Thingvellir National Park … Getting Stuck … & Geysir … Iceland Trip – Part 2 …

_MG_7720-1Hey everyone … so its been a bit of drama since getting back to Dubai … but I’ll get into that in another post later this week … and apologies for no Caturday Post yesterday either … I think thats the first one I’ve totally missed out … but I was in hospital all day yesterday and didn’t have any pictures of the boys to share from this last week anyway …

20141214_105156-1So back to this post … so after our first couple nights in Reykjavik we packed up our car in the morning nice and early around 9.30am well before the sun had come up and after a quick stop at the bakery for some supplies we hit the road …

_MG_7597-1 _MG_7609-1 _MG_7615-1Everywhere we went we found lit up Christmas trees … even on route to the Thingvellir National Park … it is just so pretty driving through the countryside in Iceland … it did remind me alot of South Africa and driving through the GARDEN ROUTE … except with a lot of snow …

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Icelandic Horses are known for being incredibly hardy and strong … they develop this really fluffy fur during the winter which keeps them warm outside in the colder months …

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The roads were all really icy … worse than anything I’ve ever had to drive in so I was pretty happy to let Perry do the driving on this trip …

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Random little hut on route covered in snow …

_MG_7662-1Whilst it wasn’t snowing that day there were really strong winds and gusts which blew the loose top layers of snow from the surrounding fields across the roads … we got a lot of snow drifts on our way around and at times it was so strong we’d have complete white outs where you can only just about see the yellow columns indicated the edges of the roads … like you can see in the picture below which was taken literally a minute or so after the one above …

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Then sometime around 11am the sun starts to rise … I have to say I really loved Iceland at this time of the year … I was worried that the shorter days was really going to bother me as I am not a very good low light photographer … I much prefer taking photos with natural light … but while the sun doesn’t come up till 11am properly it does start to get lighter from around 10am onwards … and then even though its sets at 4.30pm there is usually enough ambient light to still take pictures up to around 5.30pm … there again because the days are so short the sun never rises that much so its like a continuous golden hour … which is the hour or so just after sunset and just before sunrise … its the most beautiful light of the day for taking pictures … so having that kind of lighting for the whole day was pretty wonderful too …

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We got a selection of the locally made chocolates to try out … The first one is actually milk chocolate with liquorice and sea salt which Perry loved … he’s a massive liquorice fan … I can’t stand the stuff … but I did love the Dirty Blonde which is a caramel white chocolate and the Milk of Madagascar was also a very delicious milk chocolate option …

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Day time moon …

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More snow drifts …

_MG_7837-1 _MG_7830-1These were the more mellow snow drifts going across the road … you can see the road bending round with the cars off in the distance …

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As we got close to the Geysir site this happened …

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It doesn’t look that bad in the pictures but it was quite steep and the snow was very deep … this was taken after Perry had already spent 30mins or so trying to dig the car out by hand … the car just decided it didn’t like to be on the road anymore and went off the side down the bank …

_MG_7953-1 _MG_7943-1Perry went up to the visitor centre initially to see if there was anyone there to help but to no avail … so I left him by the car to try and flag someone down while I went to use the toilet and hung around a bit longer to see if I could find anyone …

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We were hanging around for about an hour before someone came by us who had a tow rope to pull us of there …

_MG_7957-1 _MG_7959-1We finally made it to the visitor centre … parked up the car and took a few minutes to get ourselves situated and got Perry a hot drink before heading out to see the Geysir … first stop was the Little Geysir …

_MG_7965-1 _MG_7966-1 _MG_7968-1This Geysir is actually the first known spouting hot spring recorded in Europe and the English work Geyser is derived from its name …

_MG_7970-1 _MG_7976-1 _MG_7980-1We were lucky that the Geysir erupted pretty regularly while we were there … the first happened as we walked up to it (seen in the pictures above) …

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That is the Geysir pool at the bottom of the photo above …

_MG_7998-1 There was a lot of frozen ice everywhere making it quite tricky to walk around …

_MG_8009-1 _MG_7991-1 _MG_8016-1However as the winds were so strong that day it blew up and went horizontally immediately … although it has been known to shoot up to 70m into the air on less windy days …

_MG_8031-1 _MG_8036-1 _MG_8067-1 _MG_8072-1 _MG_8018-1 _MG_8010-1 Perry Geysir 1The water from the Geysir is in the range of 80-100 degrees Celcius which is incredible … and it did have quite a distinct sulphur smell too …

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All of the knitting stuff I took with me proved to be very useful and warming …

_MG_8030-1 _MG_8097-1So after about 20mins standing around in the bitter cold and two more eruptions later we headed back to the car … As the sun was quickly setting we skipped going to the Gullfoss Waterfall nearby and just headed straight to the Alfasteinn Guesthouse where we were staying with our host Agust … a local Icelander who made us feel very welcome … after we’d gotten settled in we joined him and his other two guests Ester (also from Iceland) and Mara who is Canadian with Icelandic heritage and she’d lived in Iceland for 8 years previously and was back for a visit …

20141214_203439-1We had the most wonderful dish of a traditional Icelandic Fish Pie … basically cod, potatoes and a very rich butter sauce … so delicious …

We had to get to bed as soon as we could after as we had a very early start the next day … which proved to be the most wonderfully eventful day of our trip overall … so much so I’ve had to split it into three posts cause there are just too many photos I want to share … so stay tuned for those posts over the next few days …

Thanks for tuning in …

Till next time …

Mina X

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