I return to Iceland once again but to concentrate on the amazing southern region and the peninsula to the west. Last time my friend Tony and I were plagued with rain and dull conditions so will we be lucky this time? Why not find out.
  • Day15

    Final Views of Iceland

    February 20, 2018 in Iceland ⋅ ⛅ 0 °C

    The drive from that little 'blue lagoon' to the airport was uneventful. The journey along the southern coast was not all that inspiring, though one section was through a geo park where there were the remnants of volcanic eruptions, lava fields and classic-shaped volcanic cones all dusted in icing-sugar. Rob thought this was brilliant and took a few photos from the car as the landscape slid by. Then we were at the airport, right on time.

    The Iceland 2018 adventure had come to an end.
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  • Day15

    Travelling to the Airport

    February 20, 2018 in Iceland ⋅ ⛅ -1 °C

    So this is our last day.

    The view at breakfast looked cold and when we went to get the shared suitcase from the car to pack our gear into it, we discovered it really was. There was a biting chill in the wind so we hurried inside and began collecting things together ready to start the journey to the airport.

    As you can see from the second two photos, it was an average wintertime drive as we headed for the south coast ... we'd decided to go to the airport via a drive along the southern shore of the peninsula towards Keflavik, passing through a national park on the way. That drive took us on a small road across the mountains which were.extremely icy in places. At one point our trusty Duster lost all traction going around a bend and simply danced on ice. No problem though and we carried on, passing a ski resort we didn't know existed with what seemed to be a couple of lifts and not a lot else, then eventually giving up and turning around. The road conditions were poor and after the ski resort the road was not maintained in winter. We had a plane to catch and felt it too risky to go on.

    We did find a place to park for a while for our final session with our cameras. For a while the clouds parted in an area where, as the snow was thawing, pools of bright blue water had formed. We were the only people around and really enjoyed the time we had there.
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  • Day14

    High Winds and Rain

    February 19, 2018 in Iceland ⋅ 🌬 4 °C

    Perhaps you can tell it must have been a different kind of day if you've spotted the blog being updated before dinner instead of afterwards. All looks good at breakfast time with a bright dawn following a night of torrential rain which has amazingly washed a lot of the snow away, leaving the roads much less icy and bare areas of ground. Not as pretty as it has been we thought, but still it's an amazing landscape to be in.

    The forecast was for it to be cloudy with some wind but it turned out to be very strong winds indeed and as we left the town into the wilderness the car was being buffeted around as we drove through the lava fields. We stopped at one point so Tony could take a photograph of a coastal inlet and he braved the gale force wind while Rob stayed wrapped up warm in the Duster. We stopped again later and did the same and Rob stayed warm while the mad photographer forced open the door and crouched to get his shot. We then stopped for coffee and watched the cars in the car park jitter and roll as the wind howled around them.

    Having consumed our coffees and cakes we set off once more and decided, in a mad moment, we'd stop again at Kirkjufell because the overnight rain had melted the ice around the waterfall and we thought it'd be good to get (yet) another shot. This was just plain silly.

    We suited up, sorted our gear, fitted our spikes to our boots and headed off towards the waterfall. It was an endurance to even walk in that wind let alone stay upright. We made it to the location to the left of the falls, as you see it, having been jet washed by the spray on the way and even more so on the way back down. We got back to the car wet and dishevelled and sat and watched others as they attempted what we had done. We are all mad as hatters.

    So we returned to the hotel and in a while we'll go to dinner. We haven't achieved much today but there's always tomorrow on our drive to the airport. Hopefully we'll fare better than today.
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  • Day13

    That Mountain Again

    February 18, 2018 in Iceland ⋅ 🌬 0 °C

    When we arrived we were entering the twilight zone as the sunset had finished. What we mean by this is the sun was below the horizon because it was far too cloudy for a sunset.

    The tide was in so there was an opportunity for a reflection if the water was calm and the grey skies offered a great contrast against the snow covered mountain. We found a suitable parking spot and headed off with tripods and cameras but without the strange hats and footwear. Are we old codgers on a photography outing? We hope we're not!

    Rob thinks he's got some great photos here but Tony's not so sure so we'll all have to wait to find out how it went. When we went back to the car more people had arrived to catch the very last of the light and you can see just how popular Dacia Duster 4x4 cars are here. There are millions of them!
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  • Day13

    Arches and Pillars

    February 18, 2018 in Iceland ⋅ 🌬 -1 °C

    Having travelled to the south of the Peninsula we had decided we'd travel clockwise following the road around the end and back to our hotel. This meant we'd do part of the route we'd covered yesterday but it also meant we'd be at Kirkjufell around sunset, if there was one. There wasn't.

    We stopped at a few sites on the way to see an arch for example, which also included an opportunity to spot photographers on location. In this we were extremely lucky and were able to spot lenses and tripods of various sizes as well as strange hats and footwear. This was, of course, marginally more interesting than the sea stacks we saw, especially as it was far too cold to be hanging around a bunch of old rocks being splashed with icy water. Or was that a bunch of old codgers splashed with snow.

