After a super long and tiring day yesterday, it was time to begin Day 3 of our 7 day road trip. And the day began with a bright and sunny morning at our guesthouse today we were going to cover the eastern and southeast Iceland. Both Eastern and Southeast Iceland are relatively less explored as compared to the Golden Circle route.
The eastern part of Iceland is know for its stunning Fjords and the South Eastern mainly for its glaciers. It was good to have a comparatively relaxed day after yesterday’s hectic drive. To begin with we decided to cover a few spots that were left behind yesterday.
As both Eastern and Southeast Iceland are relatively less explored, you would hardly find any tourists here. Definitely much lesser compared to Southern Iceland. As a result the drive is not only one of the most scenic but also clicking photos is a charm. You don’t have to worry about someone spoiling your perfect frame.
The first stop on our Eastern and Southeast Iceland route today. Jökulsárlón is a glacial lagoon, bordering Vatnajökull National Park located in southeast Iceland. It’s still, blue waters are dotted with icebergs from the surrounding Breiðamerkurjökull Glacier, part of larger Vatnajökull Glacier. Big blocks of ice break from the glacier and float around in this lagoon until they make their way out to sea.
Yesterday, we have seen this place in pitch darkness and I wasn’t really thrilled but never was I so wrong in my life. This place is just gorgeous. It was one of my favourite spots in the entire Iceland trip. You get so up close to the lagoon, its a sight and feeling I had never experienced.
Plus, you can do so many activities at this place – Ice cave tour, lagoon ride in an Amphibious bus. Unfortunately, most of these activities get reserved very fast and when we arrived they had slots of only a couple of us. As there was no point in keeping the others waiting, with a heavy heart I had to say good bye to Jökulsárlón.
Just across the road from Jökulsárlón is another gem of southeast Iceland – the famous Diamond beach. It derives its name from the blocks of ice that float from the lagoon into the sea and glitter in the sunlight. We had some fun playing around with the smaller ice blocks and clicking some great photos.
There is a slight gradual variation in the landscape as you move from Southeast Iceland to the Eastern part. The mountains are taller and the landscape more rugged with the sea beating down against towering cliffs and mountains. But it has to be said that both Eastern and Southeast Iceland are blessed with stunning natural beauty. Today was hands-down the best drive of the entire trip.
A stunning lighthouse perched on top of a cliff, it gives you great views of the surrounding mountains. We parked the car next to the lighthouse and walked around the surroundings. I even went down to the rocky cliff and touched the sea. We spent almost 2 hours at this spot and we did not encounter a single soul throughout these 2 hours.
We had the entire lighthouse, beach and the surroundings to ourselves. Talk about solitude at its best.
Álftafjörður – Swan Fjord
When we started the trip today, my colleague (who had been to Iceland before), clearly told us. If we sleep today, it’s our loss. As the day passed by, we all realised why he had said that. The east Fjords are just freaking amazing. I am now simply running short of adjectives. So I’ll keep the words short and let photos do most of the talking.
Gisthus Olgu in Egilsstaðir
Last stop today was our guesthouse – Gisthus Olgu in Egilsstaðir. By our normal standards, we arrived pretty early by 5 PM. As soon as we stepped inside the guest house, it started snowing. The weather apps had precisely predicted a snow storm around the same time.
And for the first time in the trip, we experienced heavy snow fall. We were all like little children playing in the snow, till our fingers and hands went numb. I ran around the entire guesthouse dancing in the snow like a madman.
As soon as we entered, some of the folks had prepared Milk Tea (Indian Chai). The feeling of sipping on a hot tea, while watching the snow fall has a pretty nostalgic feel about it. Reminds me of the trips and treks I did in North India.
We were sharing the guesthouse with a Canadian lady. That lady was doing a solo road trip in a small Maruti Alto. You may ask why does the car make matter? It does, because you must have seen our car/van. Even when it was fully loaded with 7 people while driving on the ring road, the van would swerve all of a sudden due to heavy winds. You really need rock steady hands on the wheel in Iceland and yet this lady was driving around in her humble little Maruti. Hats off.
We spent the evening exchanging drinks and stories from our countries and also cooked our own delicious dinner.
Expenses for the Day
|Expense Description||Expense Amount|
|En-route lunch||Around 800 INR|
|Super market expenses||Around 400 INR/person. For non-veg dinner
and next days breakfast
Gisthus Olgu in Egilsstaðir
|Around 5500 INR for a room (2 people)|
See you guys tomorrow.