The drive from Vik to Djúpivogur was one of our longer stretches of road. Thankfully the landscapes didn’t disappoint. We had brilliant weather and the final distance of our nearly 5 hour drive was filled with golden light draped over glistening, blue countryside. We even spotted a few reindeer. They weren’t as into our love as the horses, and ran before we could snap any photos.
Our first stop was the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. The immensity of both the lagoon and the glaciers that float about it are unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Formed naturally by melting glacial water coming from the largest glacier in Europe, Vatnajökull, the lagoon is getting bigger each year, as big blocks of ice crumble from the ever decreasing glacier into the lagoon.
All of these glaciers slowly melt and eventually drift out to sea, where the Atlantic waves crash on them at the black volcanic beach that’s found there. This black stretch of sand becomes covered in giant chunks of ice that are thousands of years old! Glistening in the sun, and contrasting perfectly against the black sand, the glaciers resemble enormous diamonds, earning the area the nickname Diamond Beach.
More horses were cuddled after leaving the glaciers.
En route, we stopped in a small town called Höfn to fuel our bodies. We’d found that not a lot was open early mornings when we were departing, so we always had a car full of snacks to get us by until we found a restaurant. Today was an especially long stretch without food, so by the time we reached Höfn, we were ready to FEAST! We snagged a late lunch at Humarhöfnin. Langoustine is big here, and damn was it delicious. If you’re driving through, be sure to carve out some time for a fantastic meal here!
Our cabin was about 15 minutes shy of Djúpivogur and since the sun was setting, we reserved visiting town proper until the morning.
We called the Bragdavellir Cottages home for the night. These remote individual cabins were a little slice of heaven. Nothing fancy, but situated amidst quiet, majestic mountains. And the best part? NO LIGHT POLLUTION! A large part of our draw to Iceland was to see the Northern Lights. We were at the tail end of the viewing season, so we were hopeful for a glimpse. Some online research had filled us with hope — the Aurora Borealis would be highly active in our area!
We waited like kids on Christmas eve, all lights off, tripping over tables and chairs and cords so we didn’t miss their beginning. We stared out the window, mistaking every reflection for the real deal. And then, without hesitation, out she came!
Magic. Pure magic. I never could have imagined her beauty, swirling amongst the stars, between mountains, through valleys, dancing right before our eyes. Greens and reds and golds illuminating just for us. It was this night that showed me one of mother nature’s most brilliant tricks.
It was this same night that I received word from home that one of our chickens has crossed over the rainbow. I considered this moment her earthly farewell and a most magnificent welcome to chick heaven. We’ll miss you always, sweet Mabel.
After a restless night of emotional highs and lows, we awoke to the most brilliant gift. A dog called Tinne arrived on our porch, waiting to be let in to shower us with love. It was as if we’d asked for a little tenderness from the world, and she’d delivered without hesitation. Our hearts were full of warmth.
We had a quick toast breakfast and packed up to wander the area with Tinne. He took us directly to a beautiful old bridge with some fluffy quacks floating below it. Another welcome gift for the crazy bird lady! Tinne is now living a nice life in Seattle with his new moms. (just kidding)
Next up: the road to Seyðisfjörður!