Deep south – Fjaðrárgljúfur and Hjörleifshöfði

Despite dire predictions from the Iclandic meteorology service for today, it’s turned out to be another beautiful day. Wind eased off, no rain, and even a bit of blue sky in the middle of the day.

We headed back towards Vatnajokul this morning, through the strange moss-covered larva fields, in order to get to Fjaðrárgljúfur, a scenic canyon with an easy 2km walk in and back. We actually drove a bit past Fjaðrárgljúfur at first, as the clear air seemed to give a nice view (our first) of Vatnajokul itself, so we hunted an appropriate pull-off spot, and found one a few minutes down the road. Stopped beside a little lake, over-full from the previous day’s rain, but now as still as a mirror.

The car park looked full when we arrived (cars were parked by the roadside leading to the parking), but we found a spot. It was indeed a beautiful spot and a lovely walk. Many photographs were taken. Well worth while. The deep cliff faces had been worn into curtain-shaped buttresses that reminded me of the curtaining effect of aurora displays. Land auroras.

The next stop was Hjörleifshöfði, now a cape, that was once itself a sea stack. It was joined to the land many years ago after an eruption made this piece of land rise a bit. On the sea-facing cliff there are some impressive caves. Well, one impressive one and one much smaller one. Apparently it’s a Unesco heritage site, and has a history involving the first Viking settlers, a slave mutiny and a retribution. Supposed to be graves up on top, and there are walking tracks up and all over, but we stayed down at sea level.

Stopped in at the supermarket at Vik on the way home for provisions, as the plan is to self-cater tonight. It’s possible to have too much restaurant food.


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