White snowstorm, black waterfall, crystal ice

What a day. I awoke in Vik to a blistering wet snowfall. I knew that I had a 3.5 hour drive north in front of me and when I checked vedur.is I saw that it was just going to get worse in Vik until at least 2pm meaning that if I didn’t leave early, I would essentially lose the entire day. 

I brushed off the car in complete darkness and knew that the big difficulty was going to be driving the high pass into Vik but once past Vik, at least the road was flat. I pulled out to the road and, just then, the snow plow came around the bend. Someone up there likes me. 

I cranked up the heat and Led Zepplin 4 to get my heart rate up. The incline to the Vik pass is about 15% and with the wet snow it was tough, even with the plough. Seeing the town of Vik was a relief but as I passed the town the wind began to pick up. Driving in Iceland can be challenging!

The weather turned as the sun rose and I knew that the storm covered the southern tip of Iceland but not the east coast where I was heading. 

I passed some amazing landscapes as you can see below. The sun hardly rises so the light is beautiful and the shadows are long, as you can see below. That photo with my shadow was taken at 11:38 am!  My first stop was the Black waterfall, Svartifoss, that is accessible only after a long hike. My friends SL in Switzerland and MVH from the office would have loved the hike. The view from the trail was fantastic!

The weather started to cool and I could feel the weather beginning to turn. I grabbed my gear and headed back down the mountain. I got to the car and as I began to drive away, the rain started.

The next stop was Jökulsárlón, the glacier lake that is fed by the Vatnajökull glacier. While beautiful, the tour buses swarmed the parking lot. Iceland is a land of extremes. I can be alone for hours and then surrounded by hundreds.