September 15 (Sunny, misty, snowed, then crazy rain)
This was what I woke up to! The rain clouds disappeared overnight and we were welcomed by rainbows! Needless to say we spent our morning photographing Jokulsarlon and the surroundings… also had a hot breakfast at the exact gift shop where we had dinner last night (so we could freshen up at the bathroom as well). Jokulsarlon was basically a lake filled with glacier break-offs due to a narrow opening to the Atlantic Ocean. Another beautiful spot to enjoy these giant icebergs was the black sand beach ocean-side. Once we reached the beach (pure black sand like Vik) we saw giant ice boulders of various sizes being pushed back up onto the shore. I would highly recommend all visitors to Jokulsarlon to visit the beaches directly adjacent to Jokulsarlon as well (it was less than 5 minutes away).
Per my itinerary today we were supposed to head into the interior highlands via F910-F88 to Askja. Since Askja was still buried under 6 meters of snow we had to alter our trip… We were lucky that I kept our trip open and decided to play everything by ear. We ended up booking accommodations on the go from this day forward because weather played such a pivotal role regarding which attractions were accessible and the weather in eastern/northern Iceland seemed to be quite unstable: for example the weather forecast for today was: moderate snow, sun, and rain all within 24 hours.
We drove most of the today as we basically traveled from Southeast to Northeast Iceland. We did make a slight detour to Höfn for its famous lobster/langostino soup (thank you once again Tripadvisor!), and we also took a fun “shortcut” with the Land Cruiser on an F-route (4×4 only) through mountain passes in heavy rain/snow because I felt so secure in that vehicle.
[Aside.. I heard many things about Iceland and its less-than-desirable cuisine from friends/internet forums. Now having traveled to Iceland I will have to refute all those claims because there truly were a couple of once-in-a-lifetime meals… perhaps the people who complained did not want to spend $$$ on food and simply did not visit proper establishments. We often ate granola bars for breakfast/lunch but we always treated ourselves to a proper warm dinner somewhere if available… However dinner at Icelandic restaurants can easily cost upwards of $45-80 per person but they were of fine-foods quality. Food choices seemed to be either cheap gas station fish-n-chips (also yummy!), or fine-quality cuisine with little choices in between.]
As we settled into our B&B I had a long conversation with the owner (a local Icelandic who happened to have spent 17 years in Canada). He described the horrors of the recent blizzard and the fact that Icelandic emergency crews had been dispatched and worked non-stop to rescue SHEEPS that were trapped beneath the snow!