Though winds were a bit calmer, conditions were still decidedly fresh when we woke up this morning alongside the pier at Grundarfjörður. This weather was not without its advantages, however, as the rapidly shifting clouds and the rain they brought with them resulted in incredible and ever-changing light conditions across the slopes of surrounding mountains.

After breakfast, we set out to explore the coastline by coach. The black sand beach of Djúpalónssandur was our first stop, and with the waves from the storm of the previous days hammering the shore, it seems unlikely that it could ever be more spectacular than what we witnessed while there. The sheer and merciless power of the sea such a short distance from us was breathtaking in the true sense.

We saw more of this as we continued down the coast, stopping again to spend time at Arnarstapi. All along this shoreline made up of pillars and arches of columnar basalt, the coastline was being pounded, with each wave exploding in the light as it made impact.

We then ended the morning with a stop at a viewpoint looking out towards the mountain of Kirkjufell. This striking, blade-shaped peak, amongst the most distinctive and recognizable on Earth, was made even more dramatic by the rain showers passing through, creating rainbows and spectacular patterns.

Following lunch on the ship, we set out for a slightly different experience in the afternoon. Just a short walk from the ship, we visited the local church for a performance by Icelandic singer-songwriter Hafdís Huld. This was less a collection of songs as it was an experience. Huld’s beautiful singing was interspersed with entertaining personal anecdotes explaining her own experiences as an Icelander, giving context and additional depth to the pieces.

After this, we returned to the ship and began the last leg of our journey – towards Reykjavik, and onwards to home.