It snowed heavily in Iceland last week. While it’s claimed that the place is far greener than Greenland there’s little doubt that the place is perfectly named right now.
It’s also obvious they don’t bother with that namby pamby gritting nonsense. Which is bad news for a rookie in a Toyota Yaris on these roads.
Assisted by high winds, there were one or two delightful on road Torvill and Dean manoeuvres as temperatures dipped to minus four. And despite the treacherous conditions it was a day that exceeded very high expectations.
Now I’m not trying to turn this blog into a Trip Advisor review but Pingvellir National Park with its “pay by card WC” facility is superb. Natural beauty, a fabulous walking area and a huge fault line that you can walk down that separates the American and Eurasian tectonic plates. I’ve driven over a similar line in Yellowstone. Here I walked it, holding on for dear life to a railing as the icy paths did their best to send me arse over tit. But failed.
Geysir next. Which is, not too surprisingly, a home to a number of geysers. These are big, and while not as big as Old Fairhful in Yellowstone they shoot up out of the ground every five minutes or so and you can get pretty close to the beauties. There’s nothing like stinking of sulphur!
Gulfoss water falls next, which is like Niagara Falls in a beautiful setting. Timing is everything and the sight of the river leading to the upper falls covered in mini ice bergs before hurtling them over the edge is astounding. It was also bloody cold and justified handing over £5 for a latte in the cafe afterwards.
The attractions are everything they were cracked up to be. But the scenery of ice covered lava fields, low level volcanoes and stunning lakes was amazing, helped by the sun being out all day.
It’s a route many have done before me. If the chance ever arrives you should take it. And remember to bring your credit card if you want a Jimmy Riddle.