So began the real journey. Upon my arrival in Reykjavik, I was joined at the airport by my friend Greg, who I hadn’t seen in over 3 years! We went to school together when I studied in Switzerland, but he was also an exchange student in Norway – so more than anyone else, I can talk to him in my “thought language.” The impulsive, intuitive mix of English and Norwegian that would not make sense to anyone else, makes sense to Greg. We were also extremely fortunate to discover that another friend of ours from Switzerland, Adrienne, was now living in Reykjavik. She warmly welcomed us into her home, allowing us to claim a sort of home base in Iceland’s capital before embarking into the countryside. After two days of meeting RAX, going grocery shopping, and in my case, running a half-marathon, we departed by commuter bus for the southeast coastline, with a list of RAX’s suggestions marked enthusiastically on the map.
Off we went. The rain poured; we couldn’t see anything through the dense fog. A place called Dyrholaey was first on our list, but we got off the bus in the nearby town of Vík, and set up camp before heading out for a hike!
Greg eating dried codfish that smelled exactly like the tørrfisk in Lofoten.
The town of Vík with the rock spires Reynisdrangar in the distant sea.
Greg in the “mariusgenser” sweater his Norwegian host mom knitted for him. It seemed fitting within the landscape.
Thick fog and mist rolled up the cliffs.
We reached a plateau and blindly followed the road straight into the fog, like any wise travelers should do.
And then it happened. Reaching what seemed to be the end of the road, very hungry and unsure of where to go from there, the fog suddenly lifted. Sunlight poured onto the sea and sparkled across its vastness. We found ourselves at the top of a great sea-cliff, the Reynisdrangar spires protruding from the sea below. Dyrholaey in the distance. It was like a gift from life, this burst of radiant, warm sunshine, right on cue.
We decided to descend to the beach on the other side of the mountain we’d climbed.
It was sunny and warm (kind of) and felt like Nordic summer.
However, after hours of hiking the day after running a half-marathon, I found myself pretty exhausted by the time we reached the beach – and by that I mean “unable to continue on foot.” It seemed the perfect opportunity to try out hitchhiking for the first time!
Our efforts were met with great success, and we were back in Vík within an hour.
Celebratory Greg, stoked about camping.
An entire bus of tourists had unloaded onto the campsite when we returned.
After cooking up some dinner, we ventured to the seaside to take some “real pictures” in the blue light of dusk. It was beautiful out there – crashing waves on a black sand beach, rosy light slowly giving way to indigo.