corknut: (pirates- time to go!)
[personal profile] corknut
Yesterday was my favorite day so far. I went on a Super Jeep tour that took us off-road and into places that most people can't go-- namely, right up to the foot of Eyjafjallajökull in the Þórsmörk valley.



On our way out of Reykjavík a lot of the scenery was stuff I'd already seen before, but I took some more pictures all the same.























A lot of these are kind of blurry because they were taken through the Jeep window.

We stopped at a gas station so that we could deflate the tires in preparation for driving on the really rough terrain ahead. Since I hadn't had lunch yet, I went inside and had a burger, and talked to the one other guy on the tour with me (a former Treasury Department worker from Washington, D.C.). He'd traveled (and lived) all over the world; I was jealous!



As we neared the valley we started to see evidence of the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull eruption-- ash on the ground, and lots of flooding.



At the entrance to the valley is Seljalandsfoss, another waterfall. We stopped here very briefly on the way in, but didn't get out and walk around.









There were a lot of smaller waterfalls, too.















There was still a lot of ash on the ground, but grass was beginning to grow through it-- our guide said that in some cases, the ash was actually good for vegetation.





The Þórsmörk valley is by far my favorite place in Iceland so far-- everything about it made me want to get out and run around! Sitting in the Jeep and just looking at it was okay too, though.

























If you think the potholes here look bad, you should have seen some of the stuff that I didn't photograph-- at times the remains of the flooding were extreme enough that we were literally driving through mini-rivers!



Like that one, for instance.



The pictures are cool, but it was ten times more impressive in real life.



















As we went on, we started to see more and more ash.









And that white bit is part of the "tongue" of the glacier where Eyjafjallajökull is!





This was taken closer to the tongue, looking back towards the main part of the valley.





All of that flat area you can see in the middle? Used to be a lagoon (we saw some pictures of what it looked like when it was still filled with water). The 2010 eruption caused it to break out and flood the valley, which is why there's still a lot of watery areas down there.













My Facebook comments for this picture: "sweatshirt front pocket being weighed down by EVERYTHING EVER. Also I look really goofy in this picture." I find this accurate.





















The big brownish rock on the right is made up of a bunch of other rocks that were all mashed together during the eruption/flood/landslide.





A big piece of hardened lava. Our guide broke a few chunks off of it and let us each have some to take home.



Again, this was all water less than two years ago.













By then it was getting dark, and so we started driving back the way we came (though along a different path), out of the valley.











We stopped at Seljalandsfoss to re-inflate the tires, and I got out and walked over to see it up close.







After leaving the valley we drove straight back to Reykajvík, where our guide dropped the other guest at his hotel and dropped me at Thai Reykjavík (he told us he could drop us off anywhere, and I figured that since I was planning to go to dinner there anyway...).



I took a few more pictures of Reykjavík at night, but that was it.





And so ends my favorite day in Iceland!
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