With only as much as six fleeting hours of daylight per day and quite hostile conditions with strong arctic winds and freezing temperatures, road tripping in Iceland in winter is a challenge. Fortunately, the ring road was in good shape and we only got caught up in a blizzard once (this is an experience I surely don’t have to make twice).
We tried to keep our schedule flexible. Whenever the winds slowed down, we tried to venture out on a little hike. When the winds were running strong, we played real tourists and only took pictures from the safe haven of the car. Getting out of the car for a shot was a real struggle at times. More than once, I almost got blown off my feet.
The following pictures document our picturesque hike down the Seljavellir valley. Down the valley sits the iconic hot pool (or at least that’s what hundreds of Instagram captions made me think). It turned out, the water current from the hot spring leading into the pool was too low to heat up the basin in those freezing temperatures. So no swimming, but a little warm-up of our feet since we found a little puddle with steaming hot water. Eventually, a group of eight travelers gathered by the river, sitting on stones and soaking their feet in that hot little puddle, sharing stories about their recent Icelandic adventures. And let’s face it, that’s what travel is about!
The next morning, we tried to beat the tourist crowds by arriving early at Seljalandfoss. Only worked kind of…we got quickly put off by all the Chinese mounting their tripods, blocking all the way and disrespecting the signs and barriers. Although being a tourist myself, I totally understood at times why the locals are so fed up with the masses.
And again….morning light over the plains with the snow-capped mountains as a backdrop. Couldn’t get enough of these.
Finally leaving the ring road, on to smaller tracks, challenging our 4w4 and Martin’s driving skills. On towards the Golden Circle, more on that in my next post.