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Iceland in winter Day7 fjords, glaciers, icebergs, and seals
 
 
(Click on the images for a larger version.)
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We woke up on our seventh day in Iceland to find there'd been a big snow storm the previous nite.
 
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We dusted the snow off the Suzuki,
 
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took a couple last pics of the farmhouse we stayed in
 
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snowy road iceland
and hit the road.
 
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Driving on the fresh snowy roads
 
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was a thousand times better than the icy and slush roads of the previous day.
 
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Our original reversal from counterclockwise to clockwise around the Ring Road on our second day in Iceland set us back a little bit.
 
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So on the seventh day it was crucial that we make up some ground
 
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if we were to get back to Reykjavik in time for our flight home.
 
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Luckily the 7th day began with sunny weather and gorgeous scenery.
 
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And I took the best snow plow
 
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photos
 
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of the trip.
 
Map of Iceland day 7  1
The first part of our trip took us along several fjords.
 
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We drove straight through the first fjord.
 
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The remaining fjords didn't have tunnels, so we had to drive along the windy coast.
 
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Slower than a tunnel,
 
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but much more beautiful.
 
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One of my favorite things about Iceland is that they maintain a mobile economy despite the harsh terrain and weather.
 
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Trucks are constantly delivering even on snowy roads or during storms. Everything is just slightly modified. The semis have larger and more tires. The buses are much higher off the ground and also have more tires. And the snow plows are gigantic.
 
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As we drove along the fjords
 
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it began warming up,
 
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we saw sea birds for the first time,
 
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and the snow began to melt
 
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off
 
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the roads.
 
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Driving along the
 
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western coastline of Iceland
 
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was really something special.
 
Djupivogur church
We stopped in Djúpivogur for a bite to eat.
 
Djupivogur harbor
And found a nicely set
 
Djupivogur boats
little town.
 
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Back on the road, we saw our first (and last) reindeer of the trip.
 
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We continued along the Ring Road
 
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past lots of old farmhouses
 
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and past our first glacier in west Iceland.
 
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It was the closest we'd come so far to a glacier.
 
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A short drive later,
 
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we arrived at Jökulsárlón, which is a glacial lake formed from the biggest glacier in Iceland, Vatnajökull.

The lake is full of icebergs that have broken off the glacier and become trapped in the lake. There were also many seals in the lake.
 
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It was the first time we'd seen an iceberg and the first time I'd seen a seal in the wild.
 
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I made some videos of the seals,
 
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while Ilaria
 
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photographed the scenery.
 
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We both liked that our footprints in the snow around the glacier were blue.
 
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At Jökulsárlón, we also met Kobe and Sarah -- two German tourists that we would repeatedly bump into for the rest of our trip.
 
Map of Iceland day 7  2
As we drove on,
 
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we noticed a subtle change in the landscape
 
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as the snow cover thinned
 
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to give us our first glimpse of Iceland's vegetation.
 
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And we vowed to come back in the summertime to see the green version of Iceland.
 
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Then we found a little gravel road off the Ring Road that allowed us to drive right up to the
 
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Skaftafellsjökull
 
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(another part of the Vatnajökull glacier).
 
glacier Pana Iceland
There were actually two parts of the glacier coming down on opposite sides of a giant rock/mountain.
 
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The blue glacier
 
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looked like waves that had been frozen
 
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in time.
 
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When we went back to our Suzuki, we saw that our Suzuki had a twin. The twin Suzuki was rented by Kobe and Sarah.
 
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Just to remind us that the weather can never be nice for too long in Iceland,
 
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we were pummeled with a giant snow storm as we made our way towards
 
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Hotel Laki near Kirkjubćjarklaustur.
 
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The hotel/farmhouse was just renovated and was the nicest place
 
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we stayed on the trip. They even had a sauna and a hot tub.
 
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It was a long day of driving with pretty good weather, and unless we were hit with a blizzard that lasted more than 48 hours we were almost certain to complete the Ring Road and make our flight back to the US on time.