I wasn't going to blog about day 12 in Iceland because we didn't really do that much apart from drive to the airport but for completeness sake here I am including a few pictures. I had a lot planned for this day originally, I wanted to check out one last hot pool (or two), visit the puffin island Vestmannaeyjar and spend the morning on Vík beach. Our midnight adventure around waterfalls and hot pools the previous evening meant we didn't get to bed until really late. I remember saying to Steve, let's get up at 8am, but in reality we woke up feeling completely exhausted so didn't really move until 10am.
You'll notice that I didn't take too many photos this day. I think it was a combination of exhaustion and miserably weather to be perfectly honest.
We spent a little time walking along Reynisfjara, the famous black sand beach of Vík. It's black because Iceland is a volcanic island and about a 10m walk from where we were sleeping. From the beach you can see Reynisdrangur, an iconic cluster of sea stacks. The beach is backed with basalt columns that remind me of the Giant's Causeway in Northern Island. As you can see the beach is a popular tourist destination and even in the morning there's a lot of people about. From the beach you can also see Dyrhólaey, a huge stone arch. There's a light house over here as well, the most southerly one in Iceland.
We drove into Vík town for lunch at Suður-Vík which was very nice and quickly stuck our heads into Víkurprjón, the huge souvenir shop.
By this stage it was time to make begin the 3 hour drive back to the airport in Keflavík for our early evening flight to London. We drove along the ring road and through little towns like Hvolsvöllur and Hella. We didn't have time to visit Keldur, the mediaeval run of turf houses or the brewery, Ölvisholt Brugghús. We drove through the large town Selfoss and paused for a few minutes in Hveragerði, a town rich in geothermal energy sources. We drove up to the geothermal park and had a quick look at the bubbling mud pools but unfortunately we didn't have enough time to visit the hot river valley where you can bathe in a naturally hot stream. We drove past the exist for Landmannalaugar, any area of rich natural beauty that many locals visit during the summer for hiking and natural hot pools. I knew we wouldn't be able to visit on this trip as we would have needed an entire day to make the journey but it's on my list for next time.
As we headed towards the airport we drove near the Golden Circle area. I knew there was a secret hot pool in the area called Gamla Laugin that I would have loved to have visit but the theme of the day was 'not enough time' so alas it'll have to wait until our next visit which I hope won't be too far away.
Keflavík airport is found on the Reykjanes Peninsula which we drove around as it's not very big. I'd wanted to visit the Icelandic Museum of Rock & Roll but it's closed on Monday's so we made our way to the airport. This would have been a good time to visit the Blue Lagoon as it's down the road from the airport but when I enquired a couple days previously I found out that it was fully booked. This didn't bother me too much as I visited on my previous trip to Iceland but I was a little sad that Steve didn't get to see it. That being said, the Blue Lagoon is super expensive and we had visited plenty of wonderful, practically empty hot pools, many of them being free or costing very little so I don't think we missed out too much.
Even though we were exhausted by the time we reached the airport, Steve even more so from all the driving, I was still distraught about having to go home. I absolutely adore Iceland, it's one of my favourite places in the entire world and even though I've seen so much of the country there's still so much more to see.
So there it is, I've finished documenting my (almost) two week road trip in Iceland. We started in Reykjavik and drove all around the country, stopping at practically all the major tourist destinations such as waterfalls, hot pools and natural landscapes like glaciers and volcanoes. We saw so much and drove over 3,000 km on the 7 days we spent on the road. I've come home with an admiration of all things Icelandic and a burning desire to visit the country again.
Do I recommend an Icelandic road trip? Hell yes I do and I'm going to write a post about how to plan such an adventure. I was super happy with our route, there's nothing I'd change except wishing we had a few extra days. We spent 4 days in Reykjavik which is probably too much for a 'normal' person but there was so much I wanted to see and now that I've visited practically every museum in the city I probably wouldn't need to spend so much time there on my next visit. Saying that, Reykjavik is bloody wonderful and I can't recommend it enough for a long weekend destination.
We ended up with a lot of cash left when we reached the airport so we did what all sensible people do and spent it on Icelandic booze. The cool looking labels and bottles definitely helped with this decision. We bought a few bottles of Icelandic beer as well but they didn't look as pretty displayed against our record collection.