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It was time for me to go on yet another tour, this time I would be discovering the Southern Coast of this beautiful country, together with driver/guide and funny guy, Ian. The day before I wasn’t completely sure about going on the tour because the weather wasn’t looking very good. However, when Ian came by at the office, he told me I should go on the tour, because I should experience it in any type of weather, and I am glad I listened to him.

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Ian picked me up at my B&B, and from there we did the rest of the pickup. This time the group was quite a bit larger than the last tour I went on, with 13 people, including myself. After a few brief stops in the city, we were off to the South. It took quite a long time to get to the first stop, but Ian kept us entertained along the way. He told us interesting facts about things we sadly could not see for ourselves, due to the fog. Still the way Ian told us it didn’t really matter that we couldn’t see them, it was interesting enough either way.

We reached our first destination while the fog was clearing, the Seljalandsfoss waterfall. The scenery here was absolutely amazing, and even though the sky was cloudy and it had still not stopped drizzling, I did not mind getting out of the bus to discover the sight. At this sight there is actually one large waterfall, and two additional smaller waterfalls, which are equally beautiful to watch.

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After walking around here for about 20 minutes, we went on to our next stop, the second waterfall: the Skogafoss. This waterfall was even more amazing than the first, and even though the path towards the waterfall was covered in very slippery ice, it was well worth getting closer. With this waterfall you can simply go as close to it as you dare, and for this I really regretted not wearing a rain coat, because daring to get close is one thing, but I did not intend on getting soaking wet, and then having to spend the rest of the day on the tour bus in damp clothes. So I stayed at a safe and reasonably dry distance.

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This is the closest I dared to go, without getting wet.
This is the closest I dared to go, without getting wet.

While walking around a bit more, I saw some stairs leading up to a viewing point above the waterfall. With only a few minutes left before we were supposed to return to the bus, I started climbing the stairs. This proved to be a bit more time consuming than I had anticipated, because the stairs were much steeper and longer than I had thought. when I reached the top, completely out of breath, it turned out to be a wise decision to go up, because the view was stunning. After taking a few pictures, I ran back down as quickly as I could without falling, and made it back to the bus in time, even though Ian told me it would have been no problem if I had taken a bit longer.

The view from the lookout over the waterfall.

The view from the lookout over the waterfall.

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While we drove away from the Skogafoss waterfall, Ian gave us a choice, we would either visit all the sight on the tour first, and then have lunch in Vik, after which we would simply drive from Vik straight to Reykjavik, or we would first go to Vik, and have lunch there, after which we would visit the remaining sights on our way back. Since it was already quite late, we chose the latter.

And I was happy we did, because by the time we got there, I was shaking with exertion from climbing those stairs earlier. At the restaurant in Vik we could choose for ourselves what we would order, and I decided to finally try the traditional lamb soup. The soup was quite expensive, at approximately 1,800 ISK, but it tasted good, it was richly filled, the bowl was literally filled to the brim, and we got some bread and butter with it as well. While we were eating Ian explained that with the soup it would be okay to go for seconds, because it is included in the price. However after eating one bowl of the rich soup, I couldn’t eat another bite.

When I had finished eating, there was still some time left, so I decided to take a look outside, at the black beach of Vik, which has a stunning formation of rocks. These rocks, Ian explained, are not really rocks according to Icelandic folklore, but trolls who got caught by the sunlight, while trying to tow in a ship, and they and the ship then turned to stone.

 

The three rocks sticking out of the water here, are the trolls and the ship, which turned to stone in the sunlight.
The three rocks sticking out of the water here, are the trolls and the ship, which turned to stone in the sunlight.

After this one hour break, we continued to our next destination, the Reynisfjara shore. This place is a truly beautiful black sand beach, with some wonderful rock formations on the coast. It was wonderful to walk around here and look at the amazing rocks on one side and the waves on the other side. Ian had warned us before getting off the bus, that we should be careful around the shoreline here, because the waves here are treacherous, and can easily take unsuspecting victims into the ocean. While watching the waves this proved to be true, the waves reached further than one would suspect, and with all the people standing with their backs to the waves to take pictures of the rocks, it’s no wonder accidents happen here. While we walked around the individually, Ian walked up to everyone who was with us on the tour to give them some very interesting information about the rock formation, and how come they were shaped the way they are.

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Back on the bus it was time to go to our final stop of the tour, the Sollheimajðkull Glacier. Once we got there we could not see anything yet, and Ian told us to take a path that would lead to a viewing point of the glacier, and that he would meet us there. As soon as we could see the glacier, I could not wait to get nearer, It was absolutely stunning, with pieces of clear blue ice sticking out, combined with gray and black rocks, and still some ash from the Eyjafjallajðkull eruption. while we were taking pictures of this wonderful sight, Ian joined us to give us some more information. He told us that it would seem particularly hard to capture the blue color of the ice in a picture, and it actually was, though I think in the end, I did manage to get it quite right.

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Ian told us that the glacier is retreating, he said that when he first visited Iceland approximately 15 years ago, the glacier came up to the ridge between the mountains, which is visible in this picture.

 

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me, in front of the glacier!

Me in front of the glacier!

 

After this last stop, which in my opinion was the absolute highlight of the tour, it was time to return to Reykjavik. As I said before, I am really glad I took this tour despite the weather, which turned out to be quite alright, it even cleared up a bit after lunch. I had a wonderful time on this tour, thanks to the amazing sights, the wonderful people accompanying me on this tour, and last but not least Ian’s great guiding. I can’t wait to go on the next tour

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