were there, with one twist - not rain but snow! So we went to play on the stunning black sand beach (rightly named one of the ten most beautiful beaches in the world) in a snow shower! After this we regretted having filled up on hot drinks already, and I changed my trousers for some dry ones. Poor Mike hadn't brought his coat onto the beach and looked very cold.

As we left Vik the weather cleared up a little (and we dried out a little) - we carried on to Geirland, near Kirkjubaejarklaustur (Klaustur for short). We were the only people staying in the iron chalets, so we went into Klaustur for dinner. It's only a small village, but has an IcelandAir Hotel which was open and took our booking. In fact after propping up the bar for a little while, they let us in early.

We were handed a menu which read "Soup - Arctic Char, Lamb or Chicken - Ice Cream - 2 courses 3200, 3 courses 3700". 3200 kronur is about 25 quid, so it was quite pricey (but not too bad by Iceland's standards, where a meal is rarely under a tenner, unless it's cheap soup). The remaining several pages were wine list and I realised that really was it for choice. Luckily I was told that they could do me a veggie alternative (but not what it would be!)

When the food came I was very impressed. My soup was a fresh spicy tomato, and the main course was mangetout, french beans, asparagus, new potatoes and cherry tomatoes, on a mushroom stroganoff type sauce. Mike's was similar, but with lamb on top - we didn't know Arctic Char is a fish and thought it might be one of the traditional Icelandic dishes! It was well worth the money and by far the best thing I ate in Iceland, in fact one of the best meals I've had in a while. The only down side was that one man did all the service, so there was a long wait for the bill.

We returned to the farm to write postcards, drink wine, watch DVDs and eat the last choccie biccies in the packet, then get an early night's sleep. I think we were asleep before ten.

The full set of today's photos are here.

Leaving Grindavik towards Selfoss

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The strange building opposite the Northern Light Inn. It isn't a church - that's an aerial, not a cross - and the thing stuck like a sign outside had coloured squares on it as if they denoted zones. Any ideas?

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Ice on the car windows, with the blue sky and clouds reflected around the crystals.

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This is what our road looked like - gravel trails through lava plains.

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More views, I loved the scenery. So much more dramatic than the photo suggests.

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At Borgarholl we came across these lava rock piles, and added our own to them.

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The view along the coast - it was a beautiful and calm day.

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Coming slightly further inland...
Selfoss

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The church at Selfoss.

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The suspension bridge, near the yummy Subway shop.
Leaving Selfoss towards Vik

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More different but still stunning scenery.

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We passed the 60m high Seljalandsfoss, as we drove over Markarfljot.

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Thought you'd seen waterfalls? They were everywhere!

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The mountains started to grow closer.

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Looking out to sea, there was a line where the snow had fallen.

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An Esso station (boo, hiss). As you can see, petrol stations in Iceland are often remote and unmanned, with a single pump which is credit card operated.

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Looking across a river at the black gravel, dark water and snow coverings.

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And in the other direction, a black mountain. You could really believe you were seeing in black and white.

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Then suddenly out of the monochrome comes the colourful view of Skogafoss, one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Iceland, 60m high and 25m across. Stunning. Luckily, it seems that near every good view is a convenient layby...

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Back to the monochrome, one of our earliest views of a glacier.

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Vik, a pretty little village despite the driving snow.

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The church in Vik.

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A sign near the beach, directing us 1km towards the German Memorial Stone (too far for me to go, unfortunately).

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This naked man sculpture oversees the beach. More photos of it on Friday...

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Here's the sign that Mike was reading, explaining how it's linked to Hull and the end of the Cod Wars.

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A view along Vik beach to the lava shapes out at sea, called Reynisdrangar.

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Mike does his best to smile, despite being out in a blizzard without his jacket!

Continue to Thursday...




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