Iceland 4. Icebergs and Northern Lights by Anna Garcia

As I said in the previous post, the weather conditions forced us to change our original plans. We checked the weather forecast everyday and it seemed pretty normal (in winter conditions, of course). But one day it changed. It seemed that the snow finally arrived to this country, and I couldn’t be happier.

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Due to these weather conditions, we only had one opportunity to visit Jökulsárlón, and we wanted to visit it so badly that we woke up at 05:00 to drive from Hella to the glacier lake; a 3 and a half hour drive there turned into a 7 hour journey due to the weather conditions.

As you may see in the title of this post, you can imagine that this day was pretty intense. And I think that this was one of the most filling days of my life. Before explaining our adventures at Jökulsárlón, I wanted to tell you one of the reasons why this day was a bit extreme for me.

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I’ll explain you the situation. @tropicalbert and I were in a gas station eating a hot dog early in the morning (yes, hot dogs were the 80% of our feeding during the trip), and talking about the Northern Lights. We wanted so hard to see them, but the aurora forecast was extremely bad during our stay. We went out at nights and tried to chase them but we failed. He told me that the night we were supposed to fly to Barcelona, the forecast was actually really good. So, he had the idea to skip our flight and catch another one two days later, to have more chances of seeing the lights. I thought he was crazy, because I couldn't afford that new plan, but he proposes to help me with the costs. You can imagine the romantic situation while eating a hot dog and him trying to convince me. But finally… I said yes! So, we decided to extend our adventure in this country!

After saying that, it’s time for Jökulsárlón! We arrived there almost at midday. I have to say that the weather and road conditions were difficult, and we drove with a lot of caution. But, I also have to say that we stopped so many times along the road because we were fascinated by the landscape.

We were amazed by the floating icebergs in the water. We observed them for a while and walked on the snow to see them from many points of view. While enjoying the views and taking pictures, we noticed that the water was full of seals, playing around as if we weren’t there. I’ve seen a lot of images of Jökulsárlón, and normally the pictures are without snow. So, I’m happy to have seen this place covered with snow, with a different point of view that the one I expected.

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After spending a bit of time in the lake, we decided to go to the beach to observe the ice remains from the broken icebergs on the sand. The beach was half covered in snow and half covered in ice. It was an interesting contrast between the black and white tones and it gave for a great view.

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We had a long journey returning home (in this case, we slept in Hvolsvollur). We arrived at night, after spending a nice road trip observing the snow and the beautiful colors of that afternoon.

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If you’ve read the title, you’ll notice that there is another reason why this day was a bit extreme. After trying almost every night, we finally saw them: the Northern Lights. We stayed in a guesthouse, and we spent a nice time talking to the owner about this country. After telling him that we didn’t see the Northern lights, we checked the forecast and, although it was not good, it was not too bad. So, with his recommendation, we drove along a dark road towards Þórsmörk.

We stayed in the car quite a long time looking at the sky without blinking. @tropicalbert spent this time saying: there are lights in that direction, and I spent the night saying: it is light pollution, keep calm. But actually, he was right. We were seeing the lights!

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The Northern Lights were getting brighter and brighter, and seeing them dancing in the night sky was a dream come true. We changed our flights to have more opportunities to see the auroras, and it was a gift to see them in a night that was not expected. Like this country, the Northern Lights are magic. And I couldn't think in anything else than: Will I have more chances to see them during the trip? I guess you'll need to continue reading if you want to know the answer.

Iceland 3. Water by Anna Garcia

I was trying to think of a fitting name for this post until I found the best one. Everything we visited this day, and everything we did was related to water. We visited a geyser, two waterfalls and a hot pool. So, I hope you liked this decision!

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This morning we completed the remaining part of the Golden Circle. We started by visiting Geysir, and with that, the first geyser I’ve seen in my life. The weather started to be colder this morning, and sometimes it was a bit complicated to stay outdoors for a long time.

