Monday, March 24, 2014

Skinny-dipping in the mountains (Part 1)

What a weekend, wow! I'm still excited about the great time I had, so many laughs were shared and so many things experienced. I think I'll actually have to divide the post about this weekend into 3 parts, each day will have its own post or else this will get really long and I'm supposed to do some reading tonight. So, here's part 1 of my trip to the South/East of Iceland! :)

I left with 3 other friends Reykjavik early in the morning on Friday in order to go all the way to Höfn that day, spend one night there, have fun in that area and spend the second night in Vík, so we would be back on Sunday evening in Reykjavík. From the capital to Vík it's 455km, so a long drive. And on that day I think I drove the most. But of course we had many toilet breaks and had to have sufficient candy supplies. But we finally got an answer to a big question we all had been having. When leaving Reykjavík towards the south you alway have to go over a small mountain with straight roads but often with bit of snow and ice, but nothing bad. This time there was a lot of snow and ice everywhere. On top of it there is a warning"sign" of two crashed cars. Now we finally knew why. With a lot of snow and ice you were in danger of getting off the road and running into the rocks/lava field there...which certainly can end really badly. Now we know.
On our way we first stopped somewhere in the middle of nowhere and went for a short hike to an old abandoned swimming pool in the mountains of which I forgot the name. A long time ago the children of the village were taught how to swim there but a new swimming pool has been build in the meantime and the old one is just having its own life in the mountains. Like all the swimming pools in Iceland it works with natural hot water, so no heating required and you can still use it! Upon arriving there we all 4 made the bold choice just to go skinny-dipping there, since what else are you supposed to do by an old abandoned pool in the mountains? It was great fun, the water was actually a bit chilly but there were no hidden monsters swimming in the depths of it. And sorry, there is no proof of us skinny-dipping at least on my camera. So no pictures of that. :P
We continued our journey then to Vík where we got some hot beverages to warm up again and the co-driver and I stocked up on your candy supplies.
Vík with its church over it and the sea
We continued through Kirkjubæjarklaustur (say that quickly 3 times in a row) and then to the famous lava field Eldhraun. A volcano called Laki had some fun with being the most destructive volcano eruption in 1784 and created a 25km wide lava field in the south of Iceland. Laki is actually in the highlands, you cannot even see it from the lava field. So you can imagine how big this eruption was.
It was all fun and dandy on the road there, it went straight, great weather and only snow on the field, not on the road. I was driving. After a while I spotted far ahead a car off the road to our right and people standing outside of it. I thought that maybe there was a one of those camping-break-areas where you can have a picnic though I was wondering that I had seen no sign for it. We approached them, I saw suddenly a lot of snow on the road and then I realised at the exact moment that they had slipped off the road with their car. And this is when the scariest thing in my life so far happened: I lost control of our car. The tires were suddenly going the same way as the previous car towards the field, I just swung the steering wheal to my left, trying to get somehow the car back on track, it went left, but too much left, now we were almost getting off the road there, I swung it back right again, then again left, I heard my friend screaming "Take your foot off the gas! Take your foot off the gas! Take your foot off the gas!" and somehow we came to a stop...on the road. Everybody was save. Until this day I have no idea how I managed to keep us on the road but I'm very glad about it, since nobody got hurt, nor my friends neither the people of the other car standing by it. Because I might have just hit them. I had to have a couple of minutes to calm down again but continued driving eventually or I would have started being scared of it.
Eldhraun, you bitch...
A seal! It's really not just a black spot on the camera...
After this we had a stop again at the famous Jökusárlón, the glacier lagoon! James Bond movies and Lara Croft has been filmed there. When they go to "Siberia", they are actually there. It was a very calming and deep experience of seeing it all.  We came there when it was almost dusk, so everything was in the same grey and just peacefulness. You only had those big pieces of ice swimming in the water and only had the sound of the water and the creaking sound of the ice blocks. Grey and absolute silence surrounded one. We also some one lonely seal swimming close by about 15min away. He was obviously curious about us since he kept popping up at the same spot and looking at us for a while before disappearing into the deep grey again.
Since dusk was already knocking on the door we continued to finally reach our place for the night. On the way there were reindeer warning signs on the street, we were joking about how big the chances are and suddenly there was actually a reindeer on the side of the street having supper! So they do walk around there and one should be aware of them. We got then around 8:30 to your guesthouse and drove quickly to the center of Höfn to get some supper as well because we didn't have any cooking facilities there and at some point you grow tired of sandwiches, crackers and bananas. I forgot the name of the place but was a cozy cottagy house with nice food but a bit on the expensive side. I had by the way a reindeer hamburger. So they really live in that area. We did then return to our room and went to sleep soon after it. I fell asleep to seeing nightmares about the moment on the snowy road when loosing control of the car, reliving the moment many times again and seeing only white.

Tomorrow the second day comes! :)

No comments:

Post a Comment