wednesday morning we checked out of our hostel & drove to a lighthouse, munching on breafast snacks we'd purchased the night before. someone lived there, so we couldn't enter.. but that didn't stop us from walking around to explore, despite the crazy winds (see rachel's hair in a photo below for winds' affects). we came up to the edge of the cliff, with a chain guard -- thank God because that wind was literally pushing us -- to see an amazing view of a cove in the rocks below.
it was gorgeous up there. one turn of the head in the other direction & we saw the coast of black sand beach in a less-dramatic but still gorgeous way. another turn & we had an amazing view of the mountains.
we spent less than 30 min there, & headed back down to continue toward our 2nd hostel. we had planned to stop for a visit at some ice caves, which was to what i was most looking forward, but a lady at the info desk of the vatnajökull national park informed us that they no longer exist because they melted/collapsed/broke my heart ;) i didn't get too hung up on it though, because soon after that we drove up to a spot where we could hike to the skaftafell black falls... & they were glorious. a rainbow formed at the bottom of the waterfall, as if God was giving us a 'wassup' nod & humbly showing off. He's just too good. then, as we headed back down the mountain, charlotte suddenly said "what's that noise?" all 3 of us heard it, the sound we'd at this point had grown quite accustomed to hearing: raging water that could only be coming from another strong waterfall. we veered off the main path back to our vehicle on to a less-traveled one... & sure enough, we walked right up to the top of one. it was invigorating. maybe one of the most thrilling things i've done on this trip so far was side-stepping on a rocky wall next to the top of the waterfall, inciting charlotte to yell over to me "what are you doing?!" (we've had a couple moments like that here in iceland. both times a waterfall's been involved. hehe.) we all took turnd dangling our feet off the edge of the cliff, & we sat there for a bit just soaking in the moment.
we drove for a bit after that, joking about how we should start counting how many waterfalls we see while in iceland, as our drive was speckled with of all sizes of them. we passed some mini horses, stopped to explore an area that reminded us of the trolls from the movie 'frozen,' wow'ed at the mountains... & then, we all of a sudden found ourselves driving up to a cool bridge with small icebergs floating underneath.. & then we noticed we could see vatnajökull glacier better (which is HUGE [glance at a map of iceland - it's the big white thing toward the bottom right] & we we'd been driving with glimpses of it this whole time), so of course we pulled over. winds were craaaazy. as we walked closer we realized where the icebergs were floating from: the glacier. which was now right in front of us. (!!!) this was maybe my favorite spot of the day, & i love that it was by accident. just another example of God's favor that's been following us this whole trip. we walked down a little ways & thankfully the wind wasn't as bad. the water again was my favorite color. i was in what my mind can only grasp as a little taste of heaven.
we started back for the vehicle & suddenly we started squealing & jumping around in utter glee, as we saw a bunch of seals swimming away from the glacier. i'm sure the girls' fancy cameras got some amazing shots of them.
we explored around a bit more & then continued on our journey. we came across a pack of reindeer, which made me pretty happy, since i'm obsessed with antlers. finally we arrived at our 2nd hostel, which is adorable. the owner was the nicest person we'd met here so far, a very sweet old man who took great care of us. we grabbed a delicious dinner about 15 minutes up the road & then showered & cleaned up for bed. we're pretty much the only people at this hostel, which differs majorly from our last place of rest. the peace & quiet is so nice.
charlotte's been battling a cold since our first night here (prayers for her healing would be greatly appreciated), so she went to bed a little earlier. rachel looked up on her phone to see if we could glimpse any of the northern lights. chances were good apparently, so she asked me if i'd join her outside to go see. we saw a couple! my iphone doesn't do them justice, & neither does rachel's fancy camera really, but you can still kinda see them here.
a wonderful ending to another amazing day.