Today has been a little different from other days. It’s been more of a tourist day, rather than a photography day. I did enjoy this small break, as most of the landscape was fascinating to look out, but didn’t translate so well onto camera, no matter how hard we tried. Some things just aren’t photogenic.
Waking up early in Vik after a night at a fully-booked hostel, we tip-toed out the front door half an hour before sunrise. The morning didnt look all that promising, but we persevered on anyway. Our location was a mere 5-10min drive and we took it at our own pace. Arriving with some pink in the sky, (but mostly that overcast purple tone) we wandered down to the black pebble beach and gave it our best.
The colours in the sky did not hang around for long, so after shooting for an hour and a bit, we made our way back to the hostel for breakfast. Waffles, toast, museli and bread greeted us. I had only one waffle, instead chosing museli and yoghurt. Those who know me, know that i dont eat much bread, and ive been struggling alot with my diet over here. Its completely reversed! In Australia i eat a lot of salad, lean meats, fish, vege and fruit. Hardly any carbs, only the occasional pasta or rice dish. Here is totally the opposite. Bread, ham and cheese are served with every meal, takeaways always consit of bread with something – whether it be hamburger, hotdog or sandwich. Salads without cream are rare and soy milk is virtually non-existant. Its effecting my moods greatly, this is about overcoming a drastic change and trying to get the most out of the trip. When i get back home im going to have a fresh fish and salad pigout. Can. Not. Wait! I need to get this bread out of my system!
Breakfast was downed, car was packed and we were out on the road again. Deciding to head to Landmannalauger in the highlands to catch some volanic-coloured mountains seemed like a good idea, so off we went.
The roads were twisty, hilly and composed of a variety of gravel sizes and textures. This made the drive not only bumpy, but interesting and long. It took us 3 hours of punishing our stock-standard rental, a Nissan Qashqai (dont know who thought of that name!) negotiating skinny cliff faces, fording small creeks and stopping of course, to take photos. Most of the scenery for the 3 hours, looked like this, but in different shapes:
The wind on top of the various hills and peaks was so intense it was a struggle to open car doors, and when i did, it was another quick manoeuvre to ensure i had gotten my whole body out, else i risked losing an arm or a leg in the door which closed with a single forceful gust. The artic winds blew off the closest glacier, freezing everything that was in its path, not literally, but it felt like it. My hands is suffering in these cold conditions, the wind is the real killerthough. They get so cold i cant use them. Bad thing since im here for photography. This hill was particularly troublesome for such winds:
The mountains had so many varying colours, textures and shapes. It was hard not to ignore them. Instead I gave them the close-up treatment so that you can appreciate them…
We finally made it to Landmannalauger, taking more photos of the hills, trying not to get lost in the lava spike-hills and trying to find new and interesting angles.
The landscapes though, were striking and different to the rest of the country that weve seen. We reached our destination and took the required, necessary and artistic photos before moving on to get to our hostel for the night in Arnes. Its a very homely hostel, the owner i think dabbles in interior decoration. I made a very tasty meal of chicken drumsticks and salad. We found the drumsticks in a frozen bag at the local mini-mart (which is also a servo and a restaurant),cobbled it together with leftover salad from my dinner last night. The mini-mart owner, upon hearing that we’d been living off the food in the back of our car, gave us a free stick of french bread. So we’ve had a great meal. We’re up by the windows now, hoping to see some aurora and then jump into action. But that’s in nature’s ballpark now.
But – Theres a bathtub. My night is set…
Daily exploration is so draining…