Iceland 2016 (part 3)
When we booked the trip, both Erin and I really wanted to see the Northern Lights. At first we were going to try to do them ourselves with our rental car. So glad we did a tour! We got picked up at the hotel near our apartment and then headed out of town to escape the lights of the city. Our guide/driver was great and we raced across the countryside trying to find patches in the clouds overhead so we could see the lights. We stopped a couple of times and he explained how to use your camera to take pictures of the lights. To the naked eye, the lights are like a weird ribbon a very faint light in the sky. But when you set the aperture of your camera wide enough, you can capture the really cool colors of the Norther Lights. We finally stopped in a clear area well away from Reykjavik to take some pictures and just enjoy the natural beauty of it all. Despite the cold, we had a great time. Our guide took some pictures for us that were really awesome. It was almost 1AM by the time we got back to our apartment. A late night, but a good one!
The next day, we decided to keep the car and head to the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. Or as we would call it, the Snuffalupagus Peninsula. Hey, we don't speak Icelandic, so that's the best we could do. It was a long day of driving, but again the natural beauty was just amazing. We passed along the edge of snow capped mountains and along the coast for a good couple of hours stopping to take some pics along the way. Our first major stop was Hellnar on the southern coast of the peninsula. It was a very small town, but it had a nice restaurant where we stopped for lunch and then we walked part of the Amarstapi-Hellnar trail along the coast with amazing views from the cliffs. It really was very beautiful.
After Hellnar, we stopped to go caving! Yes, they have these huge lava tube caves that you can go into! Decked out in rain jackets and lights on our heads, we made our way down through a snow tunnel to the entrance to the lava tube cave and then down, down, down we went. It was really cool down there and despite the almost constant dripping of water on our head, we had a great time. It was pretty interesting to hear about the formation of the rocks, when the Icelanders first discovered them, and how the caves were rumored to be haunted by trolls. :-). After the lava tube cave, we headed to Snaefellsnes National Park. I really wanted to go hiking on the glacier, but it was too late in the day, so we stopped at a couple of places to take photos and then kept going. We ended up driving all around the peninsula and it really was spectacular. By the time we got back to Reykjavik, it was late. So we found a place near our apartment for dinner and then crashed.