We went to Seljalandfoss before taking a ferry to Heimaey in the Westman Islands/Vestmannaeyjar in the morning. We got there before tour buses from Reykjavik started to arrive, which was a plus because we had the falls all to ourselves. The minus was we couldn’t spend a lot of time there because we had a ferry to catch. I also didn’t want my clothes to be all wet and my boots all muddy on the ferry ride so I didn’t do the walk behind the falls. My husband did, though. But then again, he’s always been more adventurous than me. Seljalandfoss is lovely and all but it’s not really one of my favourites in Iceland.
I was unable to take pictures of so many Icelandic attractions in all their glory due to the lack of wide-angle lens (the widest I could get with my micro 4/3 camera was around 40mm) and it was quite frustrating for me at times. For those going to Iceland, if you own a wide-angle lens, don’t forget to pack it. If you don’t own one, buy or borrow one from someone! You won’t regret it. The next time we go there, I am so taking my DSLR with an ultra-wide angle lens. Sure it would be heavier to carry but it’s not like we’ll have to go on a long hike or anything. Most Iceland attractions are located right by the side of the road! Just one of the reasons I love Iceland, being a wimpy hiker and all. :-)
Hraunfossar is a series of waterfalls in West Iceland where the water comes from springs in a lava field. I was unable to capture the whole thing due to the lack of a wide-angle lens. It’s a lot of waterfalls in one and really wide! We kind of stumbled upon it on the third to last day of our trip in Iceland. It was a nice pick-me-up since I was a bit bummed about the trip being almost over, even if we were already waterfalls-d out by then. Iceland just has sooo many waterfalls! There’s another waterfall nearby called Barnafoss but it’s probably my least favourite of all.
Hraunfossar pours into the river Hvítá. The river has a light sea-green colour because it’s glacier-fed. “Hvítá” itself means “white river” in Icelandic. The area around the falls is quite pretty. It’s close to a spot where Icelandic (Reykjavik?) people go for a vacation in the summer. We passed one area with a large number of cottages/summer homes, a few were quite fancy. I think that’s their cottage country.
Of all the waterfalls in Iceland, Hraunfossar is definitely one of my favourites.
I had been looking forward to taking pictures of this church at Búðir in Snæfellsnes Peninsula because the location is very picturesque, but earlier in the day, the boat that was supposed to take us on a whale-watching tour left without us because apparently Icelandic people are not the greatest at at marking places so we missed the area where we were supposed to board the boat. When we finally found it with a help from a local Icelandic family we met at the harbour, the boat already left even though it was still before the time it was supposed to leave. We'd already had a whale-watching tour cancelled when we were in Northern Iceland (and the tour operator didn't even bother to notify us about it being cancelled so we had a hurried breakfast that morning for nothing -- could've had more of that tasty, homemade skyr at the B&B otherwise) so I was feeling extra bummed about it.
Anyway, when we got to Búðir, I was quite the Ms. Grumpy McGrumpsalot and my heart wasn't really in it when I was taking pictures of the surroundings. We could have taken the path to a nearby beach but didn't because I was grumpy and now I kind of regret it. Oh well. Some other time. When we go back to Iceland to explore the Westfjords (the only region we didn't get to see in our first visit), we will have to give Snæfellsnes Peninsula another chance for sure.
Addendum: We're one-tenth of the way through the 100 Places Project! Hurray!
Of all the rock formations in Iceland that are said to have been a troll at some point, Hvítserkur is my favourite. It looks like a 15-meter tall monster rising out of the sea. Pretty awesome. We visited it on an unusually sunny day which happened to be the day of the 8th anniversary of our wedding. It was high tide when we got there so we couldn’t get closer to the rock. It was a beautiful spot nonetheless. I loved it and am glad that we found it even though its locations is a bit off the beaten path.
As we were driving out of the area, we were stopped by a young farmer who explained to us in broken English that the road was closed (in actuality, it was blocked by a tractor; it was a narrow, dirt road) because they were trying to get a flock of sheep to another pasture across the road. Three people were involved in the whole ordeal. They looked so frustrated and the flock of sheep so panicky. The whole thing lasted for about 10 minutes but I don’t think we would have minded so much if it had lasted longer because it was actually rather entertaining to watch.
So, if someone asked me how many Icelandic farmers it takes to get a flock of sheep across the road, I’d confidently say: it takes three, and a tractor.
We arrived at Reynisfjara beach in South Iceland at the same time a bus full of tourists did. We tried to rush towards the beach to get some pictures without the horde of tourists in it but, alas, they were too fast! Then the weather changed from cloudy to cloudy with some drizzles and the wind started to pick up. Soon we found ourselves standing in the middle of a storm. We saw some pretty big waves crashing against the basalt columns this beach is famous for. A bunch of tourists took cover in a shallow cave. We just made sure we were standing far enough from the water because the waves on this beach are known to be treacherous. I heard it’s due to the fact that there is nothing between this beach and the South Pole.
Luckily the weather changed back to the way it was earlier after 5–10 minutes of stormy weather and the tourists took the opportunity to go back to the bus, except for this one guy who was busy taking close-up pictures of the rocks. I figured he must have thought we were part of the bus tour and the fact that we were still sticking around meant he was good. Just to let him know that we weren’t part of the tour, I asked my husband a little loudly (just loud enough for the tourist to overhear me) where we’re planning to drive to after this and where we’re going to have lunch. Well, dude got the hint and he started running towards the bus. Good thing the bus hadn’t left without him. Finally, we had the lovely beach all to ourselves. Win!
I thought being in this highly specialized museum would feel super awkward, but it wasn’t really. At least not until a group of ladies started to (over)share their first sexual experiences for everyone to hear. Of course they had to congregate right by the only human penis specimen in this museum, which unfortunately looked really sad and shriveled.
The video is a trailer for a documentary about the, uh, phallologist’s search for a human penis for the museum collection (likely that sad specimen we saw). I think the museum shown in the video is the one at the old location in Husavik, which is now home to The Exploration Museum. The current location is in Reykjavik, in the less busy part of Reykjavik’s busiest and most touristy street, Laugavegur.
You should consider a visit to the museum if you ever find yourself in Reykjavik. If anything, it makes for a good travel story. While you’re there, be sure to check out the elf’s penis (magically invisible), merman’s penis (kind of looks like a badly-painted piece of styrofoam) and the ghost penis (surprisingly big and visible). The whale penis collection is pretty interesting, too.