Iceland - The Battle of Spring v Winter

April 14, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

Wrapped in Winter Before heading north to Iceland for this trip there was much being said about how mild the Winter in Iceland has been and even as my excitement grew towards the start of the visit it was common to see temperatures in the UK significantly lower than those being quoted for Iceland.  I even read that Spring flowers were blooming weeks ahead of when they were expected too, even saw photographs of swathes of crocuses, so the macro lens was packed with the rest of the gear. Well all I can say is don't believe anything you read you have heard it here;  Winter is most definitely still in control in the North of Iceland!

Not to beaten by storm force winds, bellow zero temperatures and major drifting snow I had a lay on in bed today, had a leisurely breakfast and took some time to look through the photographs taken over the last few days.  Finally headed out with the intention of beating back the ravages of winter and hopefully add to the trips photo collection.

Those of you who have been to Iceland will know it has one main road, Rout 1 that runs around the island.  It is a great road to drive on and takes you through all regions with arterial roads leading out to the coast and the central highland region.  It's an important road so every effort is taken to keep it clear.  Not today! Maybe because it's Sunday but roads were blocked and drifting snow off the Krafla volcano and lava-fields created total whiteout conditions. I now know how those intrepid polar explorers must have felt and what they must have endured, my respect for them went up a few more notches.

So with many roads blocked my options for the day were drastically reduced.  Winter and Krafla were beating me back.  I decided to go to the Grjotaja lava tube cave and experience the ongoing geothermal activity from previous eruptions.  Within the lava tube 'cave' is a hot spring which for many years was a constant 40 C and was a popular hot spring for bathing, that was until Krafla eruptions in the 70s/80s raised the temperature to 55 C too hot for bathing. The temperature is dropping slowly but at 45 C is still on the hot side.It was amazing being in one of nature naural 'saunas' while a raging blizzard outside was pushing drifting snow through the fissure entrance to the subterranean warmth within.

For lunch I returned to Vogarfarm and the Cowshed Cafe/Restaurant, unique in having a restaurant that backs on through a glass divide to the farms milking parlor cows and all. Everyone there was so friendly and relaxed and the locally sourced food, many of it from the farm or rivers, is some of the best I have tasted in Iceland to date. If you are ever in the Mývatn region, don't miss this; The Lamb is to die for…and their bread baked in the ground is the best I have had...and did I mention the home made cakes...and the ice cold fresh milk from the farm?!

So Sunday has been more of a day of rest mixed in with some good food, good company and some photo opportunities too.  I have uploaded a few more photos to the site of the last few days including some of the local diving ducks.  www.shadow2light.com

I hope you enjoy them.

Tony


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