Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Day three in Iceland was my first day completely on my own. I decided to start small with a day trip to Snæfellsjökull. Normally the drive is only a couple of hours, but it ended up taking me the entire day to get there. I took a detour off of 1, the main road, so that I wouldn't have to pay a toll for a long tunnel. I marked my route in blue on this map. You can see the detour off to the right that follows the coast instead of going under water. I took the tunnel on the way home since it was getting late.
I really enjoyed taking 47, the detour on the way out to the glacier. I had my first encounter with some Icelandic horses. They are a beautiful breed and they know it. I stopped at quite a few places to take their portraits. Their demeanor almost said "Alright, I know I am beautiful, so I guess I will let you take my picture."
I grew up in Houston, so it doesn't take much ice to get me really excited. The clear day and bright sunlight were deceiving. The wind blows so hard that it flattens and smashes the grass in crazy ways. Combined with a frozen over stream and some mountains, and the result was a landscape that basically blew my Texan mind.
I photographed quite a few waterfalls during my trip to Iceland, but this cute little fall called Fossárett was the most fascinating to me. The mist from this waterfall turned the grass and rocks around it into a frozen wonderland.
I finally made it to Snæfellsjökull around dusk with barely enough time to drive up near the glacier. The road passing through the glacier was marked with intense warning signs, so instead I used my last bits of light to photograph the view. The first image shows the road I chose not to drive, and the second shows the other side of the view from this hill.
On my way home I got really tired, so I pulled over to take a little nap. When I woke up, I noticed some borealis in my rearview mirror. I scrambled to get my gear out of the car. Unfortunately, the place I parked didn't provide the most stunning foreground. I am glad I got the shots when I did though, because when I began scouting new locations, the lights went away. I still felt lucky to have seen an even brighter display than the little bits from my first night.
Even though the borealis didn't come back, I pulled over to do more night shots of the mountains. It was very, VERY cold, so I quickly became skilled at taking photos from my car. I propped the camera up on my car window for this shot.
Fun Fact: The Icelandic language has changed less from it's root language, Old Norse, than any other Nordic language. To create new vocabulary, they use the native root words instead of borrowing from other languages.
Posted by Claire McAdams