Denise Goldberg's blog

Friday, September 10, 2010

Skaftafell first, moving west next

Hey! It's my turn to write! I think Denise needs a break, and I really like playing with words.

It was another day of non-ending activity. Actually it was morning of bouncing down trails, and an afternoon of driving. I really think we're going to need a good long sleep when we get home.

Skaftafell is another place where I know we'll need to return. I could see a lot of places to wander there!

We arrived before the visitor center opened, so we started by heading down a well-marked and paved trail that led us close to the end of Skaftafellsjokull. That's a glacier descending from Vatnajokull ice cap. Oh! we didn't go onto the glacier; we would need to go with a guide for that. (Denise said we're going to do that next time. I guess we're coming back again!) The beginning of the trail was easy to follow. Then there was a faint path in the black sandy stuff. We really ignored that because Denise wanted to get closer to the water flowing from the end of the glacier. It was full of floating ice in interesting shapes. We wandered around a bit before finding our way back to the trail. I didn't think Denise knew how to get back even though she told me she did. We picked our way across rolls of dirt and stones, heading to the edge of the mountain - where it joined the valley floor. Oh! Denise was right, there was the path. We were almost back to our starting point when we saw Marion starting out, so of course we stopped to chat for a bit.

We stopped in the visitor center briefly. Denise looked at some books, and she picked up a map. Time to walk again...

We headed up and up and up, following the trail to Svartifoss. That's a waterfall high up on the hill, one of those narrow tall waterfalls. It is surrounded by columns of basalt. I think that's the same rock that created Giant's Causeway in Ireland. We were looking across at the columns, not walking on them. So interesting.

I bounced down part of the trail, but then I jumped into Denise's camera pack because it started raining on us. We were lucky to have dry for most of the morning, and the rain stayed fairly light until we arrived at the visitor center once more.

It was time for a quick snack before jumping in to the car for our drive. And look! Marion was just getting back from her walk too, so we had another chat over coffee.

By the time we headed down the road the rain changed from light to heavy. We drove and drove. I was beginning to think the rain was going to stay with us for the rest of the day. Denise saw a white edge to the gray clouds if she looked out to the horizon; she was hoping that meant we would drive past the rain. It rained and rained. And then... there was blue in the sky, white clouds against bright blue. That was nice.

We stopped for photos a few times, and we stopped to visit Seljalandsfoss again. That's the waterfall we visited on our way to Vik on Wednesday (just before it started raining). I thought we might walk behind the waterfall this time, but it looked so wet and slippery that we enjoyed it again from the front side.

We stopped by the hostel in Selfoss to get a bed for the night, then we headed back to Eyrarbakki again. Remember when Denise said she wanted to see it again in different conditions? She got her wish; it was high tide, and the sky was decorated in blue and white.

Tomorrow our wanders here are coming to an end. That's so hard to believe.

Denise has two things on her "I want to visit" list for tomorrow. The first is a visit to Þingvellir National Park. Then I think we might return to the Blue Lagoon once more (time permitting, of course!). The big plane takes off at 5 PM, and it's supposed to land in Boston at around 6:30. Remember, there's a 4-hour time change, so I think that means we will be flying for 5 1/2 hours.

--- Rover