More tasty, juicy fruit at breakfast today and some grilled pomme!  I’m liking these hotel breakfasts here in Iceland!  

Our first stop was checking out the waterfall outside our hotel window – Skogafoss, before the tour buses and crowds arrived.  Just as we were walking out there a bus pulled up.  We hurried to set the tripod and get a shot without a flock of tourists in it.  

I’m amazed at how many people are here visiting in November!  I thought we were the only crazy ones to come at this time of year!  The majority of them are Asian.  We were told by a shop owner that most are Chinese.  He said that last year there were only 20 deaths from car accidents in the whole country and that half of them were Chinese tourists.  

On the road and heading south we first stopped at the Solheimajokull glacier where a glacier walk was just starting.  The photographer for the tour showed us where we could walk and take some pictures.  

A little farther down the road we stopped at Dyrholaey to see the black sand beaches

and the arches.

There were two roads to take and I had read to do them both.  I’m glad we did because the second road went up to the top of a hill

where there was a lighthouse

And so many nesting birds 

and the best views of the arches.

Only a little further down the road was Reynisfjara Beach where the basalt columns and caves are.

We first stopped at the Black beach cafe for coffee (hot chocolate for me) and a potty break (pay here).  Almost got this cake, but decided on the oatmeal raisin cookies instead.

We took a short walk on the black sand beach, alongside the ferocious ocean.

 attempted some selfies.

And watch a photographer attempt to do some engagement photos

The tide started to roll in and Jerry didn’t get out of the way soon enough.  Shoes wet – time to move on!

We still had a long drive to go, so we moved on.

Our drive got prettier and prettier as we headed South.  It also got more and more desolate.  Meaning, if you see a bathroom – stop and use it!!  Lesson learned.

We drove through desert landscapes and lava fields, past mountains and waterfall after waterfall.  

One really cool and strange area we traversed was the moss covered lava fields of Eldhraun.  Sounds like something from Lord of the Rings!

Very other worldly!

We drove right past the hotel because I really wanted to get to the glacier lagoon today before the sun went down.  Tomorrow calls for rain all day.  

We are encountering many one lane bridges in the South.  Many of them are up a small hill so you can’t see if anyone is coming until you get right up there on the bridge.  We had to back off one bridge because of that.  The longer bridges have bump outs every so often so that you can pull over a bit to let someone through.  I’m not sure why they just didn’t build two lanes!

We made it to Crystal Beach first.  The moon was coming up and the sun just setting.  It was stunning!

I’ve never seen anything like it!  So many peices of ice on the beach, just like crystals!

Across the street was Jokulsaron Glacier Lagoon.  As the glaciers melt, the ice chunks float down into this lagoon.  They are bluish tinted and make for superb photos!  It was amazing to see these ancient pieces of ice up close!

Sun was setting and it was time to head to the hotel to check in.  We are at the Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon for two nights.

The hotel is in the middle of nowhere.  The nearest grocery store is an hour away.  There is no where to eat but the hotel.  And the hotel is packed full.  With not much in the way of options, we succumb to eating at the hotel.  Why I say succumb is because the menu prices are high.  Everything in Iceland is expensive.  A good rule of thumb is that you will pay at least 2x what we pay in the US.  An example – a cup of coffee at the gas station is $3 or more.  Dinner at the hotel restaurant was over $40 a plate.  A cocktail was $16.  A bowl of soup was almost $20.  I had cod and Jerry had lamb.  

The meals were not even hot…. lukewarm at best.  Jerry’s lamb was very fatty. For an expensive dinner I expected much better.  We won’t be eating here tomorrow night!  

As the evening was winding down, we got a call that the northern lights were out.  FINALLY!  Yes, I can say we saw them in Iceland, but they were very faint.  More than I’ve seen at home in the UP but not by much.  I was really hoping to see a spectacular display, but I don’t think that’s going to happen.  The weather is just not cooperating.  However, we did have a rain free day today so that is a plus!!!  
In other news, my sore throat and cough have turned into a cold.  Yay.