Simon Migaj photography
Adventure and travel photographer and videographer

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Five days in Iceland - Day 3 "Skógafoss waterfall, Fjaðrárgljúfur and late night at Stokksnes"

This was a crazy day.

 From Skógafoss to Stokksnes

From Skógafoss to Stokksnes

If you remember I ended the previous day sleeping in my car not far away from the famous Sólheimasandur plane crash site, which in turn is not far away from the Skógafoss waterfall and that created the perfect opportunity for me to go there for sunrise. It was still quite empty, the sky was clear and the temperature was more then manageable... it was perfect! Like I've mentioned before Skógafoss is really great at sunrise, not to crowded and with good weather it just looks glorious!

The plan for the day was simple: get from Skógafoss to Höfn, where I had an overnight stay booked so that I'd be able to meet my next day appointment to see the ice caves not far away from Höfn. On my way I wanted to make a quick stop at the Fjaðrárgljúfur (I know, right?!) canyon and maybe have a peak at the Stokksnes beach. Little did I know...

 

Driving from Skógafoss to Fjaðrárgljúfur shouldn't take long, just over an hour, but the views you'll see along the way... you will be stopping every five minutes, there's just no helping it.

When I arrived at Fjaðrárgljúfur the weather was absolutely amazing! I'd say it was hot, but it's Iceland so "hot" is very relative there. The hike to that famous viewing platform from the car park doesn't take long, probably less then half an hour, but I was taking loads of photos along the way so it took me a bit. It was worth it tho. This place looks like a whole different planet.

This is where I really messed up and I'm writing this as a warning to any crazy daredevil out there. When I was walking back to my car I decided to take a detour and take a photo of me on the ice walking into the canyon... wow that was stupid. I stepped on the ice, started walking along it when all of a sudden I fell in chest deep.

That was it. Everything got wet, my camera, phone, documents... biggest upside was that I myself didn't fall fully under the ice. My camera, my trusty Sony A7rIII stopped working (the shutter was just going off every time I put the battery in), my phone gave up... Rightfully so. You should pay for such borderline stupidity.

I got back to my car, turned the car heating all the way to the max and placed everything on the vents inside my car and because there wasn't much I could do I started driving towards Höfn. This drive is a bit longer, around three hours, but as my camera wasn't working I was only driving so I got there quite early, but by that time all my clothing was dry due to the heat inside my car and...

My camera worked!

In that case I've decided to visit the Stokksnes beach late at night as I was close by and I knew this would be the only opportunity.

Being on that beach, under a starry night is an incredible experience and I do hope you'll be able to see it at least once. The waves crashing, the stars shining, the knowledge that you're in Iceland... it's incredible! Do it!

The next day started horribly bad, but I'll talk about it next time when I'll be talking about glaciers and ice caves of Skaftafell.

 

Have fun and stay safe out there!

Simon