Later on we went to Gullfoss. I’ve always seen a lot of images of this waterfall, and I don’t know why, I’ve always imagined this waterfall from a different point of view. We visited this waterfall in Winter, so I assume some viewpoints are closed during this season. While visiting this waterfall, we experienced one of the worst moments of cold during this trip. Our hands were completely frozen and we needed to stay for a while in a warm space and then, continue the journey.

After visiting Gullfoss we realized that we had visited all the landmarks of the Golden Circle that interested us. So, we decided to change our plans a little, move to the south coast of Iceland and explored this beautiful area. Visiting the south of Iceland was one of the major reasons we wanted to visit this country. It was our first time in Iceland and we wanted, of course, to visit the Golden Circle area. But, I felt that from the moment we moved south, is where our journey really started.

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First of all we visited the well-known Seljalandsfoss waterfall. We didn’t walk behind the waterfall, because it was really cold and we didn’t want to catch a cold. But instead of that, we enjoyed the views from the front of the waterfall. The combination of the afternoon sun and the drizzle of the moment created tiny rainbows on the little waterfall that is next to Seljalandsfoss, and it was really beautiful to see that contrast.

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Although it was getting dark and it was snowing quite a bit, we decided to do an express visit to Seljavallalaug. During the walk, the snow stopped, so we could enjoy the views. The top of the mountains were covered with snow, and it was really interesting and sharpened the contrast between the white and green colors. Once we arrived, the temperature of the water was not too hot. Instead of having a swim, we enjoyed the views as it was getting darker every minute.

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After that, we said goodbye to an another extraordinary day in Iceland. We went to sleep because we wanted to wake up really early. Due to the weather conditions, our original plan was forced to be changed. So, keep reading if you want to know where we went on the next day. I promise it will not disappoint you!

Iceland 2. Golden and Blue by Anna Garcia

Good morning from Iceland! We woke up early in the morning, a while before the sunrise. To be honest, that night I slept on one of the best beds I’ve ever slept in my entire life. So, when I woke up the only thing I could think about was returning to bed and continue sleeping.

I immediately changed my mind once we were on the road again, heading to our first destination of the well kown Golden CircleÞingvellir. I remember that when we were on the road, it started to snow a little bit, and I was super happy to see the snow. The weather forecast only showed clouds, and I’ve always wanted to visit Iceland covered in snow. I was worried because on our first day in Iceland, we didn’t see any snow. Well, if you continue reading this blog, you’ll find out that finally we saw tons and tons of snow.

When we were arriving to Þingvellir, we saw a frozen lake, so we stopped there to walk on the ice and take some pictures. This was the first time I walked on a frozen lake, and it was a great experience!

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Once we entered into the National Park, we were interested in visiting the Öxarárfoss waterfall. It was raining a bit, but we started walking inside the park searching the wall of water. When we arrived, we noticed that there was a car park just in a few metres next to the waterfall. It would have been easier if we had chosen the correct entrance.

We stayed a bit at Þingvellir and then we headed south to visit Kerið. We drove through a different road than the one we planned, to see a variation of the landscape. I remember that we stopped many times during this short journey, that we arrived to the crater much later than we expected.

I would have loved to see the crater covered with snow, but the weather during the previous weeks was not cold enough. But anyway, I loved the views! Walking on a crater was an amazing moment!

As the afternoon approached, it was time to return to Reykjanes, our beloved peninsula. We bought tickets for the Blue Lagoon, and we couldn't be more excited about that.

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We entered the Lagoon at approximately 18:00. We were relaxed for hours enjoying the warm water and the facilities of the Blue Lagoon. I found the contrast of the blue water with the fog and steam really exciting. So, although it was hard to get out of the water, I could not resist the urge to take pictures with my cameras.

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Time passed very quickly and without realizing it, it was completely dark. We spent hours and hours inside the water, but we wanted to remain there. We thought there would be a chance to see the Northern Lights from the water, but the sky was covered with clouds. We were not disappointed either. We still had many nights in this country and with a bit of luck, we could still spot them. So, do you think we saw them?