Waterfalls and Glaciers

Yesterday’s challenge was to visit Iceland’s highest waterfall and a glacier.

We started with a quick trip, after breakfast, to Braud & Co to pick up provisions for our trip. Customers were queuing out the door and the shop was jam packed, a complete contrast to yesterday’s early morning visit.

This wouldn’t have been a problem but it was pouring with rain and only Matt had been bright enough to wear a waterproof. Luckily we were able to reward ourselves with freshly baked cinnamon buns which were as delicious as the reviews promised

Iceland’s highest waterfall, Glymur, was our first stop after leaving the city. We drove along the fjord that had rewarded us with last night’s light display, up an unmade road, worrying about damage to the hire car and our insurance excess. We found a car park and a 3.5km hike to the waterfall – not quite what we had in mind. We only really wanted to spend 10 minutes there, taking photos, before heading to the Snaefellsnes Peninsula to get up close to a glacier.

The waterfall might be the highest but it wasn’t as spectacular as the others we’ve seen. We couldn’t see it all without hiking along quite a hazardous track so we made do with crossing the river at the bottom which was hazardous enough! We’d scrambled down through a cave before crossing the river by holding onto a metal cable while walking across rocks and a tree trunk.

We all made it across safely but guess who slipped and got very wet feet on the way back. Was it Matt (never pays attention), John (expert on hazards) or Kim (terrible sense of balance)?

So bad luck tends to come in threes. Matt dropped his lens cover, John managed to twist his ankle on the walk back to the car and Kim had shoes full of water!

Next stop was the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, a two hour journey but we were aiming to drive across a glacier. As we headed north, the weather became revolting. It was wet and windy with visibility becoming increasingly poor, we could barely see the road let alone the beautiful coastline, amazing lava fields and towering volcanoes. According to our research, you can see everything Iceland has to offer here. Our experience says that’s fog, wind and rain.

We drove out as far as Hellnar where the glacier should be easily visible and accessible. This is what we were hoping to see…

Here’s what we could see…

We arrived back in Reykjavik at 8pm, after 300 mile drive, and decided to treat ourselves to another meal out despite plans to eat more economically. We headed out to The Old Iceland restaurant which looked a little different to some of the others. We have tried to stop converting the cost of everything into sterling, it is too distressing. We worked out dinner would be eye wateringly expensive and got on with ordering (£12 for John’s local beer and £55 for Matt’s langoustines – oops shouldn’t have done that!). We had a delicious meal, John’s starter of Icelandic cheese and fruits was ‘the best salad ever’

There is always water available in restaurants which is helpful when you consider the cost of beer, wine is even more expensive so we’ve avoided that. Icelandic tap water comes straight from the ground, into the pipes and out of the tap. It is so pure it needs no filtering and literally tastes of nothing.

Luckily, the sky was cloudy, we therefore found no need to hunt down the Northern Lights and, for the first time since we’ve been away, we went to bed the same day we got up.

One thought on “Waterfalls and Glaciers”

  1. Sounds like another major triumph on the travel front for the intrepid Brays….well done guys! The weather in Iceland seems to be similar to the stuff we have been having here. Alcohol has always been VERY expensive in the Nordic countries, and it seems as if food is, too. Have a safe fight home and thanks for a great travelogue.


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