Bad Light Stopped Play
Today I woke up with a major hangover but at least I’d managed some sleep. The Thursday before easter is a public holiday in Iceland so many people were out drinking last night. Me and Dad decided to join them and somehow ended up at some minimal house house party. That’s not a typo. This place was apparently a cafe during the day but at night they strip out the furniture and turn it into a large house which plays minimal house music. Not sure it was Dad’s scene but I had a fairly good time!
We had a chilled out breakfast and eventually set off for Iceland’s famous Golden Circle. This drive takes around five hours and takes you through some of the best scenery Iceland has to offer. The only problem was that the weather had taken a turn for the worse. Visibility meant we could see only one or two cars in front; the distant mountains remained hidden behind the low cloud and heavy snowfall. Not to be dissuaded, we ploughed on…literally. The first stop was Geysir, a hotspot for volcanic activity and birthplace of the word we use for this spectacular sight:
Bearing the stink of sulfur we had a brief walk around the other geysers that weren’t quite so explosive and then set off for our next stop: Gulfoss. I’d heard this was the crown jewel of the Golden Circle and when we arrived I was not disappointed.
It really was an incredible spot for photos. Considering the lack of visibility around the national park, the waterfall was well protected from the elements and we spent quite a long time trying to get some good pictures. There was a chain blocking the path to the rocks that sit just off the waterfall where you can feel the spray, but someone had obviously ignored them and the rest of the crowd, as well as ourselves, followed suit. It’s quite an incredible noise and its easy just to sit there and watch, completely mesmerised. I hadn’t planned on going to Niagra Falls but Gulfoss has planted the seed of inspiration.
We headed back to Reykjavik, taking a detour to the other side of the lake with the hope of catching some views, an optimistic but fruitless endeavour. In fact the snow had picked up dramatically and all the snow ploughs were on the other side of the road. Dad was struggling to keep our crappy American 4X4 on the road for the majority of the way back. Luckily we made it back in one piece and had decided to warm up in the sauna, slightly depressed by a combination of hangover and the lack of visibility over the course of the day.
It was our last night in Reykjavic and I had heard so many rumours about puffin tapas. For some reason Dad is rather fond of these glorified seagulls but I was keen so we headed off to the local tapas bar. We got the Icelandic Set Menu which included Puffin, Mink Whale, Lobster and some of my new favourite fish, Blue Ling. The food was excellent once again and it just added to how impressed I’ve been with the quality of Icelandic cuisine. Even the burgers in your average bar are cooked medium rare as opposed to the lava rock equivalent you find in most weatherspoons back home.
After a couple of beers we headed home, needing some rest from the previous night’s activities and the eye straining we’d been doing all day. I got up early the next morning to take some photos of Reykjavik from the top of the church and I got lucky with the weather. What better way is there to end this section of the blog with my version of the standard postcard picture of Reykjavik.
See you in New York!