The east of Iceland with its many ice lakes and huge national parks promised exciting travel opportunities during our tour through Iceland with a baby. After visiting Reykjavik and the touristy Golden Circle region we were about to enter a much less visited part of the country.
Detour on route 32
Our daughter was still having some difficulty adjusting to the right time zone. This meant that we would get up pretty early and have a big part of the driving done before noon. We decided to take a detour by taking the route 32. There you drive trough a beautiful valley but our main reason for going here was to see and excavated Viking house. Unfortunately it turned out this was only accessible with a 4 wheel drive car. We could only visit a Viking house reconstruction and a beautiful twin waterfall.
Driving route 1
We continued on Route 1. if we would have continued driving this route all the way we would have eventually ended up just where we started as it goes all along the coast. We stopped after about 350 km at our accommodation for the next 3 nights: the Holmur Guesthouse. During our drive, the landscape kept changing from very green with lots of cliffs to the empty black sandar. There where lots of nice places to stop, such as the Seljalandsfoss waterfall. You have the possibility to walk behind the waterfall. Our baby found the sound of the water really interesting and it was funny seeing here turning her head to see what was all the fuss (foss) about.
Further on the road we had to stop again for a diaper emergencies. Luckily for us we had just reached the small town of Skogar. There is a museum here that we decided to visit. Outside there are a number of old houses, schools and a church. A collection of old utensils, old cards but also mobile phones from the beginning to 1995 are displayed inside. My old Nokia could have been a museum piece. Skogar also has a waterfall Skogafoss.
We where pretty lucky with the weather as it was very clear. We had superb vies views of the snow capped mountains and several glaciers, wow!
Skatafell National Park
Our guesthouse is also very nice, with a view of several mountains and snow in the background. Any holiday with a baby is hard work, so after a full day of driving we turn in early.
After a wonderful, long night we have to hurry because Marcel is expected at 8:45 for a glacier walk. For this we must first drive an hour to the Skaftafell National Park. For the walk you are provided with crampons. He stumbles onto a movies set. the new film by Christopher Nolan (Interstellar, 2014) is being filmed. This is not the only claim to fame. At the very photogenic glacier tongue is also featured in Batman Begins and Game of Thrones. Walking with crampons is quite an experience and takes some practice at first. After a while you get used to it and it feels not that much different as a normal walk. Besides the scenery it is also especially impressive to see the blue ice, deep cracks and ‘drains’ for melt water close up.
While Marcel is doing his glacier walk we go hiking. First we check out the path to the glacier tongue that is supposed to be wheelchair friendly. Walking here with a stroller is however really hard. Our daughter has lots to tell while mommy is sweating. The glacier tongue is quite brown, with a lot of sand within the snow.
I use the baby carrier to tackle another path. I pass several beautiful waterfalls and enjoy stunning views over the surrounding area. Definitely a moment of happiness to be here with our amazing little baby here. But almost 7 pounds of talking luggage also makes the hike rather tiring. The route starts with a 3.5 kilometers steep rise for 120 meters and then continues to fall and rise. I’m very glad that I chose it to take my hiking shoes on this holiday.
In the afternoon we drive back to the guesthouse but with several stops along the way. They have several different ice lakes that we want to check out. The largest lake also has an exit to the sea and here there are even icebergs on the beach. A true highlight of our Iceland holiday for us, who knew ice can be this beautiful.
We also meet an other Dutch couple that are spending their holiday in Iceland. There baby son is 9 months, just a week younger that our daughter. We are happy to see that we are not the only parents that have discovered Iceland to be very baby friendly. We spend the evening enjoying the outdoor pool in the small town of Hofn. We also had to drive here to get a new stash of food.
Unfortunately we had a rough night so we decided to make it a quiet day. We stuff ourselves at the comprehensive breakfast at our guesthouse. The Holmer guesthouse is a member of farm holidays in Iceland and is a working farm that also rents out rooms. We have been the only guests for two so we enjoyed having the whole guesthouse with kitchen ans two shares bathrooms to ourselves. There are various animals to pet in the “petting zoo” and even a baby reindeer that is bottle raised.
We want to discover some more glaciers and ice lakes so we drive 10-20 miles per hour on a gravel road (actually only suitable for 4WD). We get very close but unfortunately there is a new bridge built and we cannot get to the glacier tongue. Then we try another spot. We don’t dare to drive here so we make a 4 km walk to the edge of the glacier. We did not come all the way to the glacier because there is a lake formed by melt water.
Bye Bye Iceland
Our last day in Iceland with baby, we have to drive a few hundred kilometers back to Reykjavik. The road is the same one as we driven earlier this week. We have a few attractions that we did not see the first time and has planned on seeing now. Unfortunately it is raining big time!. It continues all day long. A real bummer because we remember the beautiful landscape but now we can barely make out the road ahead.
We leave Iceland for our next stop on this trip: Toronto
Bye bye, impressive landscapes. Hope to see you again soon!
Have you ever been to Iceland? What was you favorite thing to see?