Our Trip to Iceland: Day 2
If you haven't read about Day 1, do that first!
The next day we woke up at 5am, fully refreshed. We were starving by that time, but had to wait until 8am for the only restaurant within miles to open back up and begin serving breakfast. By 9am, we were back on the road and the skies were still pitch black. I actually enjoyed the winter hours; the rising of the sun around 10:30am was an event to look forward to every day, and I appreciated being awake for every sunrise. Though it is a little trippy to wake up at 5am and not see the sun until 5 1/2 hours later.
Nevertheless, we were back on the road. Much calmer roads, too. Daniel and I love road trips, so another 4 hours on the road was enjoyable. When the sun did rise, we had so much fun slowing down to take pictures and take in the views. The roads are so infrequently inhabited that there were large stretches where the roads and bridges had only one lane for two-way traffic. Occasionally, we would have to pull off to the side to allow an oncoming car to pass. Thankfully, the horizon was so expansive (and it's national law that all cars must have their headlights on at all times), that we could see cars coming even when they were still miles away.
Our destination on Day 2 was Jökulsárlón, the Glacier Lagoon. When we finally turned the corner toward Glacier Lagoon (and suddenly we were with people again!), I gasped. Even from a distance, it was one of the most beautiful things I had ever seen. The glaciers were all either a brilliant white, an icy gray, or a bright sky-blue. They were grouped together in the lagoon - large and colorful and silent. Even though it was the first crowd we had been in all day, the number of people still wasn't that large and Glacier Lagoon was overwhelmingly peaceful and quiet. The crunching of stones beneath people's boots and the pitter-patter of a misty rainfall were the only sounds I heard when Daniel and I found a quiet place to sit. The icebergs were still and silent in front of us, but still somehow strikingly beautiful. It's hard to describe the ambiance of the lagoon; it was a bit like an artist had begun sculptures he wasn't happy with, then dumped them all into this corner of the world. They somehow seemed melancholy and forgotten, but still overwhelmingly beautiful.
We stayed until the rain soaked through our winter clothes, then slogged back to the car. Directly across Glacier Lagoon is a black sand beach, which was equally as beautiful. Don't miss this site! On this side of the lagoon, the waves roared and large chunks of see-through ice littered the oil slick black. We spent time climbing the largest pieces of ice we could find, then called it a day and returned to the car, ready to begin the long drive back.
We were able to swing back around by the black sand beaches of Vik in calmer weather, take in the gorgeous scenery, and eat some Schnitzel for dinner before we finally made it to Reykjavik and got settled in our airbnb.