We had decided to stay at our guesthouse in Vik for two nights, because there’s really no better place to be. It was nice to wake up and know we didn’t have to immediately pack up all our things and get on the road for a long drive. I know I probably sound like a broken record, but I have to talk about the breakfast. Food in Iceland might not be to everyone’s taste, but they know how to do breakfast right. At the guesthouse, they make everything on site-freshly baked buns stuffed with fruit, traditional Icelandic flatbread eaten with butter and cheese, pancakes with homemade rhubarb preserves, hard boiled eggs, and ham and smoked lamb that Julian loved.
Blissfully full, we drove to Skogafoss where we were greeted with a hailstorm. We waited it out in the car while Julian napped, but then fifteen minutes later, the sun was shining. Crazy Iceland. Ted headed out first to hike to the top, and found a perfect lookout point halfway up that nobody else was using. He came to get me and we walked around the base of the waterfall where it still felt like it was raining, the mist was so intense. Then he traded me and waited in the car with Julian while I hiked to the top. After the solitude of the east coast areas, it was easy to tell that this was a top tourist attraction, with metal stairs all the way to the top, and I was taking it pretty fast. That, combined with the Svartifoss hike the day before meant my legs were sore for two days after.
We followed the very specific instructions of the girl at the guesthouse (past the big rock, across two tiny rivers, past the glacier tours sign, turn at the cattle guard, then drive on the beach for longer than it feels like you should) to find a downed American fighter plane that ran out of fuel and crash landed on the beach. Luckily nobody was killed in the crash, but the plane has been there ever since. It was bizarre and amazing to see the deserted plane out on the misty desolate beach with nothing or nobody else around as far as the eye could see.
When we were researching Iceland, I found a picture of a swimming pool and knew we just had to make it there somehow. It turned out to be the oldest swimming pool in Iceland, only accessible by hiking along a riverbed about a half mile. and fed hot water so that the pool stays warm even through the winter. We found the parking lot and started hiking. As we walked along the riverbed into the valley where the pool, Seljavallalaug, is located, it continued to get more and more beautiful. We felt the water when we got there and it seemed pretty good, so I stripped down and hopped in, while Ted got Julian ready and handed him to me. Pretty soon, I realized the place where I had felt the water was right by where the hot water was flowing into the pool, and as I moved away from that small area, realized the pool was a little chilly for how cold it was outside. By the time Ted got in, Julian was about ready to start getting out. Then it started pouring rain. It was quite a scramble trying to get out and keep Julian as warm as possible. Ted ran him back to the car, while I gathered up all the clothes and cameras.
We headed back to our room for lunch, and could hardly believe it was only lunchtime-we had already seen so much. After that, we thought about driving all the way back to the canyon we had attempted to reach the day before, but didn’t want to risk it with how much it had been raining on and off. So we took it a little easier and wandered around Vik. There wasn’t too much to see in tiny Vik, other than a few cool churches and a grocery store. The beaches right in town, however, are amazing. Black sand, basalt caves, and large lava rock formations in the ocean. Someday I want to spend a whole sunny day on one of those beaches. Back at the guesthouse, we sautéed cauliflower with ravioli and had a really good conversation in the common dining room with the British foursome who were staying there as well. It was one of my favorite days.