Saturday, September 15, 2018

Iceland - Day 4

We left our skylight shade open when we went to bed and in the middle of the night I thought I saw the sky moving. We got up and got dressed (twice actually) and headed outside to stare up at the Northern Lights. They were more white than colorful but they were still beautiful, dancing across the sky in the freezing cold. We woke up and headed down to breakfast. I thought the vintage tablecloths were so pretty and there was a different one on every table.
Sheep dot every landscape in Iceland. As the sun came up and we headed off to our next adventure, I had to jump out and take a photo of how they snuggle up to each other to stay warm. I also love how mischievous they are, often spotted outside the fences intended to hold them in.
We drove out almost to the end of the peninsula to hike down into Vatnshellier Cave, which is an 8,000 year old lava tube and the volcano behind me, Snaefellsjökull, is the starting point of Journey to the Center of the Earth. I was fully prepared with my helmet and a flashlight.
The cave has no lights inside, so our only source of light was our flashlights. The guide had a large light that could illuminate the rock formations for us to see, although not really enough to produce high-quality photos. This staircase was our last decent into the lowest chamber of the lava tube. At 11.5 meters, it had my knees knocking a little bit on the way down (still scared of heights, despite my recent ropes course victory) but I survived. The cave was super cool to explore.
Don't worry, here was our waterfall stop of the day - Kirkjufellsfoss. It was a little cold and cloudy, but we managed a quick hike around the falls for photos from every angle. I just can't get enough!
We stopped at a little cafe for lunch at Hotel Rjúkandi and I had this amazing lox and avocado sandwich on a toasted sesame bagel - yummy!
After lunch we had a little dessert - I had a dark chocolate cookie and Brian had a local concoction called Snaefell (after the volcano) of espresso, sweetened condensed milk, foam and cinnamon. I'm hoping to convince our local coffee shop at home to give it a try on their menu this winter.
We drove the rest of the way to Reykjavik, checked into our hotel (see my IG for photos!), and took a little walk to see the famed church Hallgrímskirkja. We didn't go inside yet, maybe tomorrow, but enjoyed the grounds and the sun.

Our dinner experience was so incredible, I am going to give it its own post, if that's okay with you! Coming to you tomorrow...

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