Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Iceland's South Coast

For our final full day in Iceland, we took a bus tour of the south coast. The girls were keen to see a black volcanic rock beach. I'm sure you'll notice a few of my pics were snapped from the bus window. We got off the bus for every photo opp, but some of them involved shuffling over slabs of ice to get to the attraction. I swear some of the parking areas could have passed for skating rinks, a solid sheet of slick ice. I'm one of the must UNsteady creatures on the planet, and had no husband along to help keep me upright if I slipped. I didn't want to drag the girls down with me if I took a dive. I could just hear it in my head... How did you break your arm? My best friend's burly mother pulled me down in a bid to save her dignity. So I did the best I could with my fear of falling.

Our day was made by 8:45 am when we discovered it was snowing while waiting for the tour bus to pick us up after breakfast at the hotel. Only folks who DON'T live in places where you get snow every winter walk around trying to catch a snowflake on their tongue while taking pics of the white fluffy stuff. 

We kicked off the tour in almost white-out conditions, riding through blowing snow while we headed south. This was the view from my window.

Along the way, our guide pointed out a glacier and volcano. Just like the jeep tour, this glacier was also well-camouflaged in the snow. But the volcano seemed rather majestic, even from quite a distance.

We stopped at several waterfalls, but the one above was just a drive-by. There were waterfalls, both large and small, all over Iceland. In the pic below is a rather expansive farm, one of several we passed along the way. These folks had a bird's eye view of the last eruption of Mt. Eyjafjallaj√∂kull in 2010 since it's that peak you see in the pic behind them. Try saying that volcano's name as fast as possible three times in a row. I especially enjoyed seeing the Icelandic horses with their shaggy coats in the pastures around the farms.

Below is another waterfall pic with the girls posing in front of it. This is as close as I got because it was treacherously icy. A big fall on my fanny in the making, so I enjoyed the view from a distance.

Our last big stop of the day was Reynisfjara Beach, considered to be the best/most famous black sand beach in the country. We were a bit leery of getting too close to the water. The tour guide told us that a man died on this same beach the day before when a rogue wave swept him out into the surf. He and his girlfriend were there in the early morning before the tour buses started arriving and there was no one to help save him. 

So yeah, we stayed well up on the dry, rock strewn sand.

I had hoped to find a heart shaped beach rock since we were creeping up to valentine's day, so spent the bulk of our time off the bus with my head down checking out the nature-made offerings. I didn't find a good heart, but I did put these four in my pocket and brought them back home with me. Perfectly weathered and so smooth. Mother Nature's own little miracles.

And last but not least is a selfie we snapped on the beach. My roots are a mile long since my stylist was skiing the week before this trip when I needed a touch-up. And all I have on my face is tinted sunscreen. But I think it's the perfect non-edited, unfiltered pic from a trip that focused on the beauty of our natural world.

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