We woke up at 7:15 AM, and it was still dark. It was funny, as it was the first time we had woken up in Iceland before the sun. After breakfast at the guesthouse, we immediately headed south.
The vedur.is site is really quite accurate and well designed, giving us the weather hour by hour and by city over 3 days. However, this morning the news was not good. It was going to be gray this morning near Skogafoss, where we were going, but they expected heavy rain this afternoon exactly where we had planned to go: Dyrholaey.
So, we had to find a plan B. The advantage of sleeping several nights in the same area was that we would inevitably find a time with better weather to visit this type of site where the weather really mattered.
It took time for the sun to make its appearance, and even by 8:30AM, it was only barely light. We arrived in Skogafoss around 10AM. There were still quite a few tourists on the site, but we planned to climb to the right of the waterfall (it really was a serious climb!) to get to the shelf at the top of Skogafoss to do the "waterfall hike."
The hike was so much fun, walking along the river that flowed to Skogafoss. There weren't many people on this trail and after an hour and a half of walking we decided to turn around as the fog was starting to roll in. The return trip was much easier because almost everything was downhill.
Arriving at the car, before the rain arrived, we decided to stop at Kvernufoss, very close to here, behind the Skogar Museum. This waterfall was not at all well marked but it was gorgeous and just like Seljalandsfoss, you could walk behind the curtain of water. We parked our car at the end of the Skogar car park, after the last museum building (the easternmost one).
From there, a short 20-minute walk (1 km) leads to the fall once you pass the small metal ladder that bridges over the sheep enclosure. Arriving near the fall, the terrain was quite muddy and sometimes a bit slippery (but not dangerous at all). A small path on the left side allowed us to get closer to the waterfall and even to walk behind it! Cascading from the top of the 20 m Kvernufoss fall, the water breaking on the rocks was thunderous.
After this busy morning, we decided to go grab a bite to eat in Vik, especially as the rain began to fall. We stopped at Smiðjan Brugghús, which had an excellent reputation, especially for their burgers (known to be among the best in Iceland) and their craft beer.
We've rarely eaten such good burgers, and I can confirm that the beer was also excellent. The establishment also offered beer tasting boards for the connoisseurs who wanted to try everything.
The rain got worse and we were not going to be able to leave Dyrholaey as planned. So we decided to improvise: go shopping for our breakfast for the next few days and then go to the “Vik Lava Show” which was recommended to us by the barman. A lot of people have the same idea given the weather so we decided to book for the “show” at 5PM.
his evening and for 3 nights we were sleeping nearby in a very nice guesthouse in Reynisfjara: "Vik Black Beach Suites." We immediately thought that the view from the bay window, on a clear day, must be incredible. Unfortunately, a clear day it was not! Once the bags were dropped off we went back to the Vik Lava show, which would start soon.
We learned that the concept was very recent and dated from last year. It was, in fact, the only molten lava show in the world. After 15 minutes of lecture on the project origins and the story of the presenter's grandfather struck by tragedy during the last eruption of Katla in 1918, we watched a very well-done video on the history of eruptions in the region.
The 10-minute video was educational and really set the mood. This is where the demonstration started, with lava flowing from a big stone pipe to pool in a basin 2 meters away. It was really impressive, and it quickly got very hot in the small space. The presenter was very nice and got people involved, manipulating the lava with a large metal bar.
The show lasted 1 hour, and we even left with a piece of lava from the previous day! I recommend arriving a few minutes early to get in the front row; it's much more convenient for photos!
We then returned to Reynisfjara to enjoy our suite and prepare for day 3, as tomorrow in Vedur forecasted much better weather!