Honeymoon: Iceland, National Geographic Heaven (Part 3/5: Waterfalls and Black Sand Beach)

Continuing on, this post will be covering the start of our adventure to Southern Iceland! If you think Reykjavik is beautiful, the real beauty lies outside of the city! 

For this post, I will be highlighting the famous waterfalls in the South and the very famous Black Sand Beach at Vik. Beautiful photos are once again credited to Mr and Mrs OOPS!

Skogafoss in Winter.

Day 2: Start of 2D1N Tour to Southern Iceland with GoEcco!!!

Let's just say, WE ARE DAMN EXCITED ABOUT THIS ONE!

Before the trip, we are told via email that due to harsh winter conditions, we will be travelling on a MONSTER TRUCK instead of a 4x4 jeep. Here's the size of the monster!


I'm so small when I'm beside the wheel.

Together with us are a local guide, Erla and a driver (forgot to ask his name)! Both of them speak good English so language is definitely not an issue! They are also super spontaneous when it comes to photo taking!


Every trip starts off with an overview of the itinerary and ours started with a giant map of Iceland and the spots we will be covering for this trip. 



1st stop: Raufarholshellir aka Batman's Lava Cave!



The Batman's Lava Cave got its name because the cave was used as a filming location for the movie Batman's Begins. Honestly when we reached the venue, we couldn't see anything except for this signboard and a flat land covered with white snow. I was like, where's the cave?! 

This is when I need to highlight the importance of going for a guided tour during winter. If you look at the photo below, I'm walking (and almost sliding) into the cave which is super deep. At the background, you will see a little black box, that's our monster truck, and also the location whereby I took the photo of the signboard. 

Mrs OOPS entering the cave!
The walk from the truck to the entrance of the hole is filled with many potential holes that are not visible to the naked eye. If you take a wrong step while walking on the snow, you may see yourself crashing into the cave, which is filled with hardened lava and snow.*Ouch* Do listen to the safety instructions from your guide at all times!


Surprisingly, being in the cave is so comfortable. The lava tube cave is warmer than the outside and we are well protected from the strong winds. No wonder the locals make use of these caves as a hideout when they meet with a snow storm!

Inside the Batman's Cave

Sadly, due to limited time, we are unable to complete trekking the entire cave (which is approximately 1.36m long). We only covered the tip of the iceberg but it is enough to amaze us. If you are physically buffed up and enjoys trekking in lava caves, you may want to reserve one full day for this tour: Lava Tube Exploration with Extreme Iceland. With proper guide and equipment to last you through the entire trekking, I'm sure you will be safe underground!

One last shot before we move on to next stop.

2nd stop: Gljufrabui aka Secret waterfall of the Elves

Iceland is filled with numerous waterfalls and each waterfall is overflowing with clean mineral water which you can drink without filtering. Always have a bottle with you when you visit the waterfalls because you don't want to miss out on drinking such fresh water!


Our first waterfall is known as the secret waterfall of the elves. It is well hidden behind a large cliff and requires walking on the rocks and stream to see the "inner beauty".  Just trying to get into the waterfall is pretty much an adventure on its own. It is also a time whereby you will appreciate wearing waterproof clothes and shoes! 

Interestingly, most Icelandic people believes in the existence of elves, trolls and hidden beings all around Iceland. In Iceland, you will see random big rocks in odd locations known as "elf rocks". When attempts were made to move those rocks away, many unfortunate and unexplained accidents happened. Thus, these rocks were explained to be the dwellings of the elves and it was advisable to leave them untouched. To find out more about this belief, do a google search and you will find more interesting articles and examples!


It was really difficult to capture a good photo inside the waterfall because everything was just so wet! This was one of the moments whereby I appreciate my gopro! The view inside is just spectacular... and if you're wondering, we did not spot an elf.



3rd stop: Seljalandsfoss, the waterfall that you can walk behind!

Situated right beside Gljufrabui, this waterfall is more touristy and crowded. The view of the waterfall is amazing and the pouring sound from the waterfall is therapeutic on its own.


Thankfully for better weather conditions, we are able to trek behind the waterfall! As you can see from the photo below, the floor is filled with ice that's super slippery, hard and there wasn't much grip. You can only depend on crampons and your own balancing skills to prevent a very bad fall. While walking into the waterfall, I saw a good number of tourists (without crampons) who slipped and fell at the steps area. Ouch.


If you are thinking what are crampons , it's the orange thing we wrapped around our shoes. It comes with spikes that can get a good grip of the ground. It prevents you from slipping when walking on icy steps and floor. P.S. These are provided for free during the tour.

