Welcome back! If you didn't read the first part, I recommend going back for that to give you some context from the first week of the trip.
This week was planned to be more relaxing and to see the sights near the roads. Some days the weather didn't cooperate so I wont give a day-by-day, but rather a general overview of the things we saw during the week.
We picked up the car and headed out of town to the Snæfellsnes peninsula. Corrie was navigating and we had no planned route.
Gerðuberg basalt columns with hiker
This house was featured in the Secret Life of Walter Mitty. We didn't realize it until we came back and rewatched the movie. That's kinda neat.
I was pretty excited to see Kirkjufell, but when we got there it's literally off the side of the road. I was pretty surprised how that was the case for many things in Iceland. Because of that, you have multiple tour busses full of people sharing the view with you. I definitely fell victim to how people portray these places on Social. Still a cool spot though for sure.
Kirkjufellsfoss and rainbow
From there we hit more waterfalls and headed out to Snæfellsjökull National Park. It was socked in and raining that day, but we did enjoy the views of the beach.
Svödufoss from downstream Skarðsvík Beach Skarðsvík Beach and coastline
After the peninsula we headed back towards Reykjavík on our way out to the southern coast. Þingvellir National Park is beautiful and holds some pretty awesome history of the country. It's essentially where the first courts of the country were held. Before the times when written word was common. They would read the laws out loud for everyone to hear and would hold courts. In fact one of the rivers was used to carry out the death sentences. It's also where two continents meet: known as Silfra. This is visible throughout the country, but in this park you can actually dive down between the continental plates. Þingvellir is definately worth the trip if you go.
Þingvvellir National Park Öxarárfoss at Þingvvellir Geology at Þingvvellir with sunburst
From Þingvellir we headed out to Gullfoss, one of the larger waterfalls we saw on the trip. The water coming off this thing was nuts.
Gullfoss and Hvítá river Gullfoss and rainbow
And living so close to Yellowstone we couldn't pass up the opportunity to see some sights that reminded us of home...
Strokkur Geyser eruption
Krýsuvík thermal area
Cloudy black pools in Krýsuvík
Boardwalks through Krýsuvík
Gunnuhver Hot Springs
Gunnuhver Hot Springs (2)
Views along the shore of Kleifarvatn Road along Kleifarvatn
After we hit Reykjanesfólkvangur we headed out to the coast to take in some views that we weren't familiar with.
Krisuvikurberg Cliffs Sandvík continental plates Coastline near Reykjanes Lighthouse (2) Coastline near Reykjanes Lighthouse (3) After crashing in the worst place on earth, Selfoss (its a long story I'll get into later), we started to make our way east along the southern coast. The further away we got from Reykjavik the more amazing the sights got. We saw some pretty kick-ass waterfalls.
Hjálparfoss Hjálparfoss and mountains Seljalandsfoss from the foot bridge Seljalandsfoss and double rainbow Corrie hiking behind Seljalandsfoss Þjóðvegur views Skógafoss and rainbow
With all the glacial melt, there were tons of braided rivers that reminded us of Alaska, but with smaller mountains.
Eyjafjallajökull views near Skógar Eyjafjallajökull views near Skógar (2)
But Iceland has horses...good looking ones.
Icelandic horse and Eyjafjallajökull
That night we soaked at our BnB during the sunset. I got up that night to see about the aurora. It was out a little, but too cloudy for any decent views.
Corrie and I toes soaking at Hotel Lambafell Hotel Lambafell and aurora
The next morning we continued further east. We arrived in Vik pretty early in the morning and explored the beaches and watched lots of puffins fishing along the coast.
Katla Volcano Dyrhólaey from Reynisfjara Beach Reynisfjara Beach Sea stacks at Reynisfjara Beach
From Vik we continued on to Skaftafell for some hiking and more waterfalls and glaciers.
Svartifoss from the platform Svartifoss and basalt columns Corrie hikes in Vatnajökull National Park Walking a glacier tour road in Vatnajökull National Park
Since the days were so long we weren't ready to call it quits. One of the highlights we were excited to see was Jökulsárlón, a glacial lagoon. This place was amazing. The wildlife and scenery was top notch.
Jökulsárlón and icebergs
Jökulsárlón in evening light
Jökulsárlón and icebergs (2)
Corrie hiking at Jökulsárlón
In addition to the lagoon with giant glacier background, you could walk across the street to the black sand beach known as diamond beach. Huge chunks of ice would wash up on shore as the tide came in and out. We could have spent more time in that area for sure.
Diamond Beach icebergs Diamond Beach icebergs and sunset Waves crashing at Diamond Beach
But it was time to head back to Reykjavik to get ready for another backpacking trip. We also had planned to splurge and do a fixed wing flight to take in some of the sights from the air.
Driving towards Vatnajökull National Park.
On our way back through Selfoss our rental car broke down. They told us that a rock had hit the radiator and we would need to pay for it. So after cancelling our overflight, we waited for the tow truck to take us the rest of the way back to Reykjavik. I guess it was a good thing we didn't take the flight, because the bill for the tow and the radiator was like $1,700. But we weren't going to let it ruin our good time. We eventually made it to our AirBnB where we would relax and prep for the Laugavegur Trail. Little did we know it was going to be the highlight of the trip, even though we were about to unknowingly hike 40 miles in 2 days.