Chapter 3: Seek out magic and you will find yourself in Iceland

The sun moves under the horizon as the moon moves further out of sight. The sky is littered with stars, the brightest they have ever seen. Slowly they begin to devolve in front of their eyes. The engine of the bus grows louder among the stillness surrounding them. The landscape outside the windows grows clearer. Green mountains covered in wildlife drift by. The seats on the bus are full of passengers, some are sleeping and the rest are gazing out the window.  She contemplates this magical place opening up to her. A place full of wonder, a place full of fairy tales dancing along her imagination. Soon she will step off this bus and admire the splendour that Iceland has to share.

Another Day Another Waterfall: Seljalandsfoss

This was the longest of all our Iceland tours. 14 hours long… I will admit it was hard to keep my eyes open but the fear of missing out on all the beautiful landscape made me pull apart my eyelids and stay awake as long as I could. Our first stop is, of course, a waterfall. Seljalandsfoss is a little different than the other waterfalls I have shown you in my last posts. This one was a little more enchanted. I felt as though I had stepped into a movie scene out of ‘Legend’ (80’s fairy tale gold).  You can step behind its sheet of falling water and walk along its edges.

Also, you may stumble upon the unexpected and I definitely didn’t expect a film set. During takes, tourists walked across the set and even stopped to watch the scene. I still wonder what film these shots will feature in. Anyone know?

Not Exactly How You Imagine It Would Be 

The water pours down over his face as he baths underneath its embrace. She sees him and blushes but doesn’t look away. He looks up and catches her eye. She hides behind a rock concealing her embarrassment. Her courage overcomes her nerves and she slowly walks down towards him. As she nears him he smiles. Their voices are veiled behind a transparent curtain.  The plot thickens…

Nah sadly the reality is your freezing your butt off under ice cold water and looking like a drowned rat. or in my case wearing three layers and drenched in cold water… refreshing!

skógarfoss is the next waterfall on my list. I walked right up to it and it roared back at me. I was drenched… Worth it though!

Eh, Wheres The Water At?

The bridge below is the longest in  Skeidararsandur, South Coast, Iceland and was built so that vehicles could travel over the river below. You might have noticed that there is no water. Well, apparently the river moved. Go figure. I felt like the land is playing a joke on the natives. The kind of joke only one side is getting.

Cue In The Game Of Thrones Theme Tune

Every land has their tales and Iceland is no exception. According to folklore, two trolls attempted to drag a ship to land but were turned to stone as daylight broke, turning them into the Reynisdrangar stacks of the village of Vík. I love folklore and enchanting stories about places. I feel like it makes a story more special when it is linked to our world, so to hear about the ‘Hidden People’ and the Elves of Iceland makes this Island all the more incredible.

The coast of the village is wild and stormy and the cliffs west of the beach are home to seabirds like the adorable puffins which burrow into the shallow soil during nesting season. Offshore lie stacks of basalt rock and the cliff line Reynisfjall, which is constantly battered by the furious sea. The area is also one of the many sites of  ‘The Game of Thrones’ series (Fangirl alert). As I walked along the sand I felt that I could be swept away by the tide and become part of a tale that would be passed on for generations.

10 hours later… The Glacier Lagoon: Jökulsárlón

I stood by the largest glacier in Iceland and it was a sight!  At the head of the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier, a lake developed after the glacier started receding from the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. The lake has grown since then (hint hint, global warming). It is now the deepest lake in Iceland, at over 248 metres (814 ft).  Unsurprisingly Jökulsárlón has been the setting for huge Hollywood movies (Iceland has that star quality) like ‘A View to a Kill’, ‘Die Another Day’, ‘Lara Croft: Tomb Raider’ and ‘Batman Begins’.

When you get to the lagoon you have the option to step aboard a boat (similar to the one in Lara Croft) that drives into the lake to give you a closer look at the icebergs. If you fancy tasting 5,000-year-old ice and being told about the history of the lake by this guy (Look down) then do it!!

I met lots of other travellers on the boat including a big fan of the ‘Frozen’ movie who brought Olaf with her. The woman asked if we knew who he was and to the embarrassment of Ashleigh, Michelle and myself answered with a rendition of ‘Let It Go’. Sorry, Ash!

Wheres the Whales at?

You can’t visit Iceland and not try and meet some of their bigger wildlife.  We chose ‘Elding Whale Watching’  as our boat captain. Before we left port we ventured around their tiny boat museum which was kinda like a whale grave sight but had interesting information about them that I didn’t know before.

These red jumpsuits are all the rage on board you local whaling tour and they are completely necessary. The sea breeze is icy…  

We stood at the bow of the boat for more than an hour. All we saw were puffins escaping the boat tide and minke whales peaking over the surface for a split second. We strained our eyes hoping to get a glimpse of a whale a tale anything!!! But nothing… As I started to give up hope I saw something in the distance that looked like water being blasted into the air.  It happened a second time and I pointed. Over the mic, our tour guide announced that the whale had been spotted in the distance. My friends and I were ridiculously excited. The boat closed in and our excitement rose. And then it breached! The whale jumped out of the sea and landed with a splash. Michelle and I were elated. We literally jumped up and down at the sight of it. It was the most amazing thing to see. We didn’t get it on camera but I will never forget it. We got closer and sailed beside the whale for some time before returning to shore. On our way back, we met white-sided dolphins that swam underneath the boat before swimming away. A great experience that I will always remember.

Until Next Time

Of course, We visited the blue lagoon. The thermal spa is well worth the visit. As I mentioned before I lost some of my pictures from my trip so this is courtesy of Michelle. We are so attractive haha. I visited the thermal baths twice. My second visit was just before I went to the airport to catch my flight to Canada.

I had an absolute blast with these ladies but the next part of my adventure I took alone.

Thinking of going to Iceland? What’s top of your list?

Jess x


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