Iceland Star Grab: Winter Edition

StarCruiser

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Some great photos there and looking forward to more.

Loved Iceland when we went on foot in Feb 2014 and got to see the northern lights.

Love the 'Drink Icelandic tap water'. Also the corrugated iron buildings, they have a great character to them.

Have you tried the tapas restaurant in Reykjavik?
 
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whereisgibson

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Day 1

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Picked up The Beast after a short walk from the town centre :)



After studying the map last night it seemed like a good idea to try Haifoss and the surrounding areas; the least likely stars to be attainable due to published road conditions. In other words, if you could get stuck for a few days, plan it up front :)

The first star at Kerid wasn't particularly interesting the first time round let alone the second, but hey: 1 down!
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Next was Haifoss. This was a pretty amazing waterfall in the summer, though road forecasts suggested it would be impassable... Only one way to be sure.

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Back on the road, and I went to collect the star at Gullfoss. I made it, but it was too dark to be photo worthy, so I shall return later... And instead spent the remaining daylight testing out Santa's new delivery.


I was meant to camp tonight, but as I was so close to my favourite hostel of all, well... got to be done!
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StarCruiser

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Great fun with the drone by the looks of it.

Hostel (hotel?) looks fantastic, which one and where?

Loved Gullfoss when we visited but it was so bitterly cold in the wind that we didn't stay long.

Watching this trip with great interest and would love to do it sometime.
 

whereisgibson

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The hostel is indeed a hostel, but also doubles as a hotel, though all in the same building - a former school house. Fascinating history: http://heradsskolinn.is/EN/index/History.html

Tapas, hmmn, I'll need to be convinced... :think: never sure I understood paying lots for small plates of food and still leaving hungry :lol:

That weather forecast does look interesting. Already I was warned that the roads are particularly icy as it's warm enough for rain (not snow) but cold enough later for it to freeze. The two resources I'm using are http://en.vedur.is/weather/forecasts/areas/ for the forecast, and http://www.road.is/travel-info/road-conditions-and-weather/the-entire-country/island1e.html for the road conditions. Will definitely keep an eye on this, thanks Mojo.
 

StarCruiser

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Hmmm…I can see an experience with tapas like that being most off putting. The experience we had was pretty much diametrically opposed. Though the plates were not big, there were several of them and it was the best value meal we had in Reykjavik at £30 a head. I don't remember feeling stuffed nor hungry either and it was a bit different. Compare that to over £100 a head for some posh nosh at the top of the Radisson Blue (where we were recommended, twice) which probably amounted to no more than a Big Mac meal by volume. The tapas won hands down.
 
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whereisgibson

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Day 2
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Away early, not bright, back to Gullfoss to see it in day light. It was a bit snowy out.


The last time I was here I had managed the trail (hard!) from Haifoss to Gullfoss, avoiding the road and thus placing me on the other side of the falls - all by myself! This time I'm on the tourist side, though with the weather, I was the only person waiting here when presumably bus-loads of folks congregate.
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From here it was a journey back down to Þingvellir to collect two stars, one at the rift, and one at the parliament. They are each on opposites of a river, and last time I only set foot on the rift side, so this time I went to parliament side.

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Back on the road. Beautifully empty.
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With Mojo's weather warning being echoed by some of the locals, the advice was to head back to Reykjavik to sit out the evening. That worked for me as I could also pick up a tripod (at long last...!) so I should be able to use the camera in lower light. Normally I'm steady enough to hand shoot, though what I didn't factor in was the shivering - it's cold!
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whereisgibson

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Day 3
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On the road to collect two stars, the first being Hraunfossar. It wasn't exactly awe-inspiring in the summer... but at least I know why the handrails are there!
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The second star at Arnarstapi was much as before.
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With the wind really starting to pick up, I attempted a few passes but kept having to turn back. After seeing a few 'closed' signs on the road, I decided to entirely abort colleting the two stars on the West Fjords, and instead headed North West towards Hvitserkur.
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It became very windy.


I recalled that there was a hostel nearby, though when I got there I was grumpily informed that they only open again in May! So, my first night of Iceland car camping. The truck is rocking from side to side, but only because of the wind, sadly!
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PS watching The Martian on the laptop I feel almost there in my own little capsule!
 
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AndyCook

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Great to see Gullfoss with no others there. It was very busy when we visited, so we were glad to get back into the highlands and away from crowds.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

StarCruiser

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We were lucky and had it to ourselves but it was so bitterly cold and windy we didn't spend long there. It was mostly frozen over when we saw it. I couldn't get over how vividly blue the water was though.
 

SteveS

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Gulfoss is a magical place.....only ever been there in the summer but some friends of ours saw it frozen. Hard to imagine something that powerful can actually freeze over. Sadly I think Iceland is increasingly on the 'tourist trail' so if you're like me and like to get away from crowds then the 'big' attractions within a day or two of Reykjavik are the ones to do quickly and move on. Going off season obviously good.....also keeping to the 4x4 only tracks.....there is so much to see in Iceland in addition to the major attractions

Great pictures......love the drone footage as it puts a whole different perspective on things. I keep meaning to get one that tracks behind a moving car but at the moment I can't justify the space and weight in my overlanding plans.....would be good in Africa 2017 though!
 
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