There are more sheep than people in Iceland. By almost three times. It should come as no surprise that we saw these animals everywhere during our trip. Our other frequent wildlife companion on the road was the Icelandic horse. These horses are smaller than typical horses, but they are hardy. They also carry a double-coat mane to protect themselves from the bitter cold winters.
Let’s have another song title that refers to Iceland!
Aside from ice, waterfalls are also plentiful on this island. It’s what happens when you mix mountains and glaciers. It would have been just as appropriate if this island nation was named Fossland (or some variable of that). There were parts of our drives where we saw waterfalls every 30 seconds, but we just couldn’t stop for all of them. (Or else we would still be in Iceland. Not that that would be a bad thing.)
Iceland definitely lived up to its namesake! Glaciers were ever the companion during our drive on the Ring Road. The most beautiful view, though, was definitely at Jökulsárlón, a glacial lagoon in the southeastern part of the island. The lagoon has been expanding over the last 100 years or so. A boat tour took us among the giant, bobbing ice blocks. The floating pieces of ice break off from the Vatnajökull glacier before heading toward the Atlantic Ocean through a narrow channel. Some of the ice find a temporary home on the black sand beach before their final oceanic destination. We stayed at a hotel not far from the lagoon, and I was able to go back around midnight for an hour long sunset that I won’t ever forget!
The Golden Circle is one of the more famous day trips out of Reykjavik. We made it our first stop on our road trip around the island. The first stop was Þingvellir National Park, where the North American and European tectonic plates meet. We definitely didn’t allot enough time here, but at the same time, the weather was not cooperating either. When I go there again, I would definitely want to check out more trails and possibly try out the snorkeling/scuba diving that everyone talks about. Next was Geysir, which is what all other geysers are named after. Only Strokkur still regularly goes off in this area, but it was cool to see nonetheless. Last stop of the Golden Circle was Gullfoss, which is one of the many waterfalls that Iceland is known for. Unfortunately, the wind was brutally whipping the mist around, allowing me to get fewer photographs than I had hoped.