    One of our stops was to see some upright remnants of a volcano. It was here that, for some odd reason, the weather completely changed and a fierce and biting cold wind got up which made photography here quite a challenge. This wind was relentless and whipped up the snow as we continued our journey, making driving difficult at times.
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  • Day13

    Black Church

    February 18, 2018 in Iceland ⋅ 🌬 0 °C

    Compared to yesterday the weather was not so good and the day not so eventful. We decided to go to the south of the Peninsula to find the black church at Buðir. It was quite crowded here so it was tricky to get a photo with no Penguins, though it doesn't look that way does it. Just after the photo was taken, loads of tourists arrived and they were everywhere. You just have to be patient ... they've come to discover the church just like we have and they want their photos too. It's just a little frustrating to have to wait while a family or small group take loads of photos of themselves including every variant of subjects in a variety of poses.

    Tony wasn't so sure about this location but felt it was worthwhile having done it. It kind've grew on him. We also met a couple of people who we chatted to, a photographer from Morocco (bet he was cold!) and an English guy married to a French lady who does photographic tours for French tourists. It was really interesting to talk to them.
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  • Day13

    Northern Lights

    February 18, 2018 in Iceland ⋅ ⛅ -1 °C

    We weren't quite sure how good a chance there'd be to see the Aurora tonight. Rob has that App on his phone to predict the possibility of seeing it and it wasn't that optimistic. We did wonder if it would appear though, given the extremely clear skies and how cold it was ... the first indicators to look for.

    We'd had our meal and returned to our room and were reviewing the photos of the day, with Rob checking the App every now and then. Suddenly, the App showed really good figures for around midnight, really good, and we decided to get kitted up and go. Whilst putting on all the clothing layers, Rob lightheartedly looked through the curtains and, even in the town and through the window, there they were - the Northern Lights.

    We drove about 20 minutes west to a place we'd spotted earlier in the day looking out to sea but with mountains as a backdrop. The show had already begun of course, so we set up our cameras and spent at least two and a half hours experimenting to get the best photographs we could. However, this was not any ordinary Northern Lights event, this was a Marks & Spencer's Northern Lights event. The Aurora spanned the entire sky with ever changing patterns of green and white, punctuated with tints of red and even orange. It was so bright too and at times cast shadows in an eerie green light. It was truly spectacular and a bigger event than we'd seen at Jokulsarlon. Truly amazing!

    Eventually the show faded and we left. Yet again on this trip we have been blessed with an amazing day.
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  • Day12

    Arctic Colours at Twilight

    February 17, 2018 in Iceland ⋅ ⛅ -4 °C

    We did make one more stop to photograph the sunset. We managed to find a place to park where we could get a reflection in a lake ... or some sort of water as it was difficult to tell what it was. The second photo of this footprint was taken after the sunset so apologies you don't get to see it, though perhaps you will when we return. The first photo gives a hint of the way the landscape looks at this time of day when the weather has been as good as it was.

    It's really hard to describe what we saw on that journey back to our hotel. We travelled in the fading light of an Arctic day, through a snow coated landscape of spectacular mountains resting on cushions of white marsh-mellow. But it's the light that's impossible to describe. As the sun sets all the subtle tones of colour and light emerge and even when the sun has set a second show begins, with the most delicate shades of white, blue and purple. Unbelievably, the landscape brightens and the twilight offers new colours of salmon and pink mixed with greys and subtle blues. This is a world you can't imagine ... you have to be here. It will touch your emotions like never before.
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  • Day12

    Frozen Landscape

    February 17, 2018 in Iceland ⋅ ⛅ -6 °C

    The weather today was gorgeous. How can it be when last time it was dull, foggy and constant torrential rain? The bright blue skies and snow make the landscape unrecognisable.

    We decided to drive westwards along the north of the peninsula and simply enjoy the journey. We therefore didn't really stop for photography and drove until we thought we ought to turn around and head back. The drive back was spectacular ... the photos here were taken when we stopped at a viewpoint where opposite, the cliffside was coated with massive icicles. But that was nowhere near the best of it.Read more

  • Day12

    Kirkjufell in the Sunshine

    February 17, 2018 in Iceland ⋅ ⛅ -5 °C

    First of all, compare the first and last photos of this footprint, because the last one is the very best if what we saw in 2016 when we visited last time. Notice the difference?

    Kirkjufell is also known as the witch's hat mountain because of its shape when seen from a particular angle. It's a magnet for photographers and tourists (Penguins remember) because of the nearby waterfall which is often included in photographs. Search on Google and you'll find a squillion photos of this mountain with and without ice and/or Northern Lights. So we must have our turn of course.

    On this visit, as you can see, the weather was clear with a deep blue sky and clear air. After spending time here we left only to discover a location with fantastic reflections of Kirkjufell but from the opposite side. We managed to find somewhere to park and spent some time here trying to get that magical shot. This was a really good location because there were two mountains reflected in the tidal waters. Look one way for Kirkjufell then in a moment there was another composition of another mountain ... name not looked-up.

    We got some great photos here.
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