Wednesday, January 6, 2016

I Know...Let's Drive Forever!

The snow was still holding off when we left the beach and started driving east...

 ...though the sky certainly looked dramatic.

We drove through Vik itself...

...saw part of the other side of the beach from faaaar away...

...then just enjoyed the desolate scenery as we drove.

It didn't take long for the snow to close back in. Visibility dropped way down and the road got pretty bad; for a while I worried that we would turn around and skip our last stop, then I eventually figured that we SHOULD turn around and skip our last stop. We watched a car misjudge where a side road was and randomly turn right off the side of the road and nose-dive into a deep pile of snow. Despite that, Mark kept driving, the snow eventually stopped, and the road got a bit better.

Must be nice (and maybe slightly scary?) to have a big icy waterfall in your backyard!

After a while visibility got way better and you could actually see road under the snow!

We knew we were almost there when we could start seeing glaciers from the road.

A bit more driving later...

...we were at Jokulsarlon, the glacial lagoon. We made it!   :)

No wonder they weren't offering duckboat tours...there's no way you could get between all the ice.

We walked around the lagoon a bit. It was ridiculously slippery - that snow was just a very thin layer hiding a lot of ice - and Mark was just a little chilly.

It was pretty, though.   :)

We even saw a seal swimming around in the water.

We climbed up a small hill off to the side to see the rest of the lagoon.

We also saw this moron walk out onto one of the little icebergs, even though there is a sign specifically telling you not to. A big piece of ice broke off and floated toward them just as they stepped out; you can see the ripples in the water.

We enjoyed the view for a few more minutes...

...before walking back down the hill. We made a quick stop in the little store off to the side for an Icelandic donut and some tea before heading back to the car.

Mark with our rental car; it was a Dacia Duster. It was an impressively good little manual transmission SUV and handled all the snowy weather really well. I think Mark was pretty sad he couldn't bring it home with us (and you can't get them in the US).

It took a looooong time to get back to the hotel; I think it was about 4 hours by the time we finished. The weather was pretty bad about halfway through, and we stopped at a small gas station/convenience store for a break during the worst of it. We did eventually make it back safely, though, and were even just in time to grab dinner!

I wound up getting the same exact thing I had the night before because I liked it so much. Mmm...salmon and shrimp...

There was a little mini bar in the room, so we grabbed a small bottle of wine, split it into two glasses, and headed out for one last dip in the hot tub.

Yes, that's snow falling! At least the water was warm.   :)

We finished our wine, got cleaned up, then grabbed a glass of wine from the bar and hung out in the lounge to round out the night. It had been a really long (but fun!) day...I'm impressed we actually did everything we set out to do!

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