Iceland Day 5
Up bright and early once again we set off for the Glacier Lagoon and Diamond Beach. I have seen Glacier lakes in the past in other parts of the world but their tranquil beauty catches my breath every time. The lake was quiet and serene as bird flew overhead and seals played in the water their mothers lazily sleeping on large floating pieces of ice. In summer Kayaking tours take tourists out into the lake to admire the beauty of the surroundings and catch glimpses of seals. We hiked for about 45 minutes around the Glacier lagoon before walking over to yet another mesmerizing site, Diamond Lake.
Here chunks of ice jagged, broken, and unspeakably beautiful rest on the black sand before being washed away into the sea. When the sun hits the ice on Diamond Lake it makes them they truly resemble glittering diamonds, their crisp shades of blues and whites starkly contrasting the deep black sand. You can spend hours walking this beach and photographing each piece of ice and the moody waves breaking nearby.
After seeing so many spectacular sights I was not expecting our final stop, yet another waterfall to be as incredible as everything else we had seen, but as Nick promised Rangarping Eystra did not disappoint. From the moment our van pulled into the parking lot and we got our fist look at the massive spectacle in front of us we were rushing out to snap photos. If you have never experienced the sheer force and power of a large waterfall you need to start making plans. There are no words to describe how small and powerless one feels when faced with the true forces of nature.This particular waterfall, Rangarping Eystra has a path with around 500 steps which we took to the top of the waterfall. From there the path continues winding around the river to smaller, but equally incredible falls. We walked for over an hour and could not contain our amazement. On our long ride back to Reykjavik we asked Nick about other parts of Iceland he likes and he told us that what we had seen had barely scratched the surface.
Although we had explored in whirlwind fashion the major sights of the South Iceland, we had never made it to the fjords, glaciers, rivers, waterfall, lava fields and beautiful beaches of the West, nor did we make it to the settings of most Icelandic Sagas, trolls, gorges and waterfalls in the Vatnsnes peninsula in the North nor the farmlands and picturesque towns in the east. We explored as much as we could in the short 6 days that we had but there is still so much more to this incredible gem of a country. Every trip we take is a chance for us to grow and learn. I am so grateful that I had this opportunity to explore a breathtaking country and meet so many wonderful people.
While my purpose of coming to Iceland was to explore a new country, vet hotels and suppliers and visit the amazing sights, the most rewarding part of the trip was the connections I made with the people in our group. I am always amazed and inspired by solo female travelers because as much as I love adventure, embrace the unknown and want to explore the world, I have never had the courage to embark on a solo vacation. I was afraid I would get bored, lonely, feel ridiculous requesting a table for one and taking constant selfies. I worried about being judged, getting lost and on and on. All of that changed after this trip. The girls I met came from different backgrounds, each with their own stories, shedding something from their past and looking to change their future. Some needed spiritual recharging while others simply wanted to explore a new country and did not have the patience to wait for friends to make their plans. They were amazing and yet they were no different than I was. I had high expectations for this trip and the country but making incredible new friends was the most pleasant surprise of all.