Day 6/10 – Part 2/2

Hraunfossar to Selfoss

Now continue quickly. I had thought to take the direct route 52 to Pingvellir, but that one appears to be closed, which means I have to take a longer diversion. Hraunfossar took 1.5 hours and the route to Pingvellir is another one. Meanwhile it’s almost 15:00 and I still have to drive a couple of hundred kilometers. I do want to arrive at my hotel well before dark (19:00). So Pingveller is nothing more than a quick pass by. There is no time left to have a better look. Selfoss is the next one on my route.

Suddenly I notice a nice scene on my right. A lake, frozen for most part but having a small part of quiet water mirroring the sky. I have to get this one.

Tussen Pingveller en Selfoss

Tussen Pingveller en Selfoss

Tussen Pingveller en Selfoss

Tussen Pingveller en Selfoss

After a couple of photographs, I’ve already been waiting for a piece of blue sky to enter my view. Fool! By moving myself I can change the perspective whereby the blue part fits exactly in the spot I’ve in mind. Walking a couple of meters to left and a little bit to the front delivers the exact picture I envisioned.

Tussen Pingveller en Selfoss

And quickly to the next: Selfoss, Selfoss, Selfoss.

After driving for a while I arrive in the town of Selfoss, but there are no signs towards the waterfall. Ai, I actually don’t known where that thing is. Could very well be that I’ve missed the directions a short while ago. Well, it isn’t that important. Towards Vik then. If I remember well, the Seljalandfoss is still somewhere in front of me. That’s a real beauty. I’ve been photographing it a couple of years ago.

Still in doubt whether it’s already behind me on the ring road towards Reykjavik and I’ve already passed it while driving inland, I go on.

But somewhat later I see it in the distance. It’s completely in the shade now. Hmmm that’s something I don’t like and worse, the place is completely crowded with daytrip people from Reykjavik. I’ll just have to cancel it for now and again this saves some time.

A bit further, Skogafoss comes into view. It’s nicely illuminated by the sun, but this place is completely submerged in busses and people. Better to continue, all bets are on Vik now. These waterfalls can be great sometime at night in mid june when the sun doesn’t set. Chances are that the number of people visiting are few as well.

Around 17:30 I’m surprised by a sign to my hotel. Iiiieeeeeeeeep, have to break really hard and take the left turn up the mountain. I just started shooting a videoclip while driving. The mountains are very beautiful here. Can’t remember them from previous visits. But maybe they are more apparent now because of the snow.

The reception is a bit cool and distant. Outside it’s muddy and it smells like cows. I think it’s a farm they are converting to a hotel. Large building and on all sides extensions are being build. They try to be ready for summer. The rooms are large. Maybe even 5 times bigger as the one I had the day before yesterday.

I have put on my warm clothes and go out immediately after arriving. It’s 7 degrees now outside and there is no wind. But I’m close to the ocean here and the temperature will plummit as soon as the sun sets. First I explore a road towards the ocean that wasn’t here the last time. From here one has a good view on the mountains.

Reynisfjara

Reynisfjara

Then onwards to Vik. Time is pressing.

In Vik it proves to be a bit difficult to find the spot I had in mind. There are sea stacks here and if I read well, the sun will set exactly behind them this time of year. But it seems that that situation is more likely to happen in january, because currently the sun is far away from them. After driving back and forth for a while I notice a pier of about 100 meters into the ocean. Maybe this will provide the possibility?

I can walk the pier for the first part, but then it becomes difficult. It consists of large rocks and while the first part is smoothed with sand, the rest is not, leaving large cracks. Chances to slip and break a leg are a bit too much here for me, especially later in darkness.

The first couple of photographs are completely covered with spots, most likely seagulls. There are literally hundreds of them. Removing all of them not alone will be a lot of work, but I guess the result will not be as good as desired. Pity, have to drop these then. The remaining two are quite nice, the second shot a while after the first.

Reynisdrangar

Reynisdrangar

The sky is not particularly beautiful today. This one is shot with a total shuttertime of 5 minutes devided over 10 separate exposures. The ocean brought back to its essence.

Reynisdrangar

All in all this took another half hour and now it’s time to return to my hotel. I’m starving. First I’ll eat the sausages with bread that I’ve been having in my car since the first day (-;

Around 21:30 fully packed outside. The forecast for the Northern Lights tonight is a 1, the same as yesterday + I’m in the only little spot in Iceland without a cloud cover. I’m located in the middle south now in that white spot.

Reynisdrangar

Hoping for the best I throw everything in the car, but then I notice that it’s really dark out here. The hotel is located on a mountain and I have to descend along a muddy path to get down again. Hmmmm. I had better have a look first. After walking for a couple of hundred meters I’m far enough away from the hotel lights. There is nothing to see in the sky at all, not a small piece of green. Back inside then.

I try again at 22:30, but again there is nothing so I give up for tonight. There is still a chance that it will come, but both times I have seen it sofar, it was already there at 21:00.

Icelandic is by the way a weird language. Some parts one can almost literally read, while others are completely incomprehensible. What you see many times is Einbreid Bru which means a single lane bridge. This afternoon I saw “Pu err her”. The P is a special character looking a lot like a p but isn’t at all. You pronounce it like th in English. So it’s more like Thu err her. Thu is old English for You. “You are here” thus. I saw it on a map with an arrow next to it. If pronounced fast it’s almost regular English.

But you don’t understand Icelanders talking to each other, at all. Completely gibberish.

Good photographs again. Quite happy that I did decide to visit Hraunfossar. Vik was not so good, but in the end the photos are not that bad. Aurora would have made things perfect. But I shouldn’t complain I guess.

Maps, Charts & Downloads

GPS Map with color coded altitude information

Color coded distance/altitude chart

Color coded distance/altitude chart, Iceland Winter 2013, Day 06

Download the original gpx file here.

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