…and we slept for 14 hours our first night (but that’s jet lag). As usually happens, my hours of pre-planning went awry but I convinced the fellas to push towards Vik, which I had heard was a geological phenomenon that can’t be missed.
On our way from Sacred Seed to Vik, I learned that red curtains on a gas station window do not indicate that a lady of the night is working inside, but instead that gas stations are made to feel cozy,and thankfully contain freshly baked goods and bottomless cups of coffee. Who knew?
Without my Google Map and wifi, I was feeling unsure about how to proceed but from a great distance we were able to suss out that there was a waterfall ahead and soon found Seljalandsfoss. It was big and it was powerful. On a beautiful 22 degree day in July we were able to wear shorts and t-shirts but these were not enough for the journey behind the falls for me. With the sudden shift to hurricane force winds, darkness, and a wet rocky ground, I retreated. The fellas went on without me and toured behind for all of 10 minutes. There were also souvenir shops and a stand with coffee and sandwiches, so we indulged. All in all, a must-see stop for an hour when in the south Iceland region.
Pushing onto Vik, the landscape once again took a dramatic turn. We swooped down into this seaside turn after climbing a large hill. The drives have been taking longer than we thought and we’re generally underestimating how long it will take to get anywhere. The speed limit is 90 on the big 2-lane highway that circles the whole island, but towns range from 40 – 70. There are only 300 000 people in the whole of Iceland so paving roads, building bridges across fjords and more than 2 lanes, are not a priority. Gas is about the same as in other parts of Europe…double the price of Canadian gas prices.
As soon as we could we got out of the car in Vik. The black sand, the colonies of a variety of sea birds, the majesty of the contrasting cliffs and ocean, I wept openly for a few moments not believing that I was actually here. I would have to say that Vik is my favourite place…out of the 2 days we’ve been travelling. It’s like seeing Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris for the first time. Seeing it with my family and hanging out doing what we do best, foraging for beach treasures, wallowing in the beauty and science of the flora and fauna, it was just awesome.
We stopped for something to eat at a restaurant near the beach called Halldorskaffi and they produced a pizza for the kid, a mozzarella salad for me and fish and chips too. It was all well-made and the staff were friendly too.
I am using this book a lot for prioritizing so much to see in our short time in Iceland, and in it, I found our next stop: Fjorubordid in Stokkseyri. Have you ever been to one of those chain restaurants where the menu is so big with so many choices that you can hardly decide but everything is really average-tasting? This was nothing like that. Fjorubordid only does one thing a few ways: prawns. They take online reservations so we drove straight from Vik to Stokkseyri to make our reservation at 6:30 pm. We ordered the meal size magical prawn soup which came with limitless bread options and splurged on a glass of wine. They even had a kids menu. After a satisfying meal we raced back to Keflavik, near the airport and checked into our lovely triple room (that’s a queen and a single…so civilized and so perfect for us) at the Ace Guesthouse. Our host was efficient and the rooms were well laid out and there was a kitchen with a fridge for drinks and tea and cookies. He upgraded us to a room with a private WC but a shared shower. We were very happy there.
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It looks amazing there! I am heading there at the end of August, I’m wondering did you venture up to the lighthouse near the black beach at Vik? If so what was the road like for a small 2wd car?
Hi Jay, Roads in Iceland have different ratings. We did not head up to the lighthouse at Vik and you may do so if you have rented a 4×4 vehicle and the insurance to go with it. You’ll be surprised how close you can get though and then just walk in. There are many roads that are un-rated too. My advice: find that destination on a detailed Iceland road map and then either upgrade your vehicle or hoof it.