(Photo above: Me at Reynisfjara beach.)
Following my interesting lunch on the first part of my South Shore Adventure with Reykjavik Excursions we headed to the famous black rock, black sand beach of Reynisfjara. Unfortunately it was extremely foggy during our visit so we were unable to see the beautiful rocks and cliff side in the area but it was neat to see it in the fog and made it seem very mysterious.
In the distance out in the water two large rocks could be seen that have an interesting story that goes along with them. Many Icelanders believe in Trolls, ferries, ghosts and things similar to those and specifically they believe in Stone Trolls. It is believe that Stone Trolls can only go out at night time and if they are seen by the sun they and everything they touch would turn to stone. Apparently one night a troll saw a ship anchored off the shore of Reynisfjara and he went to steal it, however just as the sun came up he was caught and if you look at these rocks from a certain angle it actually looks like a troll pulling a sail boat with three masts in to shore turned to stone.
(Photo above: Reynisfjara Beach)
Reynisfjara Beach isn’t located in a bay but is right on the open ocean and the waves are some of the most ferocious that I have ever seen. I was told that often times people get swept away here so you have to be careful as I witnessed almost loosing my camera that was on a tripod when the waves snuck up on me. Unfortunately I don’t think that you want to try and swim at this beach anytime soon. Aside from being famous for it’s fierce waves Reynisfjara is also a movie star as this is where the Clint Eastwood Film “Flags of Our Fathers” was shot with Reynisfjara beach doubling for somewhere in the pacific.
Following our quick jaunt on the beach we were taken to the Skogar Museum. Opened in 1949 this museum was actually started by a young Icelandic boy at the age of 14 when he started collecting Viking artifacts and antiques that people no longer wanted. Later in life this young boy became a teacher and was still collecting objects and he eventually started his own museum in 1949. Now 62 years later that young boy is 90+ years old and still owns and operates the museum which he can be found at every day teaching people how to spin wool and answering every question asked of him. His museum currently holds 12,000+ artifacts and is definitely something to see if you ever visit. You can find everything from old whale stomachs which had been blown up and used as fishing bouys to cooking utensils, ice skates made out of bone, stuffed animals including a three eyed lamb, paintings, artwork you name it.
(Photo above: Skógafoss Waterfall)
Located near by the museum is the Skógafoss waterfall. Iceland is filled with large and beautiful waterfalls many created by melting glaciers and springs the Skógafoss waterfall is actually one of the biggest with a drop of 200 feet. Legend has it that a long time ago a viking hid a treasure chest in a cave behind the waterfall however no one has ever been able to retrieve it.
In Iceland people love to go camping and the land near Skógafoss is perfect for it, there is even a trail next to the waterfall that takes you to the top of it and then leads you along the Skógá River where there are other great places to camp and waterfalls to see.
Following our visit to Skógáfoss we had now met back up with the rest of the group that had earlier gone on the glacier walk and together we drove to the next waterfall.
Seljalandsfoss waterfall was not nearly as wide as Skógáfoss but is just as high and the unique bit about this waterfall is that the cliff side behind it has actually been carved out in such a unique way that people can actually walk behind it. Many people on my tour got a chance to walk behind it however when I attempted it I had my video camera and tripod in hand hoping to film behind it and it proved to be to wet (surprise) for me to get behind without wrecking my camera (or so I feared). So unfortunately I didn’t get to experience this unique feature to the Seljalandsfoss waterfall as our time was limited with our stop. I didn’t have enough time to get my camera back to the bus and then get back to the waterfall with out missing the bus and I didn’t want to be one of those people that make everyone wait. I’m not too bummed about it though because I’m pretty sure a waterfall looks the same from all sides… :)
(Photo above: Seljalandsfoss waterfall)
After Seljalandsfoss waterfall we headed back to Reykjavik and that was the end to my awesome South Shore Adventure. I plan on visiting Iceland again as this 6 day trip was far too short. I enjoyed all of the tours that I went on but next time I would definitely consider renting a car so that I could have as much time as I wanted at each thing be it more or less. Don’t worry my dear friends I still have more to write about this great place and there is an awesome video that I filmed while I was there being released soon! In fact there might actually be a few videos so stay tuned!
Disclaimer: I was invited on the South Shore Adventure tour with Reykjavik Excursions however all views and opinions expressed are my own. Hop on a plane and visit Iceland now already would ya!?