Glacial languages, trolls beaches and hidden waterfalls


If I had to define the south coast of Iceland It would be difficult for me. A world of contrasts congregate in a few kilometers to show us black sand beaches dominated by towering trolls in the form of rocks in Reynisfjara, waterfalls that leave one speechless as Skógafoss, Seljalandsfoss or some hidden, roads that dodge the hillsides of the fearsome volcano-glacier Eyjafjallajokull that paralyzed not long ago all of Europe or backward glacial languages ​​such as Sólheimajokull, affordable with crampons for everyone.

The Polar Lands expedition continues through the southern part of the island where we have had a day with many surprises

Route along the southern coast of Iceland

I have to admit that an extraordinary group has touched me beyond Damien himself. Unfortunately, the weather is not accompanying too much in this strange territory of northern Europe and what should be winter spots have become an early spring of rain. However, and although the hopes of seeing northern lights are small, Julio, Laura (who looks very much like my grandmother Vale), Bego, Elisabeth, Chus, Jorge and Hugo do not decay in their always positive energy And that is very much appreciated when you travel as a group. Today's route has been similar to the following ...

Today we will not change the base and will be the cabins of theAsgardur Inn(hot pots included) those that shelter us one more night. In fact, it's not even 9:00 when we were all having breakfast already in the main building and ready to head for an experience of those that are considered unique when you travel to these latitudes. Guess what these crampons are for?

Indeed, the first stop on our way will be the receding glacial tongue of the Sólheimajokull to make a crampon walk between ice formations, cracks and hanging glaciers.

In crampons by the Sólheimajokull glacier tongue

It is not the first time I walk with crampons through a glacier tongue. I did it for the first time in Ymerbukta on the trip to Svalbard and I repeated it inQaleraliq on the trip to Greenland, possibly the best experience I've ever had of this type. Still, I still have problems every time I have to pass those cords through the right place. Anyway, there are things that one will never learn. What still imposing respect is seeing the greatness of a glacier tongue as you approach it ...

Sólheimajokull receives us raining and, although it is affordable for all people, it is hard to take some good photos. I'm missing hands!

All the glacial languages ​​we have climbed through have a common pattern ... they are in full recoil faster and faster! Today, in addition to Damián, we are accompanied by a professional guide who knows the "cabo a tail" glacier and makes several departures every day. The ice entry point was previously in the parking lot and is now almost 20 minutes away on foot. Effect of global warming they call it ...

If yesterday it was impressive to walk among the open rocks that leave the crack of the Thingvellir National Park in full Iceland Golden Circle, today are the "almost" perfect formations completely molded by the glacier which leave ice sculptures, edges and cracks before us


After an accessible walk where they have carved up some small stairs in the ice for the most difficult sections we reach the horizontal part of the tongue. The ice ax has almost served more to balance us than for anything else

It is precisely in this place where one can observe that the vastness of the great Mysdalsjökull glacier it extends to the sandy plains leaving contrasts in blue, white but also black of the volcanic remains that the Katla volcano left in the eruption of 1918. When is the next one?

The return is a little harder than the climb because a good trickle of water has fallen and we arrive at the parking lot. However, everything has a solution and although we have picnic in the van waiting for us, today we have to try those extraordinary Icelandic (spectacular) soups of the day that put you in all places and, why not ?, a shot of Brennivín that Hugo is invited to That comes to be something like the national drink mix of fermented potato, cumin, caraway seeds or angelica.

Reynisfjara, the black beach of trolls

Yes there are an image that he had in his head before coming to Iceland it is that of three large moles of stone that emerge over the sea, visible from a black sand beach with large basaltic columns in the form of a stage. Something similar to the following photo ...

Obviously, the one that my mind houses has much more light, a raging sea and the beach is almost virgin. Today, a few kilometers from Vik I Myrdal (a small town), we found the beauty of the black beach of Reynisfjara near the cliffs of Dyrholaey, considered as one of the most beautiful non-tropical beaches in the world

Reynisfjara does not lack anything. To the stone trolls called Reynisdrangur (We have already told you that the Icelanders believe in all these kinds of magical beings) something more shocking is united. How is it possible that there are almost perfect basaltic formations next to a beach?

Reynishverfi, as the columns of more than 60 meters are called, are the result of a complex process of volcanic eruptions that broke the millenary ice of the last great glaciation producing true sculptures embedded in the 340-meter cliffs between the mountains

No less impressive are thecaves and caves which can be accessed when the tide allows. If it did good, you take out the towel and there is no lifting wind that moves you from here, hahaha

As it continues to rain we have thought that why not fight the rain with more water? Afternoon session ... waterfalls!

Skógafoss, Seljalandsfoss and Gljúfrabúi, the hidden waterfall

Iceland is a paradise for lovers of all kinds of waterfalls And it was time to check. After visiting one of the most spectacular yesterday, Gullfoss, today it was time to "let ourselves fall" through which the circular route leaves us on its south coast. Why so many waterfalls? Tectonic movements and erosion have been setting up "spillways" for many rivers and torrents of water on their way to the sea from the snow as it melts. If we add to that the particular landscape and cliffs we have all the perfect ingredients.

Skógafoss, the cascade of the golden chest

Legend has it that the Skógafoss waterfall, near the town of Skógar, hides a secret. A long time ago, a Viking from the area, buried a golden chest in an inner cavern which was seen again years later before disappearing forever. Be that as it may, at this time of the afternoon she looks beautiful in front of us

With its more than 25 meters wide and a 60 meter waterfall, approaching it is impossible without a good soak (for a while the sun rises, haha). Eye with the cameras

What we did not expect was to see was an "elf" dressed as a "mermaid" literally soaked under the waterfall. Things you only see in Iceland

Seljalandsfoss, the waterfall with inner cave

Seljalandsfoss is one of the most popular waterfalls and one of the great natural wonders of Iceland also with a 60 meter water jump. The origin of its flow comes directly from the Eyjafjallajökull volcano / glacier that we all know

And what's so special? Than a small cave inside lets walk with a different perspective

Goal accomplished ... or not? Damián asks us if we want to discover a little secret that not all visitors who come here know.

Gljúfrabúi, the hidden waterfall and my favorite

A few meters from the previous one, hidden between the mountains and covered by a small rock formation that prevents you from seeing your jump, isGljúfrabúi, a hidden waterfall that you begin to see the moment you approach

Perhaps Gljúfrabúi is neither as famous nor as well known as the previous ones or that ofGullfoss We saw yesterday but it is, from this moment, my favorite. In summer it will be easier to enter it but a day like today that carries so much water requires some high boots to be able to cross its entrance stream by stepping on rocks or stuck to the wall

Worth? Without a doubt, yes, the objective is one of those places that makes you feel far from overcrowding, in a "secret" corner under a constant flow of water and one of the most beautiful photos of the trip

Sufficiently soaked, it's a good time to head towards the cabins of theAsgardur Innand have a good time in the hot pots before dinner. By the way, Damián cooks to "suck his fingers" and very varied. Without resorting to the usual pasta, rice or chickpeas in this type of travel, we have already gone through a good cod, vegetable and today! extraordinary honey meat! Of course, I have to try the happy "fermented shark" but I will tell you about that in another article (I don't know if I tell you to try it because you have to do it or directly skip it)

I keep trying beers beyond Viking, you know what I like the gastronomic part of any trip. Great Kaldi, pseee la Boli. morning A place that I have idealized for a long time awaits us. His name isJökulsárlón, the largest glacier lake in Iceland. !!To sleep!!

Isaac, from Hvolstrod (Iceland)