The only Iceland I’d ever been to up until March 2014 was the one Kerry Katona hangs out in. Classy.When we first landed at the airport in the country Iceland in March 2014 we though it looked a bit like a Martian landscape. The deep volcanic blacks against the brown grasses made it look like no where else we’d ever been.
We chose to book the The Planet Apartments, these are really lovely apartments within very close walking distance of Reykjavík. They are run by brother Borgþór Þórhallsson and sister Diljá Þórhallsdóttir. I pasted the names in from the website otherwise I’d be trying to work out how to type accents on my keyboard for days. The apartments are lovely and clean and had everything we needed, for photos on the official site have a look here. We had a partial sea view from our apartment, lovely big comfy bed, cooking area, a living area with a nice comfy sofa and lastly a bathroom with a nice powerful shower. The majority of the hot water in Iceland (apart from in some high end hotels) comes from geothermal power stations, which means the water smells like sulphur (mmmm smelly egg shower). You get used to it honest.
We’d booked the South Coast tour with a Glacier walk with GeoIceland. The mini bus picked us up right out side our apartment, and we had a lovely drive out from Reykjavík.
I know I’ve said this before in previous posts, but when you’re in a country this beautiful the photos do practically take themselves.
By the way these photos were all taken from the minibus, hence the window reflections.
Our first stop was Seljalandsfoss waterfall which apparently is one of the best known waterfalls in Iceland.
It’s possible to walk behind the waterfall but as it was icy cold and slippery on the rocks in March we decided against this. If you come in warmer weather or just don’t mind the chance of slipping in to freezing cold water (unlike us scaredy cats) then I bet it’s worth the trip. There are some fantastic photos taken from behind Seljalandsfoss.
It’s a beautiful spot, reminded me of scenes from the Jurassic Park film. We left for our next destination Solheimajökull glacier.
If you visit Solheimajökull glacier for the hike, then make sure you bring suitable footwear and layered clothing (it can get very cold). They provided a limited number of waterproof trousers to the group but we’d brought our own just in case. The appropriate footwear is really important as you have to wear crampons on your feet.
Here’s another group making their way up to the glacier which is approximately 11km long. The glacier is retreating due to the changes in the Earths weather, if our climate continues to warm like this then the glacier may have disappeared in 100-200 years. It’s not a hard walk but you need to have a very basic level of fitness and I’d imagine anyone with a walking disability might struggle.
Above is our hiking guide going through the safety briefings. He’s asking us to follow him directly, the reason for this is shown in the photo to the top right where he’s poked his ice axe down through. There’s a deep gulley which his feet are either side of, these are sometimes filled with weaker ice and snow which aren’t safe to walk across.
It’s such a brilliant place and while I’d highly recommend a visit, I wonder if the constant flow of vehicles and people visiting the area don’t help towards the retreating glacier status? Bit hypocritical asking the question after going myself I suppose!
The guides here are very good, they stop every now and then to allow you to take photos (or a breath) give you interesting facts and tell some cool folk stories.
Love this photo of Leigh with her ice axes!
Not quite sure what I’m doing with mine here.. some kind of really uncool X-Factor ice axe pose. Sorry.
We blatantly copied someone else’s idea above!
After we made our way back from the glacier walk we headed on to Skógafoss waterfall , I’ll leave that for the next blog post as this one is getting a bit long isn’t it and I expect you need a cup of tea? Thanks for reading and here’s the last shots from Solheimajökull. Check out the rainbow on the last photo.