Roadtrippin’ – we left Reykjavik early in the morning (well, around 8 a.m. when it was still pitch-black dark) and made our way south towards Vík. Along the way, around 9:30 a.m. the sun slowly started to rise bathing the frozen landscape in a pinkish light.
Driving was not easy, gales of 100 km/h were blowing snow and ice over the road, at times visibility was very poor and Martin was struggling to keep the car straight on the road. Fortunately, we had opted for a 4w4 drive with spikes. Nevertheless, albeit the strong winds, we couldn’t help but stop the car now and again, climbing outside and trying, against the wind gushes, to take pictures of this simply bewitching landscape. Magical. Overwhelming. I had to turn ALL the pictures by at least 10° because I couldn’t manage to keep the camera straight once I climbed out of the car into the storm, but it was all worth it. If you ever find yourself in a blizzard or really strong gales in Iceland, pay attention to always park the car at 90° to the wind gushes, otherwise you won’t be able to open the doors safely.
Around lunch time the winds settled in a little, allowing for a bit of exploring by foot. We had chosen a little hike up a mountain to a hot river for some winter bathing. The area is called Reykjadalur and it takes about an hour to hike up there. The sulphuric smell leads the way. Mother Nature is simply impressive. In the middle of all the ice and snow runs a little hot stream, nurtured by the steaming hot springs all around. Check the temperature before jumping in, the upper parts of the river are burning hot and not suitable for bathing.
This is as high as the sun ever rises in Iceland in the winter months, allowing for a warm golden light around midday and long sunrises and sunsets.
Not a bad view from your natural hot tub.
Further down along the ring road we were spoiled with beautiful light again. The winds were still strong, roads were closed so we had to adapt our schedule but since every corner of this country is simply mind-blowing, we didn’t even mind.
Reynisfjara Beach – the black sand beach close to Vík.
This is Iceland – words don’t do this justice. Feast your eyes!
Views on the road – I couldn’t get enough of these. Driving into nowhere.
Last but not least, some waterfall magic. All frozen up, glowing in the warm evening light. This one here is Skogafoss, just off the ring road. And if strong gales and -10° C weather in winter aren’t enough for you, how about some ice climbing?
Iceland, you are literally blowing my mind!