Postcards from Iceland – 5 (a black beach, a short hike and a whole lotta rain)

The weather has completely stubbed us in the back. Low clouds, and rain. Low visibility on a day that was supposed to offer a fantastic driving experience.

Oh well. Onwards and upwards. Literally.

But first a quick stroll on a beach of black sand: Reynisfjara.

There are plenty of black-sand beaches in Iceland, but none of the other have these incredible basalt structures caused by the cooling of lava a bazillion years ago

Because the weather was so gray, the whole place was quite moody…

this is a colour photo!

The cafe on site makes a delicious moka, if you like that sort of thing…

The drive to the East of the island takes you through some really interesting landscapes. Bleak, barren. Traversed by fast flowing glacial rivers. Everything looks so different from ‘home’ we couldn’t help stopping a few times just to have a look.

Here there is a tradition that travellers must stop and add a stone to a cairn for good luck in the journey ahead…

A massive series of eruptions in the 18th century covered this entire part of the country… sometimes the cooled lava is covered in soft moss and it looks magnificent.

There are still colours if you look carefully… and I don’t mean my jacket! It might look like a dad place, but it really isn’t. It’s full of living things.

After lunch we arrived in Skaftafell National Park… which is supposed to be frames by the biggest glacier in Iceland… but unfortunately we couldn’t see any mountains at all… still I decided to cover myself in Goretex and head for a short hike (just over two miles) to a lovely waterfall.

The landscape here is much greener, the path is cut between beech trees and luscious grasses.

The path snakes up to the top of the hill and at one point I really thought I was getting soaked for nothing…

… but then the waterfall emerges from the mist and it’s a gorgeous one. (And more basalt columns)

Well worth the soaking. (Also it felt so amazing to get the legs going again!)

Happy face!

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