Location: Sólheimajökull

Today was a travel day but still full of activities. We had an early wake up to get everything packed up to hit the road at 9:00 am to head back to Reykjavik. During the bus ride, we made several stops to check out some of the beautiful views near the coast of Iceland. Our first stop was at Dyrholaey and Reynisfjara. Here, we got to see the beautiful black sand beaches and basalt columns, stacks, and arches. The black sand was such a unique thing to see because there is nowhere like that around where I live. After we took a few photos on the columns and got to climb a little, we got back on the bus. The next stop was a plane crash site. A plane had to make an emergency landing in 1973 and was preserved to create a tourist site. Our guide told us that Justin Bieber had actually filmed one of his music videos on top of the plane and showed us the clip, which was really cool to see. We got back on the bus again to make the biggest stop of the day. We got to do a glacier walk with our guide Mat at Solheimajökull. We had to hike quite a bit on the ice to get to the flat part on top. Just the fact that we were walking on top of a glacier blew my mind.

We had to have lots of gear including crampons, which are something you put on the bottom of your shoe to help your feet grip the ice, a harness, a helmet and an ice ax for our safety. Once we got to the top, we were able to clip into a rope and lean back and look into a crevice in the ice to see a different perspective. Getting to do this glacier hike was such a unique experience. After the glacier, we got to visit two different waterfalls called Skogafoss and Seljalandsfoss. To get a beautiful view of Skogafoss, we climbed 427 stairs, but it was definitely worth it. Seljalandsfoss was interesting because we got to walk behind the waterfall to see it from a different side and we got soaked, but also, it was definitely worth it. By the end of all this, we were all exhausted and ready for some food, so we stopped at a gas station to get famous Icelandic hotdogs, called pylsunur here. After a tiring but exciting day, we arrived in Reykjavik at 9:00 and got settled into our rooms for a good night’s sleep.

Aleka Tsiknias