Posts Tagged ‘open air’

Exploring the Sólheimasandur Plane Crash Site in Southern Iceland


Wreckage from the 1973 DC-3 on Sólheimasandur Beach plus a red coat and a rainbow

The Sólheimasandur plane wreck in Southern Iceland is a must-see destination for aviation geeks and photographers alike.

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Moody clouds and rainbows add Icelandic atmosphere to the U.S. Navy Douglas Super DC-3

Located on the black sand of Sólheimasandur Beach, on the coast of Southern Iceland, the wreckage of the US Navy DC-3 plane is worth exploring.


The DC-3 fuselage adds an unexpected element to Iceland’s already dramatic landscape

The Sólheimasandur plane crash site is not morbid — all the crew members survived the crash landing which was caused due to extreme icing that forced an emergency landing on the black sand of Sólheimasandur beach.

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Left: You can still faintly read the United States Navy on the fuselage Right: wires dangling from the cockpit

Rarely can you get this close to plane wreckage. You can even climb inside.

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The Sólheimasandur plane wreck has been hit by graffiti artists. I don’t think the pink works.

According to Jórunn Sjöfn Guðlaugsdóttir, our photo guide in Iceland, the plane wreck site is much easier to reach since markers have been placed on the beach to guide tourists to the site. But you definitely need to be driving a 4×4 since the sand is soft in some parts.


It’s amazing that you can actually walk up to (and into) the DC-3 wreckage

the Sólheimasandur plane wreck site can be reached off the ring road. Between the Skógafoss waterfall and Vik. The GPS coordinates are 63.459523,-19.364618.

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Sólheimasandur is a popular stop for aviation geeks and photographers visiting Iceland

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Dramatic clouds, rainbows, and black sand at Sólheimasandur wreck site

Visiting the wreckage on Sólheimasandur Beach is a bit surreal. The plane feels like a leftover prop from a movie shoot.


Anastasia’s red coat adds a nice pop of color against the black sand of Sólheimasandur beach




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Where to Eat in Big Sur: Nepenthe Restaurant

One of the many patios at Napenthe Restaurant in Big Sur

Sometimes when you’re looking for a lunch spot on the Pacific Coast Highway, you have to choose between good food or great view. Fortunately Napenthe in Big Sur has both to offer. While not exactly fine dining, this funky California institution has tasty cuisine and oodles of atmopshere. Napenthe is open for both lunch and dinner and at it’s best when the the weather’s good and you can enjoy the spectacular views (especially from the back patio).

The steamed Castroville artichoke was a delightful lunch starter

Family owned & operated since 1949, Napenthe focuses it’s menu on local food and wine. I started with the steamed and chilled Castroville artichoke served with  sun-dried tomato pesto aioli for $11. It was fresh and tasty.

There’s an indoor fireplace to keep you warm on cool days and at night

Next I got the pulled pork sandwich, B with sweet and tangy BBQ sauce and pickled red onion on a sesame focaccia roll and served with garbanzo and kidney bean salad for $17. While $17 seems a bit steep, the atmosphere and view are worth the price of admission.

Napenthe’s back patio offers the best views

I didn’t have any wine, but I will the next time I’m at Napenthe. The restaurant has a great wine list and serves a lot of great wine from the nearby Santa Lucia Highlands including those by  Gary’s Vineyard and Pinot Noir from Roar.

Napenthe fills up on nice days– I love the outdoor seating they provide for those waiting for tables.

Napenthe’s menu has great options for vegetarian including a tofu veggie burger  with housemade Ambrosia sauce ($14.50) and the earthy roasted beet salad with Point Reyes s blue cheese, oranges, apples, pea shoots and field greens served with citrus vinaigrette ($14.50).

I’ve eaten at counters with worse views than this one

Book a reservation if you plan on coming on a weekend or when the weather’s good. Napenthe fills up on gorgeous days.


48510 Highway One, Big Sur, California

+1 (831) 667-2345

Nepenthe Restaurant serves lunch every day of the year from 11:30 – 4:30 and dinner from 5:00 – 10:00 every day except Thanksgiving & Christmas.

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