Ok, so im writing this like a week after we were there which I hate doing because you always forget and leave out the good bits!
Skaftafell is the biggest national park in Europe and is home to the biggest glacier in Europe which covers nearly a 5th of the country. We had limited time on this trip and it was an all day bus ride but this was one of the cool things we had to see.
So we had our 20 pound tent, 4 cans of baked beans, a loaf of bread and some muesli bars and off we set to Skaftafell. We caught the bus which is like a semi tour, it stops off at tourist sights along the way which was good being on such limited time. We stopped off at 2 of the most popular waterfalls along the way, the black sand beach of Vik for lunch and we finally arrived at Skaftafell to absolutly bucketing down rain. We got off the bus and everyone had to huddle in a shelter clutching their bags and tents for over an hour until the rain subsided and as soon as the rain stopped everyone made a run for it and quickly set up their tents. Now this was something we hadnt really thought about.... was our 20 pound tent going to be waterproof???..... most likely not! Luckily it didnt rain for the rest of the afternoon and we took a walk down to the glacier. I dont think the photos do it justice to how big it is, we probably spent a couple of hours just walking around it looking into different icecaves etc.... probably wondered a little too far onto it and it was really scary getting back. What you thought was part of the mountain was actually just ice covered in dirt.
The next morning it was nice and sunny so we set off early to do a hike up the mountain to enjoy a 360 view of the area. It started off sunny and clear and we got some pretty good views but about half way through our 6 hour hike it started raining (which is never fun) and it clouded over a fair bit and we got back to our tent soaking wet. The worst thing about camping is if its raining you are stuck in your tent and our tent was tiny, we were just sleeping on the ground so it wasnt comfortable and we had no cooker so we just ate our cold baked bean sandwiches and went to sleep!
The next morning it was raining when we woke up :( we only had such limited time so we caught the bus an hour up the road to one of the coolest things I have ever seen, the jokulsarlon ice lagoon. Here a glacier is melting at a rapid rate and all the big chunks of ice that fall off it gather in a lagoon before they float out to sea. Once again our photos do not do this place justice, it was just amazing, one of those things you know youre probably never going to see in your life again. Unfortuntly it was such a cold rainy day and it continued to rain all day..... so back to the tent!
The next day we got the bus back to Reykjavik but this time via the inland route and a place called Lundmannalugar. The bus ride was like being back in asia again! dirt roads and a crazy bus driver driving on the single lane road as fast as he could and everyone else had to get off the road! The landscape was crazy, bare brown hills, some snow capped, some with a light dusting of green grass. Crazy aqua blue lakes and milky rivers, oh yes the bus ride also included many river crossings and finally we arrived in Landmannalugar. It is a geothermal area which is very popular for hiking due to its cool landscape, active fissures and geothermal pools. We didnt stay here the night as the camp ground was just dirt and rocks and we didnt really think that would be comfortable so after a couple of hours to explore we continued on. As it was a lovely day (of course!) we got a great view on the bus ride back of Mt Helka, one of the most active volcanos on earth and once thought of as the 'entrance to hell'.
We arrived back in Reykjavik at 7.00pm and as we are not used to having to book accommodation and plan things we didnt have anywhere to stay and didnt realise it was a public holiday..... We searched for accommodation everywhere and everything was full! So in the end we ended up back in the tent in the a guesthouses back yard. Ah, the fun of it!
Our last day we spent just exploring more of Reykjavik, doing washing and packing up. And we were off to Toronto the next day