Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Gusty Golden circle!

We arrived at our apartment in Laugarvatn after dark, driving en route through Thingvellir National Park and were pleasantly surprised at how nice and large it was, with a great location overlooking a large frozen lake. Similar to Grundarfjordur the village of Laugarvatn is small with less than 1000 inhabitants. Nestled at the base of a small mountain and close to many of the main 'attractions' of the 'Golden Circle'

That night we kept a check on the skies above but again the sky was cloaked in heavy cloud. In the morning we woke to crazy winds, in excess of 50mph and decided to head back to Geysir and Gulfoss waterfall. Both places that we had visited in warmer climes back in 2012.

The sun barely managed to cast light through the thick and with such high winds on occasions as the Geysir spouted it blew the hot steam in many directions and to some unsuspecting tourists provided a shower of hot sulpher scented water! As the winds peaked to a point that it practically knocked you off your feet and so we decided it was time to head off to Gulfoss waterfall, just another 20 minute drive away.

Unlike our visit in September 2012 there was no spray visible from this mighty waterfall as we approached, and fortunately unlike 2012 no rain!

We were met with perilous icy steps that guided us down to the falls. Turning the corner for our first view we were met with a huge wall of frozen water, with just a minimal waterflow in some parts of the waterfall.

What an incredible sight, to see such an immense area frozen, with huge icicles sculptured into beautiful works of natural art. Even though it was mostly frozen it by no means comprimised its beauty, and a great contrast to see how the huge glacial flow changed through the Icelandic seasons.

Before we all turned ourselves to icicles from the bracing cold icy wind we headed back to our apartment and wandered what the evening may bring. The outlook did not look good for aurora as the heavy clouds started to bring snow and so Angela and I consoled ourselves with a couple of glasses of Amarula, while Andy decided to abstain. It turned out this was a good decision..........




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