Dedication: One of the cool parts of having readers from over 100 countries is the people that you connect with. One of the first people I connected with in the blogosphere was a girl named Katie. She had been fighting an illness for a long time and said that reading about my travels gave her hope that she could see the world herself once she finally beat the disease. For the last two years, we kept in touch regularly and I always mailed her little treats from whatever country I was in for her birthday to her New York home. Unfortunately, she recently lost her battle. I received word of her passing while on this road trip to the South Coast so this post is dedicated in memory of Katie. Despite her circumstances, she was always cheerful and encouraging and she will always inspire me to live life to the fullest.
An Unexpected Road Trip on Iceland's South Coast
When a friend and I set off from Reykjavik, we intended to travel to Vestmannaeyjar (or Westman Islands in English) via ferry and spend the day looking at the "Pompeii of the North" and searching for puffins to admire. However, the weather was awful in the most Icelandic way possible: profuse wind and rain and covered in fog. Instead, we decided to road trip along Iceland's South Coast, stopping in little towns along the way as we pleased. I had been to the South Coast before, but only on a tour bus and this experience was much more authentic and lovely.
This black sand beach is famous for its beautiful views and its equally dangerous waters. We decided to visit different parts of the beach (instead of the one that all the tour buses stop at) and guess what we saw as soon as we turned on the road!? A puffin! Despite the number of Lundinn (The Puffin) shops on Laugavegur, the Icelandic puffin is rather elusive and usually only spotted on Vestmannaeyjar, but despite our foiled attempt at puffin watching, we still saw one!
As we headed in the vague direction of the beach, we came across a winding, slightly terrifying hill. There were some cars driving up successfully and other cars getting stuck in the mud (we befriended some Hungarians who met the unfortunate fate of getting their car stuck in the mud). We weren't really sure where the road was taking us. It ended up being an overlook to the beach or so we thought. It was too foggy to see anything!
We mostly spent the day stopping at different natural wonders along the South Coast, most of which I had seen before, but which are beautiful no matter how many times you see them!
Where there is smoke, there is fire. Unless you are in Iceland, then it is geothermal water. On our drive back to Reykjavik for stopped for dinner at the Hveragerði geothermal kitchen, Kjöt & Kúnst.
Here, the chefs prepare most of the food by stepping outside and actually cooking it right in the hot springs! It was very cool to see!
Iceland's weather may be unpredictable and cause plans to change, but there is always a way to work with the weather to make an excellent day trip.
Hi, I’m Crystal! I love to travel and am currently a graduate student in Scotland. You’ll get all the best tips and insights from my experiences as a former ice-skating coach in Iceland and former study abroad student. Of the 27 countries I have visited, a type 1 diabetes diagnosis has been the strangest land yet. Type 1 has not slowed down my travels and you'll learn how to take type 1 with you on the road! You can connect with me further on Instagram @CrystalChilcott, or send me ideas of where I should travel next via email: firstname.lastname@example.orgHappy Travels, Crystal
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