Posts tagged “frozen waterfall

Chillbrook has landed..

Kirkjufellsfoss by Adrian Theze

I have arrived in Iceland once more!  So good to be back.  It was a positively balmy -8°C today but it doesn’t feel nearly as cold as Cornwall does at +8°C but that is down to the very dry cold.  It makes all the difference to how the air feels when it’s free of moisture.  That said, it was a bit breezy today so my trusty fingerless gloves to allow me to control my camera and mittens for in between shots were an absolute must.

We were back at the Snaefellsnes Penisular today and a place some of you might recognise from my last trip when I photographed this location at night, under the northern lights.

Kirjusfellsfoss is a much photographed location but it’s easy to see why.  I was unable this time to photograph the waterfalls from below because of the depth of the snow between the rock edge and the water so no path down but I was just as happy with these shots of the frozen waterfalls from above.  I hope you enjoy them.. :-)

Kirkjufellsfoss – Upper falls

Kirkjufellsfoss by Adrian Theze14mm f/11 1/40 sec. ISO-100

SpacerKirkjufellsfoss – Lower Falls

Kirkjufellsfoss by Adrian Theze14mm f/11 1/40 sec. ISO-100

 

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Akureyri

A close up of Godafoss waterfall frozen in the depths of winter..

Continuing on from my last post, we entered the tunnel under the mountain that would bring us to the next fjord along, in a real blizzard.  As we emerged from the tunnel on the other side of the mountains, it was still snowing just as hard, if not harder and as we entered the town of Siglufjörður where we saw the northern lights on our previous visit , the snow was piled either side of the road, and outside the houses.  It was difficult to see but we pulled in to the car park of a convenience store.  People were scurrying in and out of the shop, bundled against the snow.  It was clear what a difficult winter the people living in the north of Iceland were having.  We picked up a few snacks and pressed on.  It was late in the afternoon and we wanted to check in to our apartment before dark.

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Entering the town of Akureyri we were faced with a new challenge.  The roads were covered with a large amount of compacted snow and into that compacted snow, deep ruts had developed.  As the red light changed to green at a set of traffic lights, I accelerated away gently, then hit ruts like solid concrete.  The Jeep bucked causing me to step on the gas a little too hard.  The effect of this was quite startling, the car went into a dramatic spin and before we knew it we were sat facing the oncoming traffic, which, thankfully anticipating what was happening, had waited patiently for me to stop playing around.  They’d clearly seen it all before.  I waived rather sheepishly to the cars in the two lanes of rush hour traffic I was facing like a mexican standoff and looked for a quick exit.

Akeuryri 1I could see that my quickest route away from this busy road and to allow the traffic to start flowing again was to turn immediately right which I did.  I was tired and this was a dramatic reminder that, in these conditions, keeping the car on the road and in one piece meant not letting one’s concentration drop for a second.  A small error could have fairly major and potentially life threatening consequences.  I wonder if the angle of the lamp-post in the picture above is the result of a similar incident.

I was rapidly learning all the new skills required to drive on snow and ice, in town and out on the highway.  As it turned out, the right turn conveniently brough us almost immediately to the doorstep of the Vínbúðin, one of a chain of government-run stores that sell alcohol for consumption off premises.  The only stores licensed to do so.  This was a store I know we’d have been looking for a little later and probably struggling to find and here we were, we’d been spun around and pointed in the right direction.  Although I didn’t feel the need for a drink to calm my nerves after this salutary incident, my passenger did..

P1000647AFrom the Vínbúðin, we listened to James (our ever-present GPS guide) and turned left and right until we pulled up outside the large house I recognised from the pictures when we booked and from Google Earth. This would be a base for the next five days, an apartment in the basement of a rather grand house in a leafy, well it would be leafy in summer, section of Akureyri.  Bags unloaded, familiarisation with heating, wi-fi, kitchen, bedrooms complete, it was a case of grab a quick meal and sleep.

Waking up the next morning, relishing the underfloor heating, I took a peek out of the window, it was first light and it looked like it was going to be a beautiful sunrise.  The winter wonderland was still there and we had waterfalls to visit.  The first on the list was Godafoss.   You’ve already seen some of my pictures taken at Godafoss. I’ve added a few more..

A close up of Godafoss waterfall frozen in the depths of winter..60mm f/3.5 1/2000 sec. ISO-50

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We had intended to visit Aldeyjarfoss, another very beautiful waterfall.  The coordinates were loaded in the GPS and after visiting Godafoss we set off.  The road to Aldeyjarfoss was little more than a dirt/ash track but it seemed to be pretty clear and we were enjoying the drive along the river.  As we turned through a farm gate, the road dipped quite steeply toward the river and it was here we came across a low loader rescuing a 4×4 from a very deep snow drift.  The chap being rescued was Icelandic, he said he visited the waterfall the previous winter without any problems but the snow this year had beaten him.  I was quietly glad that he’d gone first.  We reversed and set off back towards Akureyri.  This can be an issue with visiting Iceland in the winter.  You can’t necessarily get to see all you want to as roads, especially mountain roads are frequently impassable and if there are no dwellings along these roads, they won’t be cleared..

Godafoss frozen in Winter24mm f/11 1/100 sec. ISO-50

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spaceShip at Húsavík24mm f/11 1/60 sec. ISO-50

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Godafoss revisited..

I visited Godafoss back in November on a crazy day trip from Reykjavik.  It was a 600 mile round trip involving mountain passes and steep and windy back roads.  To do it in a day was ambitious but it paid off, I got to see Godafoss and the northern lights.

Visiting Godafoss again today was so different.  At -5°C (24 farenheit) there was a nip in the air and the drive from Akureyri on compacted snow and ice was fun. I’m getting the hang of that.  It still seems crazy to be travelling at 60 mph on such a surface but that’s how the Icelanders do it and it seems to work out OK.  You don’t see wrecked cars everywhere at any rate.  The snow tyres are just amazing.

I’ve got a lot of pictures from today to process but here’s a little taster.  It was for sights like this one that I decided to tackle Iceland in the middle of winter.  It is incredible being here right now.

It’s difficult to gauge scale here but I’m working on that one, these falls are immense..  Catch up again in a few days..

Godafoss38mm f/11 1/100 sec ISO-50

 

Godafoss 224mm f/11 1/160 sec. ISO-50

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