Our life saver crampons

Similar to Gljufrabui, this waterfall will make you wet from head to toe when you go near it. So if you have expensive cameras that ain't waterproof, it's time to give them some protection. 


4th stop : Skogafoss, biggest waterfall of them all~~ 


The last waterfall is the most majestic one ! It is 25m wide and 60m tall. Humans look like little figurines when standing beside it!


Due to the heavy misting conditions around the waterfall, you will often see rainbow (or double rainbow) in almost all the photos taken! We just have to take the chance for some photo taking.


I attempted a panorama shot using my iphone 6 and it turned out beautiful. Oh my. I am just so in love with beautiful landscapes (and my hubby) !


For peeps who have a sporty bug, doesn't mind the cold weather and have the luxury of time, you can consider climbing up this flight of stairs for an aerial view of the waterfall. It should be a great sight. We heard its more than 400 steps though. It might have been an easier climb if its summer! 



5th stop: Reynisfjara Beach aka Black Sand Beach of Vik 


This beach is the main highlight of day 1. We arrived at a beach filled with black coloured lava sand. Black sand beaches are found uniquely at the coastal areas of countries with volcanoes and Iceland is one of them! The piping hot liquid lava from volcanic eruptions meets the icy cold sea water and POOF! you get black sand beach. *amazing powers of nature*



Although beautiful, the black sand beach has its dangers due to the strong undercurrents from the crashing waves. Just days before we are here, a tourist was swept into the ocean because he did not follow the guide's instructions of safety distance from sea. He died. After that incident, there are always 2 policemen stationed at the beach. 

This is not the typical beach whereby you will see bikini babes / hunks. The sea conditions here are not suitable for surfing, swimming or building of sandcastles. 



A shot with the very famous basalt columns in Iceland





If you visit this area during summer, you may spot the famous puffins nesting their eggs. Does that sound like more reason to visit Iceland during summer? =)

Gloomy and beautiful


6th stop: Vik


Vik is located at the most southern part of Iceland and the most popular site for tourists. If you are doing self drive to this part of Iceland, you can consider this town for your stopover. You can also sign up for activities such as Icelandic horse riding, snow mobile, dogsledding, glacier walks from here.

One iconic landmark of Vik is this lone church at the top of a hill.
The lone church.

From Vik, we also managed to have a good view of the 3 rock stuctures (which can also be viewed from the black sand beach).


If you are a big fan of Icelandic wool sweaters, you will be able to get them at the souvenir shop. It's pricey but it's guaranteed to make you warm and toasty!




Horse riding in Vik

Afterthoughts:


Using just "amazing" to describe Iceland is really an understatement. When I studied Geography, I learnt about waterfall formations, plate tectonics movements, volcanoes and rock formations due to erosion. All these knowledge suddenly fall into place at Iceland. It is a good wake up call for me to be thankful of what Mother Nature has given us and to take good care of it. I'm also inspired by the resilience of the Icelanders to seek survival in such extreme weather conditions and fluctuations.

We had requested to also visit the abandoned DC plane on Solheimasandur but the weather conditions forbid us to. *boohoo* In Iceland, the weather is king and we take directions from it.

If you are a big fan of Northern lights, do stick on for my next post. I will overload it with beautiful night scenery of Iceland, some with the dancing lights of course.

Note: All photos are credited to Mr and Mrs OOPS. Follow @mrandmrsoops and @djoops on Instagram for more photo works. Not sponsored or affiliated.

Wanderlusting,
Mrs OOPS


You may also like the following posts:

  • Honeymoon: A White Winter In Iceland (Part 1/5: Preparation and Logistics)
  • Honeymoon: City life In Iceland (Part 2/5: Free and Easy Around Reykjavik City)
  • Honeymoon: Iceland, National Geographic Heaven (Part 3/5: Waterfalls and Black Sand Beach)
  • Honeymoon: All About The Northern Lights in Iceland (Part 4/5: Our Magical Experience And Some Photography Tips)
  • Honeymoon: Glacier Hiking In Iceland (Part 5/5: Breathtaking Jökulsárlón)
  • Comments

    Post a Comment

    Popular posts from this blog

    过大礼 Guo Da Li : All you need to know about Betrothal Gifts

    [ Project Xi Bing ] Gin Thye Cake House, Thye Lee Confectionery, Neo Kian Guan Confectionery & Cake (Part 1/3)

    TOP 7 Must-Eat in Feng Jia Night Market (逢甲夜市7大必吃) !!!